Politics: Books, Reports & Newsletters

Posted on April 27, 2014

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Resources for Politics: Books, Reports & Newsletters

Books

  1. Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction by Bhikhu Parekh. The author concentrates on Gandhi's role as a thinker, and the influence of his ideas — in particular his spiritual view of politics, and his theories of oppression, non-violent action, and active citizenship. (checked on 4 Nov. 2019)

  2. People's Manifesto brought out by the Vikalp Sangam Process.

  3. The RTI Story: Power to the People by Aruna Roy with the MKSS collective, this book (published by Roli Books) is for everyone who asks questions, seeks answers to fight corruption and injustice and challenges arbitrary power. (checked on 27 Jun. 2018)

  4. Lokavidya Perspectives: A Philosophy of Political Imagination for the Knowledge Age is a collection of articles that discuss the new ways of thinking that do not take European reference, and instead root themselves in the ways of thinking and doing of the people. (checked on 28 Dec. 2017)

  5. Against Elections: The Case for Democracy by David Van Reybrouck tries to revive a system in which government is not just for the people, but really by the people. As change-agent, Against Elections makes the argument that there are forms of government, what he terms sortitive or deliberative democracy, that are beginning to be practiced around the world, and can be the remedy we seek. (checked on 12 Aug. 2019)

  6. Asking, We Walk: The South as a New Political Imaginary, ed. by Corinne Kumar, Streelekha Books, Bangalore, 2007-2013 is a collection of essays that critique the Euro-centric Western civilization.. Set of 4 books with some of the most challenging, inspiring writings from around the world, on politics, knowledge, economy, struggles, imagination, and much else. (checked on 23 Mar. 2015)

  7. Land Rights in India: Policies, movements and challenges - edited by Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly. It engages with the topical issue of land rights in neoliberal India. It examines government policies, laws, land governance and land reforms from the perspective of social justice and people’s response to dispossession of land.  (checked on 10 Mar. 2017)

  8. Green Growth: Ideology, Political Economy and the Alternatives by Gareth Dale Manu V. Mathai Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira outlines three main lines of critique on the green growth project. It asks: what explains modern society’s investment in it, why has it emerged as a master concept in the contemporary conjuncture, and what social forces does it serve? Second, it unpicks and explains the contradictions within a series of prominent green growth projects. Finally, it weighs up the merits and demerits of alternative strategies and policies, asking the vital question: ‘if not green growth, then what?’ (checked on 20 Mar. 2017)

  9. In Words Matter: Writings against Silence, edited by eminent poet and scholar K. Satchidanandan, scholars and writers including Romila Thapar, Githa Hariharan, Pankaj Mishra, Salil Tripathi and Ananya Vajpeyi discuss the definitive values arising from India's rich tradition of diversity, dialogue and debate from various points of view. They argue that it is essential to nurture critical thinking to fight all kinds of discrimination and insularity. (checked on 12 Jun. 2016)

  10. Politics in the developing world by Peter Burnell and Vicky Randall identifies and analyzes the processes of change that are transforming the politics of the Third World. It deals with central political themes and issues such as globalization - both economic and cultural, and resistance to both - inequality, identity, religion, the military, democracy, the environment, and policy development. (checked on 28 Jul. 2015)

  11. कहानी मेंढा गॉँव की - लेखक मिलिंद बोकील. गडचिरोली के मेंढा गॉंव ने गांधीवादी तरीके से लम्बे संघर्ष के बाद स्वशासन का अधिकार प्राप्त किया, उसकी यह कहानी है. इसे NBT ने प्रकाशित किया है. Original story in Marathi, Goshta Mendha Gavachi. Kahaani Mendha gaon ki - Hindi book published by  National Book Trust, New Delhi (2015). This story describes the historic struggle by village Mendha-Lekha in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra in obtaining community forest rights for the first time in the country under the FRA, 2006. Mendha has been renowned for implementing the concept of participatory democracy and local self-governance as enshrined in the Indian Constitution and for following the Ahimsa and Sarvodaya ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhawe. (checked on 15 Apr. 2016)

  12. Eco-Sufficiency and Global Justice: Women write Political Ecology edited by Ariel Salleh. This book brings academics and alternative globalisation activists into conversation. (checked on 1 Dec. 2017)

