International Development Planning Review

Managing political space: authority, marginalised people’s agency and governance in West Bengal

International Development Planning Review (2018), 40, (1), 1–26.

Abstract

This paper investigates governance reform which aims to ‘move the state’ closer to people, arguing that greater attention needs to be paid to two questions: how does political decentralisation affect the ways in which authority is exercised? And what spaces does it leave open for poor people’s agency? It focuses on West Bengal, an Indian innovator of decentralisation through panchayati raj (‘rule by local councils’) in the late 1970s, investigating the everyday practices through which rural political space was being managed through in-depth qualitative evidence gathered from two panchayats towards the end of the Left Front government’s long rule (1977–2011). This work indicates the ways in which patronage, coercion and surveillance were melded by those exercising political power in the Bengali countryside, and the limited political opportunities which these practices left open to the poor. The ostensibly democratic structures of panchayati raj thus coexisted with the informal exercise of power and the reproduction of new forms of ascribed political identity for poorer and marginal groups. This in turn raises critical questions about programmes of governance reform being pursued across the global South.

Managing political space: authority, marginalised people’s agency and governance in West Bengal

Abstract

This paper investigates governance reform which aims to ‘move the state’ closer to people, arguing that greater attention needs to be paid to two questions: how does political decentralisation affect the ways in which authority is exercised? And what spaces does it leave open for poor people’s agency? It focuses on West Bengal, an Indian innovator of decentralisation through panchayati raj (‘rule by local councils’) in the late 1970s, investigating the everyday practices through which rural political space was being managed through in-depth qualitative evidence gathered from two panchayats towards the end of the Left Front government’s long rule (1977–2011). This work indicates the ways in which patronage, coercion and surveillance were melded by those exercising political power in the Bengali countryside, and the limited political opportunities which these practices left open to the poor. The ostensibly democratic structures of panchayati raj thus coexisted with the informal exercise of power and the reproduction of new forms of ascribed political identity for poorer and marginal groups. This in turn raises critical questions about programmes of governance reform being pursued across the global South.

Ananth Pur, K. (2007) ‘Rivalry or synergy? Formal and informal local governance in rural India’, Development and Change, 38(3), 401–21. Rivalry or synergy? Formal and informal local governance in rural India Development and Change 38 401 21 Google Scholar

Bag, K. (2011) ‘Red Bengal’s rise and fall’, New Left Review, NS, 70, 69–98. Red Bengal’s rise and fall New Left Review 70 69 98 Google Scholar

Bénit-Gbaffou, C. (2011) ‘“Up close and personal”: how does local democracy help the poor access the state? Stories of accountability and clientelism in Johannesburg’, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 46(5), 453–64. “Up close and personal”: how does local democracy help the poor access the state? Stories of accountability and clientelism in Johannesburg Journal of Asian and African Studies 46 453 64 Google Scholar

Bénit-Gbaffou, C. and Katsura, O. (2014) ‘Community leadership and the construction of political legitimacy: unpacking Bourdieu’s “political capital” in post-apartheid Johannesburg’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(5), 1807–32. Community leadership and the construction of political legitimacy: unpacking Bourdieu’s “political capital” in post-apartheid Johannesburg International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38 1807 32 Google Scholar

Bhattacharyya, D. (1999) ‘Politics of middleness: the changing character of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in rural West Bengal (1977–1990)’, in S. Bose, B. Harriss-White and B. Rogaly (eds) Sonar Bangla?, Sage, New Delhi, 279–300. Politics of middleness: the changing character of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in rural West Bengal (1977–1990) Sonar Bangla? 279 300 Google Scholar

Bhattacharyya, D. (2009) ‘Of control and factions: the changing “party-society” in rural West Bengal’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 February, 59–69. Of control and factions: the changing “party-society” in rural West Bengal Economic and Political Weekly 59 69 Google Scholar

Bhattacharyya, D. (2016) Government as practice: democratic left in a transforming India, Delhi, Cambridge University Press. Government as practice: democratic left in a transforming India Google Scholar

Blom Hansen, T. (2004) ‘Politics as permanent performance: the production of political authority in the locality’, in A. Wyatt, J. Zavos and V. Hewitt (eds) The politics of cultural mobilisation in India, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 20–36. Politics as permanent performance: the production of political authority in the locality The politics of cultural mobilisation in India 20 36 Google Scholar

