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A class-relational approach

Intended for researchers, students, policymakers and practitioners, this book draws on detailed longitudinal fieldwork in rural south India to analyse the conditions of the rural poor and their patterns of change. Focusing on the three interrelated arenas of production, state, and civil society, it argues for a class-relational approach focused on forms of exploitation, domination and accumulation. The book focuses on class relations, how they are mediated by state institutions and civil society organisations, and how they vary within the countryside, when rural-based labour migrates to the city, and according to patterns of accumulation, caste dynamics, and villages’ levels of irrigation and degrees of remoteness. More specifically it analyses class relations in the agriculture and construction sectors, and among local government institutions, social movements, community-based organisations and NGOs. It shows how the dominant class reproduces its control over labour by shaping the activities of increasingly prominent local government institutions, and by exerting influence over the mass of new community-based organisations whose formation has been fostered by neoliberal policy. The book is centrally concerned with countervailing moves to improve the position of classes of labour. Increasingly informalised and segmented across multiple occupations in multiple locations, India’s ‘classes of labour’ are far from passive in the face of ongoing processes of exploitation and domination. Forms of labouring class organisation are often small-scale and tend to be oriented around the state and social policy. Despite their limitations, the book argues that such forms of contestation of government policy currently play a significant role in strategies for redistributing power and resources towards the labouring class, and suggests that they can help to clear the way for more broad-based and fundamental social change.

Jonathan Pattenden

focuses primarily on three particular village-level associations, and poses three central questions. First, it seeks to understand why the organisation’s strength varied across the different villages. This raises issues that have been discussed throughout the book. Variations in village-level class relations and differences in degrees of labouring class dependence on its village’s dominant class, the ways in which class relations are mediated by local government institutions (LGIs), and the dynamics within the group and the social movement as a whole all loom large in

in Labour, state and society in rural India
Abstract only
Jonathan Pattenden

labour, forms of class-based domination were more pronounced, poverty levels were at their highest and government poverty reduction programmes were subverted to the greatest extent. In villages that were closer to urban labour markets, the dominant class made greater use of its control over the distribution of public resources through local government institutions to reproduce its position. State mediations of class relations tended to maintain or strengthen the position of the dominant class. Decentralisation had increased the role played by local government

in Labour, state and society in rural India
How the Westminster parliament legislated for England, Scotland and Ireland, 1707–1830 - The 2001 Neale Lecture
Joanna Innes

. Legislating for Scotland or Ireland was not the same as legislating for an English region. One difference was that Scotland especially, and to a lesser extent Ireland, had their own distinctive institutions and bodies of law: their own local government institutions; their own inheritance of statute; Scotland had its own common law. Equally significantly, Scotland and Ireland were conceived as nations, and as such were potentially the focus of peculiarly intense loyalties, not equalled by English localist attachments. This is a complicated matter: both these societies were

in Parliaments, nations and identities in Britain and Ireland, 1660–1850
Abstract only
Jonathan Pattenden

reduction programmes also boost the competitiveness of Indian capital by subsidising the low wages that they pay. In other words, the state’s mediation of class relations in rural India is located in broader dynamics of accumulation and exploitation on a world scale. High levels of fiscal decentralisation to local government institutions (LGIs), along with the proliferation of CSOs, have ‘thickened’ the state–society interface in recent years. They have also made local government a more significant site of class-based antagonism. Although state poverty programmes are as

in Labour, state and society in rural India
Jonathan Pattenden

dominant class households work in agriculture. Of the former villages, accumulation strategies in Panchnagaram are more oriented towards the state. It has the highest level of public sector employment, the highest number of contractors (most of whom work informally) and the greatest influence over local government institutions (see Chapter 5 for a more detailed discussion). Accumulation strategies in Shiva Camp are more focused on agribusiness and formal sector employment. Levels of agribusiness exceed those of the other three villages combined, reflecting the greater

in Labour, state and society in rural India
Jonathan Pattenden

partial, uneven and far from linear. The third section focuses on recent discussion of CSOs in the Indian countryside that involve or are led by classes of labour. It contrasts ‘neoliberal’ organisations with class-based ones. The fourth and final section assesses debates on the role of the state in mediating class relations. Literature on local government institutions (LGIs) are touched upon before the chapter ends with a discussion of the forms and role of state poverty reduction programmes. It is argued that social policy, despite the fact that the state tends to be

in Labour, state and society in rural India
Jonathan Pattenden

6 Social policy and class relations: the case of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) is a universal rights-based programme, and as such it is argued here that it provides possibilities for classes of labour to challenge existing distributions of power within local government institutions (LGIs), and even to modify class relations in their favour. In operation since 2006, NREGS guarantees 100 days of employment on government-funded works for every household in rural India. It also entitles those

in Labour, state and society in rural India
Abstract only
Peter John, Sarah Cotterill, Alice Moseley, Liz Richardson, Graham Smith, Gerry Stoker, and Corinne Wales

encouraged politicians to pass the letter on to another person, possibly of higher status, in the council. Follow-up research for this project found that local councillors felt overwhelmed by irrelevant paperwork and demands, and unable to influence their own bureaucracies in order to create change (Richardson 2013 ). Other research in northern Europe has also found that it may be hard to change the way local councillors see their roles, because of established attitudes, existing organizational practices, and prevailing cultures in local government institutions

in Nudge, nudge, think, think (second edition)
Ireland’s grassroots food growing movement
Aisling Murtagh

of local government institutions or whether it needs to look to the private market to allow for its continued expansion. Conclusions The emergence of grassroots and organised food growing projects in periods of economic growth and their surge during periods of decline is an established phenomenon since the mid-twentieth century. While the food movement discussed here does not offer a utopian vision for systematic change, it does represent spaces of hope in which alternatives are possible. Aligned with the Celtic Tiger’s demise, the boom in demand for alternative

in Spacing Ireland