  13. “The river is us; the river is in our veins”: re-defining river restoration in three Indigenous communities by Coleen A. Fox, et al conducted collaborative research with representatives from three Indigenous nations in three counteries to explore the relationship between Indigenous ways of knowing and being and their restoration efforts and observed  that restoration has the potential to not only restore ecosystem processes and services, but to repair and transform human relationships with rivers and create space politically for decolonizing river governance. (checked on 3 Jul. 2018)

  14. Eco-Feminism as Politics: Nature, Marx and the Postmodern by Ariel Salleh provides and antidote to neo-liberal complacency; and is as essential for activists in an era of globalization as it is for scholars of social theory, women;s studies, environmental and postcolonial studies. (checked on 1 Dec. 2017) On the second edition of this book (2018) (checked on 4 Oct. 2018)

  15. Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age by Benjamin Barber advocates for a more encompassing participation and a more engaged citizenship. (checked on 1 Dec. 2017)

  16. In We Decide! author Michael Menser explains the three waves of participatory democracy theory to show that this movement is attentive to the mechanics of contemporary political practices. Menser also outlines "maximal democracy," his own view of participatory democracy that expands people's abilities to shape their own lives, reduce inequality, and promote solidarity. (checked on 9 Mar. 2018)

  17. In An Unusual Raja author Apa Pant describes the Aundh experiment in decentralised democracy which was based on the vision of Mahatma Gandhi.  As a responsible electorate began to develop, the Quit India movement engulfed the country and the Raja played a role in aiding the forces of resistance. (checked on 22 Mar. 2018)

  18. L’Avènement de la démocratie (The Advent of Democracy Series) IIV (in French) by Marcel Gauchet, one of France’s most influential contemporary thinkers. He has crafted a compelling historical account of half a millennium, exploring how we arrived at today’s crisis—and how we might get out. Book reviewed in English by Michael C. Behrent (checked on 27 Mar. 2018)

  19. Compañeras: Zapatista Women's Stories. Hilary Klein brings to the Englishspeaking world the soulful stories of indigenous women (of Mexico) who have decided to build ‘a world in which many worlds fit.’” (checked on 18 Dec 2018)

  20. Silence Would be Treason: Last Writings by Ken Saro-Wiwa, author of children’s books, novels, plays, poetry and articles/books on political and environmental issues (deposited in Maynooth University Research Archive Library). (checked on 18 Dec. 2018)
  21. आज के छोटे-छोटे गाँधी - बाबा माया राम. इस सरल और सचित्र पुस्तिका में देश के अलग-अलग हिस्सों में सगठनों के रचना और संघर्ष के कामों के बारे में लिखा गया है. (checked on 31 Oct. 2019)

Articles, Essays & Articles:

  1. Reclaiming the Republic - A group of concerned citizens have undertaken to examine multiple challenges to the Republic in some depth, and to propose to fellow citizens means to protect and strengthen the Constitutional safeguards for our democratic polity and composite society. They see the forthcoming Lok Sabha election as an opportunity to retrieve and, indeed, reclaim from manipulation and subversion, the legacy of the Republic. (checked on 13 Feb. 2019)

  2. #KashmirCivilDisobedience: Trauma l Resistance l Resilience l Two Months On by Anirudh Kala, Brinelle D’Souza, Revati Laul and Shabnam Hashmi. (checked on 14 Oct. 2019)

  3. On the first successful 'Children's Ward Sabha' held in Bangalore in February 2012, in India. More than 500 children including children street and migrant children, school-going children, child representatives of ward-level children's organisations and other marginalised groups of children participated. (checked on 23 Apr. 2019)

  4. Manifesto of Indian Farmers Adopted by an assembly representing the farmers of India on the occasion of the historic Kisan Mukti March organised by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, Delhi, 30 November 2018 (checked on 5 Dec. 2018) Also in Hindi - pl. see below.