Blom Hansen, T. (2005) ‘Sovereigns beyond the state: on legality and authority in urban India’, in T. Blom Hansen and F. Stepputat (eds) Sovereign bodies: citizens, migrants and states in the postcolonial world, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 169–91. Sovereigns beyond the state: on legality and authority in urban India Sovereign bodies: citizens, migrants and states in the postcolonial world 169 91 Google Scholar

Brass, T. (1997) Theft of an idol: text and context in the representation of collective violence, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. Theft of an idol: text and context in the representation of collective violence Google Scholar

Chatterjee, P. (2004) The politics of the governed: reflections on popular politics in most of the world, New York, Columbia University Press. The politics of the governed: reflections on popular politics in most of the world Google Scholar

Chatterjee, P. (2008) ‘Democracy and economic transformation in India’, Economic and Political Weekly, 43(16), 53–62. Democracy and economic transformation in India Economic and Political Weekly 43 53 62 Google Scholar

Chatterjee, P. (2009) ‘The coming crisis in West Bengal’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 February, 42–45. The coming crisis in West Bengal Economic and Political Weekly 42 45 Google Scholar

Chatterjee, P. (2011) ‘The debate over political society’, in A. Gudavarthy (ed.) Re-framing democracy and agency in India: interrogating political society, London, Anthem Press, 305–22. The debate over political society Re-framing democracy and agency in India: interrogating political society 305 22 Google Scholar

Chatterjee, P., Kumar Bose, P. and Samaddar, R. (1997) ‘Discipline and development’, in P. Chatterjee (ed.) The present history of West Bengal, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 154–74. Discipline and development The present history of West Bengal 154 74 Google Scholar

Cleaver, F. (2012) Development through bricolage: rethinking institutions for natural resource management, Abingdon, Earthscan. Development through bricolage: rethinking institutions for natural resource management Google Scholar

Corbridge, S., Williams, G., Srivastava, M. and Véron, R. (2005) Seeing the state: governance and governmentality in rural India, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Seeing the state: governance and governmentality in rural India Google Scholar

Cornwall, A. (2004) ‘Introduction: new democratic spaces? The politics and dynamics of institutionalised participation’, IDS Bulletin, 35(2), 1–10. Introduction: new democratic spaces? The politics and dynamics of institutionalised participation’ IDS Bulletin 35 1 10 Google Scholar

Das, R. (2013) ‘History, ideology and negotiation: the politics of policy transition in West Bengal, India’ (unpublished PhD thesis), London, London School of Economics and Political Science. History, ideology and negotiation: the politics of policy transition in West Bengal, India Google Scholar

Dasgupta, R. (2009) ‘The CPI(M) “machinery” in West Bengal: two village narratives from Kochbihar and Malda’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 February, 70–81. The CPI(M) “machinery” in West Bengal: two village narratives from Kochbihar and Malda Economic and Political Weekly 70 81 Google Scholar

Fox, J. (1996) ‘How does civil society thicken? The political construction of social capital in Mexico’, World Development, 24, 1089–1103. How does civil society thicken? The political construction of social capital in Mexico World Development 24 1089 1103 Google Scholar

Gazdar, H. and Sengupta, S. (1999) ‘Agricultural growth and recent trends in well-being in rural West Bengal’, in S. Bose et al. (eds), 60–91. Agricultural growth and recent trends in well-being in rural West Bengal 60 91 Google Scholar

Harrison, T. (2012) ‘Clubbing together: village clubs, local NGOs and the mediations of political society’, in A. Gudavarthy (ed.), 235–51. Clubbing together: village clubs, local NGOs and the mediations of political society 235 51 Google Scholar

Harriss, J., Stokke, K. and Törnquist, O. (2004) ‘Introduction: the new local politics of democratisation’, in J. Harriss, K. Stokke and O. Törnquist (eds) Politicising democracy: the new local politics of democratisation, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 1–28. Introduction: the new local politics of democratisation Politicising democracy: the new local politics of democratisation 1 28 Google Scholar

Heller, P. (2001) ‘Moving the state: the politics of democratic decentralization in Kerala, South Africa, and Porto Alegre’, Politics & Society, 29(1), 131–63. Moving the state: the politics of democratic decentralization in Kerala, South Africa, and Porto Alegre Politics & Society 29 131 63 Google Scholar

