The Indian Underbelly: Marginalisation, Migration and State Intervention in the Periphery

Project leader

Funding source

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2013
End date: 31/12/2015
Funding: 2736000 SEK


This project focuses on emerging forms of poverty and related processes of marginalization and migration in India. In particular, it wishes to understand the problems and prospects associated with the expansion of developmental activities by the state in areas that were traditionally associated with economic backwardness, social ferment and protracted political conflict. Since the past two decades, India's economic growth has overshadowed the discordant realities of armed conflicts, be they against Maoists in central and eastern India, or ethnic separatists in Kashmir and the Northeast. By selecting two different clusters of villages in Assam and Manipur in Northeast India, our study will map changes in livelihoods, migration patterns and social organisation. Within the villages, we will trace movements from agriculture-based livelihoods to off farm activities, from rural to urban and further migration routes outside the region.

Four sets of inter-related questions will be considered: (i) how do special constitutional provisions contribute to, and address the structuring of migration and poverty in the Northeast; (ii) how do labour migration cycles emerge from the region and what do they explain about new forms of impoverishment and/or affluence; (iii) how do land ownership patterns and changing land use regimes contribute to the emerging politics of resource control and development and (iv) how have indigenous communities (of the region), coped with these changes.

Last updated on 2017-24-03 at 12:52