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Governing Access to Essential Resources$
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Katharina Pistor and Olivier De Schutter

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172783

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172783.001.0001

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Erosion of Essential Resources in Neoliberal India

Erosion of Essential Resources in Neoliberal India

A Bottom-Up View

(p.201) Chapter 9 Erosion of Essential Resources in Neoliberal India
Governing Access to Essential Resources

Vamsi Vakulabharanam

Columbia University Press

Vakulabharana emphasizes the dynamics of economic processes unleashed by neoliberal policies that spur cycles of primitive capital accumulation – in this case natural resources mining in rural India. His comparative analysis of how peasants and tribal people fair in Andhra Pradesh (AP) when their land is found to be of interest to large mining companies reveals that differences in legal protection make little difference in outcome. Law is not simply set aside, but loopholes are exploited in ways that render largely toothless the Voice they were meant to protect. Further, the economic value at stake, and the lack of any mechanism to force the internalization of social costs such as environmental degradation and health hazards, creates few incentives for investors or state officials to incorporate the interest of tribes or peasants into their strategies. Vakulabharana’s concludes from this analysis that institutional design is futile when confronted with the logic of global capitalism.

Keywords:   global capitalism, India, neoliberal policies, land governance

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