Heller, P. (2009) ‘Making citizens from below: India’s emerging local government’, in G. Bland and C. J. Arnson (eds), Democratic deficits: addressing challenges to sustainability and consolidation around the world, Washington, DC, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 85–103. Making citizens from below: India’s emerging local government Democratic deficits: addressing challenges to sustainability and consolidation around the world 85 103 Google Scholar

Hickey, S. (2008) ‘The return of politics in development studies (part one): getting lost within the poverty agenda?’, Progress in Development Studies, 8(4), 349–58. The return of politics in development studies (part one): getting lost within the poverty agenda? Progress in Development Studies 8 349 58 Google Scholar

Hickey, S. (2009) ‘The return of politics in development studies (part two): capturing the political?’, Progress in Development Studies, 9(2), 141–52. The return of politics in development studies (part two): capturing the political? Progress in Development Studies 9 141 52 Google Scholar

High, C., Slater, R. and Rengasamy, S. (2006) ‘Are shadows dark? Governance, informal institutions and corruption in rural India’, in L. Cheshire, V. Higgins and G. Lawrence (eds) International perspectives on rural governance: new power relations in rural economies and societies, Abingdon, Routledge, 273–88. Are shadows dark? Governance, informal institutions and corruption in rural India International perspectives on rural governance: new power relations in rural economies and societies 273 88 Google Scholar

Jenkins, R. (2001) ‘Mistaking “governance” for “politics”: foreign aid, democracy and the construction of civil society’, in S. Kaviraj and S. Khilnani (eds) Civil society: history and possibilities, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2001, 250–68. Mistaking “governance” for “politics”: foreign aid, democracy and the construction of civil society Civil society: history and possibilities 250 68 Google Scholar

Kabeer, N. and Kabir, A. H. (2009) ‘Citizenship narratives in the absence of good governance: voices of the working poor in Bangladesh’ (IDS Working Paper 331). Citizenship narratives in the absence of good governance: voices of the working poor in Bangladesh Google Scholar

Kohli, A. (1987) The state and poverty in India: the politics of reform, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. The state and poverty in India: the politics of reform Google Scholar

Lemanski, C. (2017) ‘Unequal citizenship in unequal cities: participatory urban governance in contemporary South Africa’, International Development Planning Review, 39(1), 15–35. Unequal citizenship in unequal cities: participatory urban governance in contemporary South Africa International Development Planning Review 39 15 35 Google Scholar

Li, T. M. (2007) The will to improve: governmentality, development, and the practice of politics, Durham, NC, Duke University Press. The will to improve: governmentality, development, and the practice of politics Google Scholar

Lieten, G. K. (1992) Continuity and change in rural West Bengal, Delhi, Sage. Continuity and change in rural West Bengal Google Scholar

Low, M. (2007) Political parties and the city: some thoughts on the low profile of partisan organisations and mobilisation in urban political theory’, Environment and Planning A, 39(11), 2652–67. Political parties and the city: some thoughts on the low profile of partisan organisations and mobilisation in urban political theory Environment and Planning A 39 2652 67 Google Scholar

Lund, C. (2006a) ‘Twilight institutions: an introduction’, Development and Change, 37(4), 673–84. Twilight institutions: an introduction Development and Change 37 673 84 Google Scholar

Lund, C. (2006b) ‘Twilight institutions: public authority and local politics in Africa’, Development and Change, 37(4), 685–705. Twilight institutions: public authority and local politics in Africa Development and Change 37 685 705 Google Scholar

Majumdar, M. (2009) ‘Democracy and praxis: two non-left gram panchayats in West Bengal’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 February, 82–93. Democracy and praxis: two non-left gram panchayats in West Bengal Economic and Political Weekly 82 93 Google Scholar

Manor, J. (2000) ‘Small-time political fixers in India’s states: “towel over armpit”’, Asian Survey, 40(5), 816–35. Small-time political fixers in India’s states: “towel over armpit” Asian Survey 40 816 35 Google Scholar

Mishra, S. K. (1991) An alternative approach to development: land reform and panchayats, Kolkata, Government of West Bengal (Information and Cultural Affairs Department). An alternative approach to development: land reform and panchayats Google Scholar

