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CANCELED: Fabricating Development and Social Changes in the Indian Northeast

The transnational region located in the Northeast of the Indian territory has long been constructed as a peripheral borderland and objectified as resources to reinstate the control of political powers. This panel will delineate the social and cultural constraints and refocus on indigenous subjects.


· Ru-Yu Lin Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (Brighton, United Kingdom)

Long Abstract

Geopolitically, Northeast India is referred to as ‘frontier' area since the colonial time with some state functioning as sovereign independent princely state or within Assam province. Today it is considered as a region with layered categories at the margin of the Indian state. This panel invites researchers to intersect both epistemologies and methodologies established from varied disciplines with their identities and reflexivity. Since the ‘discovery' of the expansion of the western imperialist agencies to the incorporation of the modern Indian state, the regional agenda of development and un-development of this region has passed through drastic social changes. However, with the interweaving of the influence of global capitalist machinery, geopolitics and in-road of market-driven forces, we need new lenses and frameworks to approach this diversified space and understand the positionality and subjectivities of the people. We expect the contributors of this panel to take the pragmatic stance by challenging the dominant paradigm and explain its implications in full aspects, articulate the embracement and resistance of the glocal relationship, dwelling on the agency of the local stakeholders, engage with people’s everyday life, and draw their conclusions and suggestions with an actionable agenda for different stakeholders including the Indian state(s). We are especially interested in research papers/field reports covering the Indian Northeast and beyond under the following themes: political participation, tribal governance, network and exchange, infrastructure/energy, reconfiguration of an indigenous subject, border and borderland, peripheralisation and marginalisation.