Terrains of Resistance: Nonviolent Social Movements and the Contestation of Place in India

By Paul Routledge; John Agnew | Go to book overview
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Chapter 6
Social Movements, Place and Nonviolent Sanctions

Through the study of the experiences of two Indian social movements, Baliapal and Chipko, this book has attempted to highlight the importance of a place perspective in the study of social movements and also the versatility and power of nonviolent action within particular conflict situations. More specifically, by analyzing the Baliapal and Chipko experiences, I have attempted to show how social movements, geography, hegemony and nonviolence are interrelated. In this final chapter I consider the broader implications of my conclusions relating to Baliapal's and Chipko's terrains of resistance, addressing the experience of Indian movements within the international context, the importance of the perspective of place in the study of social movements and finally, the potential application of nonviolent sanctions within conflict studies.


INDIAN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT

The experiences of the Baliapal and Chipko movements exemplified various processes and characteristics frequently at work within the realm of social movement agency in India. The principal characteristics of many Indian social movement struggles are that they are locally based and place-specific; they frequently employ nonviolent methods of resistance; and the principal terrain of struggle at the local level for most of these social movements is civil society, embodying what Cohen and Arato ( 1992) have termed "self-limiting radicalism." Many Indian social

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