Mohan, G. (2007) ‘Participatory development: from epistemological reversals to active citizenship’, Geography Compass, 1(4), 779–96. Participatory development: from epistemological reversals to active citizenship Geography Compass 1 779 96 Google Scholar

Price, P. and Ruud, A. E. (eds) (2010) Power and influence in India: bosses, lords and captains, New Delhi, Routledge. Power and influence in India: bosses, lords and captains Google Scholar

Robins S., Cornwall A. and von Lieres B. (2008) ‘Rethinking “citizenship” in the postcolony’, Third World Quarterly, 29, 1069–86. Rethinking “citizenship” in the postcolony Third World Quarterly 29 1069 86 Google Scholar

Sarkar, A. (2006) ‘Political economy of West Bengal: a puzzle and a hypothesis’, Economic and Political Weekly, 41(4), 341–48. Political economy of West Bengal: a puzzle and a hypothesis Economic and Political Weekly 41 341 48 Google Scholar

Scott, J. C. (1985) Weapons of the weak: everyday forms of peasant resistance, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press. Weapons of the weak: everyday forms of peasant resistance Google Scholar

Webster, N. and Engberg-Pedersen, L. (eds) (2002) In the name of the poor: contesting political space for poverty reduction, London, Zed Books. In the name of the poor: contesting political space for poverty reduction Google Scholar

Williams, G. (2001) ‘Understanding “political stability”: party action and political discourse in West Bengal’, Third World Quarterly, 22(4) 603–22. Understanding “political stability”: party action and political discourse in West Bengal Third World Quarterly 22 603 22 Google Scholar

Williams, G. (2009) ‘Good governance’, in R. Kitchin and N. Thrift (eds) International encyclopaedia of human geography, London, Elsevier, 606–14. Good governance International encyclopaedia of human geography 606 14 Google Scholar

Williams G., Thampi, B. V., Narayana, D., Nandigama, S. and Bhattacharyya, D. (2012) ‘The politics of defining and alleviating poverty: state strategies and their impacts in rural Kerala’, Geoforum, 43(5), 991–1001. The politics of defining and alleviating poverty: state strategies and their impacts in rural Kerala Geoforum 43 991 1001 Google Scholar

Williams, G., Véron, R., Srivastava, M. and Corbridge, S. (2003) ‘Participation, poverty and power: poor people’s engagement with India’s Employment Assurance Scheme’, Development and Change, 34(1), 163–92. Participation, poverty and power: poor people’s engagement with India’s Employment Assurance Scheme Development and Change 34 163 92 Google Scholar

de Wit, J. and Berner, E. (2009) ‘Progressive patronage? Municipalities, NGOs, CBOs, and the limits to slum dwellers’ empowerment’, Development and Change, 40(5), 927–47. Progressive patronage? Municipalities, NGOs, CBOs, and the limits to slum dwellers’ empowerment Development and Change 40 927 47 Google Scholar

Wood, G. D. (2003) ‘Staying poor, staying secure: the “Faustian bargain”’, World Development, 31(3), 455–71. Staying poor, staying secure: the “Faustian bargain” World Development 31 455 71 Google Scholar

World Bank (2000) World development report 2000/1: attacking poverty, Washington, DC, The World Bank. Google Scholar

Ananth Pur, K. (2007) ‘Rivalry or synergy? Formal and informal local governance in rural India’, Development and Change, 38(3), 401–21. Rivalry or synergy? Formal and informal local governance in rural India Development and Change 38 401 21 Google Scholar

Bag, K. (2011) ‘Red Bengal’s rise and fall’, New Left Review, NS, 70, 69–98. Red Bengal’s rise and fall New Left Review 70 69 98 Google Scholar

Bénit-Gbaffou, C. (2011) ‘“Up close and personal”: how does local democracy help the poor access the state? Stories of accountability and clientelism in Johannesburg’, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 46(5), 453–64. “Up close and personal”: how does local democracy help the poor access the state? Stories of accountability and clientelism in Johannesburg Journal of Asian and African Studies 46 453 64 Google Scholar

Bénit-Gbaffou, C. and Katsura, O. (2014) ‘Community leadership and the construction of political legitimacy: unpacking Bourdieu’s “political capital” in post-apartheid Johannesburg’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(5), 1807–32. Community leadership and the construction of political legitimacy: unpacking Bourdieu’s “political capital” in post-apartheid Johannesburg International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38 1807 32 Google Scholar

Bhattacharyya, D. (1999) ‘Politics of middleness: the changing character of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in rural West Bengal (1977–1990)’, in S. Bose, B. Harriss-White and B. Rogaly (eds) Sonar Bangla?, Sage, New Delhi, 279–300. Politics of middleness: the changing character of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in rural West Bengal (1977–1990) Sonar Bangla? 279 300 Google Scholar

Bhattacharyya, D. (2009) ‘Of control and factions: the changing “party-society” in rural West Bengal’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 February, 59–69. Of control and factions: the changing “party-society” in rural West Bengal Economic and Political Weekly 59 69 Google Scholar

Bhattacharyya, D. (2016) Government as practice: democratic left in a transforming India, Delhi, Cambridge University Press. Government as practice: democratic left in a transforming India Google Scholar

Blom Hansen, T. (2004) ‘Politics as permanent performance: the production of political authority in the locality’, in A. Wyatt, J. Zavos and V. Hewitt (eds) The politics of cultural mobilisation in India, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 20–36. Politics as permanent performance: the production of political authority in the locality The politics of cultural mobilisation in India 20 36 Google Scholar

Blom Hansen, T. (2005) ‘Sovereigns beyond the state: on legality and authority in urban India’, in T. Blom Hansen and F. Stepputat (eds) Sovereign bodies: citizens, migrants and states in the postcolonial world, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 169–91. Sovereigns beyond the state: on legality and authority in urban India Sovereign bodies: citizens, migrants and states in the postcolonial world 169 91 Google Scholar

Brass, T. (1997) Theft of an idol: text and context in the representation of collective violence, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. Theft of an idol: text and context in the representation of collective violence Google Scholar

Chatterjee, P. (2004) The politics of the governed: reflections on popular politics in most of the world, New York, Columbia University Press. The politics of the governed: reflections on popular politics in most of the world Google Scholar

Chatterjee, P. (2008) ‘Democracy and economic transformation in India’, Economic and Political Weekly, 43(16), 53–62. Democracy and economic transformation in India Economic and Political Weekly 43 53 62 Google Scholar

Chatterjee, P. (2009) ‘The coming crisis in West Bengal’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 February, 42–45. The coming crisis in West Bengal Economic and Political Weekly 42 45 Google Scholar

Chatterjee, P. (2011) ‘The debate over political society’, in A. Gudavarthy (ed.) Re-framing democracy and agency in India: interrogating political society, London, Anthem Press, 305–22. The debate over political society Re-framing democracy and agency in India: interrogating political society 305 22 Google Scholar

Chatterjee, P., Kumar Bose, P. and Samaddar, R. (1997) ‘Discipline and development’, in P. Chatterjee (ed.) The present history of West Bengal, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 154–74. Discipline and development The present history of West Bengal 154 74 Google Scholar

Cleaver, F. (2012) Development through bricolage: rethinking institutions for natural resource management, Abingdon, Earthscan. Development through bricolage: rethinking institutions for natural resource management Google Scholar

Corbridge, S., Williams, G., Srivastava, M. and Véron, R. (2005) Seeing the state: governance and governmentality in rural India, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Seeing the state: governance and governmentality in rural India Google Scholar

Cornwall, A. (2004) ‘Introduction: new democratic spaces? The politics and dynamics of institutionalised participation’, IDS Bulletin, 35(2), 1–10. Introduction: new democratic spaces? The politics and dynamics of institutionalised participation’ IDS Bulletin 35 1 10 Google Scholar

Das, R. (2013) ‘History, ideology and negotiation: the politics of policy transition in West Bengal, India’ (unpublished PhD thesis), London, London School of Economics and Political Science. History, ideology and negotiation: the politics of policy transition in West Bengal, India Google Scholar

Dasgupta, R. (2009) ‘The CPI(M) “machinery” in West Bengal: two village narratives from Kochbihar and Malda’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 February, 70–81. The CPI(M) “machinery” in West Bengal: two village narratives from Kochbihar and Malda Economic and Political Weekly 70 81 Google Scholar

Fox, J. (1996) ‘How does civil society thicken? The political construction of social capital in Mexico’, World Development, 24, 1089–1103. How does civil society thicken? The political construction of social capital in Mexico World Development 24 1089 1103 Google Scholar

Gazdar, H. and Sengupta, S. (1999) ‘Agricultural growth and recent trends in well-being in rural West Bengal’, in S. Bose et al. (eds), 60–91. Agricultural growth and recent trends in well-being in rural West Bengal 60 91 Google Scholar

Harrison, T. (2012) ‘Clubbing together: village clubs, local NGOs and the mediations of political society’, in A. Gudavarthy (ed.), 235–51. Clubbing together: village clubs, local NGOs and the mediations of political society 235 51 Google Scholar

Harriss, J., Stokke, K. and Törnquist, O. (2004) ‘Introduction: the new local politics of democratisation’, in J. Harriss, K. Stokke and O. Törnquist (eds) Politicising democracy: the new local politics of democratisation, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 1–28. Introduction: the new local politics of democratisation Politicising democracy: the new local politics of democratisation 1 28 Google Scholar

Heller, P. (2001) ‘Moving the state: the politics of democratic decentralization in Kerala, South Africa, and Porto Alegre’, Politics & Society, 29(1), 131–63. Moving the state: the politics of democratic decentralization in Kerala, South Africa, and Porto Alegre Politics & Society 29 131 63 Google Scholar

Heller, P. (2009) ‘Making citizens from below: India’s emerging local government’, in G. Bland and C. J. Arnson (eds), Democratic deficits: addressing challenges to sustainability and consolidation around the world, Washington, DC, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 85–103. Making citizens from below: India’s emerging local government Democratic deficits: addressing challenges to sustainability and consolidation around the world 85 103 Google Scholar

Hickey, S. (2008) ‘The return of politics in development studies (part one): getting lost within the poverty agenda?’, Progress in Development Studies, 8(4), 349–58. The return of politics in development studies (part one): getting lost within the poverty agenda? Progress in Development Studies 8 349 58 Google Scholar

Hickey, S. (2009) ‘The return of politics in development studies (part two): capturing the political?’, Progress in Development Studies, 9(2), 141–52. The return of politics in development studies (part two): capturing the political? Progress in Development Studies 9 141 52 Google Scholar

High, C., Slater, R. and Rengasamy, S. (2006) ‘Are shadows dark? Governance, informal institutions and corruption in rural India’, in L. Cheshire, V. Higgins and G. Lawrence (eds) International perspectives on rural governance: new power relations in rural economies and societies, Abingdon, Routledge, 273–88. Are shadows dark? Governance, informal institutions and corruption in rural India International perspectives on rural governance: new power relations in rural economies and societies 273 88 Google Scholar

Jenkins, R. (2001) ‘Mistaking “governance” for “politics”: foreign aid, democracy and the construction of civil society’, in S. Kaviraj and S. Khilnani (eds) Civil society: history and possibilities, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2001, 250–68. Mistaking “governance” for “politics”: foreign aid, democracy and the construction of civil society Civil society: history and possibilities 250 68 Google Scholar

Kabeer, N. and Kabir, A. H. (2009) ‘Citizenship narratives in the absence of good governance: voices of the working poor in Bangladesh’ (IDS Working Paper 331). Citizenship narratives in the absence of good governance: voices of the working poor in Bangladesh Google Scholar

Kohli, A. (1987) The state and poverty in India: the politics of reform, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. The state and poverty in India: the politics of reform Google Scholar

Lemanski, C. (2017) ‘Unequal citizenship in unequal cities: participatory urban governance in contemporary South Africa’, International Development Planning Review, 39(1), 15–35. Unequal citizenship in unequal cities: participatory urban governance in contemporary South Africa International Development Planning Review 39 15 35 Google Scholar

Li, T. M. (2007) The will to improve: governmentality, development, and the practice of politics, Durham, NC, Duke University Press. The will to improve: governmentality, development, and the practice of politics Google Scholar

Lieten, G. K. (1992) Continuity and change in rural West Bengal, Delhi, Sage. Continuity and change in rural West Bengal Google Scholar

Low, M. (2007) Political parties and the city: some thoughts on the low profile of partisan organisations and mobilisation in urban political theory’, Environment and Planning A, 39(11), 2652–67. Political parties and the city: some thoughts on the low profile of partisan organisations and mobilisation in urban political theory Environment and Planning A 39 2652 67 Google Scholar

Lund, C. (2006a) ‘Twilight institutions: an introduction’, Development and Change, 37(4), 673–84. Twilight institutions: an introduction Development and Change 37 673 84 Google Scholar

Lund, C. (2006b) ‘Twilight institutions: public authority and local politics in Africa’, Development and Change, 37(4), 685–705. Twilight institutions: public authority and local politics in Africa Development and Change 37 685 705 Google Scholar

Majumdar, M. (2009) ‘Democracy and praxis: two non-left gram panchayats in West Bengal’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28 February, 82–93. Democracy and praxis: two non-left gram panchayats in West Bengal Economic and Political Weekly 82 93 Google Scholar

Manor, J. (2000) ‘Small-time political fixers in India’s states: “towel over armpit”’, Asian Survey, 40(5), 816–35. Small-time political fixers in India’s states: “towel over armpit” Asian Survey 40 816 35 Google Scholar

Mishra, S. K. (1991) An alternative approach to development: land reform and panchayats, Kolkata, Government of West Bengal (Information and Cultural Affairs Department). An alternative approach to development: land reform and panchayats Google Scholar

Mohan, G. (2007) ‘Participatory development: from epistemological reversals to active citizenship’, Geography Compass, 1(4), 779–96. Participatory development: from epistemological reversals to active citizenship Geography Compass 1 779 96 Google Scholar

Price, P. and Ruud, A. E. (eds) (2010) Power and influence in India: bosses, lords and captains, New Delhi, Routledge. Power and influence in India: bosses, lords and captains Google Scholar

Robins S., Cornwall A. and von Lieres B. (2008) ‘Rethinking “citizenship” in the postcolony’, Third World Quarterly, 29, 1069–86. Rethinking “citizenship” in the postcolony Third World Quarterly 29 1069 86 Google Scholar

Sarkar, A. (2006) ‘Political economy of West Bengal: a puzzle and a hypothesis’, Economic and Political Weekly, 41(4), 341–48. Political economy of West Bengal: a puzzle and a hypothesis Economic and Political Weekly 41 341 48 Google Scholar

Scott, J. C. (1985) Weapons of the weak: everyday forms of peasant resistance, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press. Weapons of the weak: everyday forms of peasant resistance Google Scholar

Webster, N. and Engberg-Pedersen, L. (eds) (2002) In the name of the poor: contesting political space for poverty reduction, London, Zed Books. In the name of the poor: contesting political space for poverty reduction Google Scholar

Williams, G. (2001) ‘Understanding “political stability”: party action and political discourse in West Bengal’, Third World Quarterly, 22(4) 603–22. Understanding “political stability”: party action and political discourse in West Bengal Third World Quarterly 22 603 22 Google Scholar

Williams, G. (2009) ‘Good governance’, in R. Kitchin and N. Thrift (eds) International encyclopaedia of human geography, London, Elsevier, 606–14. Good governance International encyclopaedia of human geography 606 14 Google Scholar

Williams G., Thampi, B. V., Narayana, D., Nandigama, S. and Bhattacharyya, D. (2012) ‘The politics of defining and alleviating poverty: state strategies and their impacts in rural Kerala’, Geoforum, 43(5), 991–1001. The politics of defining and alleviating poverty: state strategies and their impacts in rural Kerala Geoforum 43 991 1001 Google Scholar

Williams, G., Véron, R., Srivastava, M. and Corbridge, S. (2003) ‘Participation, poverty and power: poor people’s engagement with India’s Employment Assurance Scheme’, Development and Change, 34(1), 163–92. Participation, poverty and power: poor people’s engagement with India’s Employment Assurance Scheme Development and Change 34 163 92 Google Scholar

de Wit, J. and Berner, E. (2009) ‘Progressive patronage? Municipalities, NGOs, CBOs, and the limits to slum dwellers’ empowerment’, Development and Change, 40(5), 927–47. Progressive patronage? Municipalities, NGOs, CBOs, and the limits to slum dwellers’ empowerment Development and Change 40 927 47 Google Scholar

Wood, G. D. (2003) ‘Staying poor, staying secure: the “Faustian bargain”’, World Development, 31(3), 455–71. Staying poor, staying secure: the “Faustian bargain” World Development 31 455 71 Google Scholar

World Bank (2000) World development report 2000/1: attacking poverty, Washington, DC, The World Bank. Google Scholar


Details

Author details

Williams, Glyn

Nandigama, Sailaja