  5. भारतीय किसानों का घोषणापत्र अखिल भारतीय किसान संघर्ष समन्वय समिति द्वारा आयोजित ऐतिहासिक किसान मुक्ति मार्च के अवसर पर किसानों की प्रतिनिधि सभा में अंगीकृत, दिल्ली ३० नवम्बर २०१८ (checked on 5 Dec. 2018)

  6. Eco-Swaraj by Ashish Kothari. The broad components and values of eco-swaraj (practices that respect the limits of the Earth and the rights of other species, while pursuing the core values of social justice and equity) have been under discussion acoss India through the Vikalp Sangam (Alternatives Confluence) process, which brings together a diverse set of actors from communities, civil society, and various professions who are involved in alternative initiatives across all sectors. (checked on 16 Jan. 2018)

  7. Post-democratic state by Aijaz Ahmad analyses facets of the historically novel kind of state that seems to be arising in many corners of the world, which combines elements derived selectively from the two classic forms of the capitalist state, the liberal and the fascist and sees that India too may be moving in that direction. He also sees hope despite the facts. (checked on 11 Mar. 2020)

  8. Could flexitarianism save the planet? by Sam Wolfson. Scientists say a drastic cut in meat consumption is needed, but this requires political will. Eating less meat would have implications for heart disease, animal cruelty, high food prices and environmental destruction. (checked on 22 Jan. 2019)

  9. The paper Decentralized Political Order: The Gandhian Perspective discusses the rationale of local democracy by looking at the democratic discourse surrounding the usefulness and limits of the representative form.  (checked on 6 Sep. 2016)

  10. On the Creation of a Global Peoples Assembly: Legitimacy and the Power of Popular Sovereignty by Richard Falk and Andrew Strauss. The analysis presented explains why a citizen-organised assmbly would be viable looks backward at the dynamics of empowerment from the world as it exists. (checked on 22 Nov. 2015)

  11. Political Ecology for Civil Society, is a manual designed for a broad audience and in particular for the use of civil society organisations and active citizens. It offers an accessible insight into political ecology providing intellectual and practical tools based on experience as "activist-scholars" or "engaged-scholars" of the new generation of political ecologists. (checked on 12 Mar. 2016)

  12. Women's Co-Operatives: A Glimpse into Rojava's Economic Model by Hawzhin Azeez on the networks of grassroots assemblies and co-operatives that the people of Rojava (western Kurdistan, North Syria) are carrying out is based on the radical model of Democratic Confederalism founded by the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan and inspired by the works of the US ecologist Murray Bookchin. (checked on 23 Sep. 2019)

  13. Rojava’s Democratic Confederalism: A Radical Ecological Democracy in Practice? An essay in which the author Annalena Rommel attempts to evaluate whether (AANES - Syria) Rojava’s democratic confederalism corresponds the model of a radical ecological democracy and if it can further be characterised as an alternative to development within the post-development discourse. (checked on 4 Oct. 2019)

  14. From lakes as urban commons to integrated lake-water governance: The case of Bengaluru's urban water bodies paper by Sharachchandra Lele and Mrinalini Bakshi Sengupta on urban lake governance in SAWAS special issue on Water Governance in south Asia. (checked on 4 Jul. 2018)

  15. Strengthening Democratic Decentralisation and Participatory Democracy in Maharashtra by Devika Deshmukh and Rajagopal Devara Gandhian discusses how ideas of gram swaraj (self-rule for villages) and panchayat raj system can become vehicles for ushering in much-needed social and political change by including all stakeholders in the process of decision-making and public policy formulation. (checked on 14 Oct. 2019)
  16. In the essay Power in India: radical pathways authors Ashish Kothari and Pallav Das show how grassroots political movements that are emerging in India could signal a gradual shift to direct or radical democracy, coupled with making representative democracy more accountable and ecologically sustainable. (checked on 12 Jun. 2016)

  17. In The “Right to the City”: Limits to Rights Talk and the need for rights to the Commons, Patrick Bond discusses the emerging debate about how and whether to invoke ‘Rights Talk’ – the appeal to a higher juristic source of power than standard state social policy – so as to gain access to greater levels of state services and goods, with the ‘Commons’ posed as the alternative approach. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)

  18. 5 Scams The RTI Act Helped Bust In Its First 10 Years - by Betwa Sharma. Right To Information activists and citizens have filed tens of millions of applications to further transparency and accountability in governance, challenge the exploitation of natural resources by politicians, corporates and the mafia, as well as to improve their daily lives in a myriad ways from accessing ration cards and pensions to inspecting land records and exam answer-sheets. (checked on 18 Oct. 2015)

  19. Remembering Joel Kovel – A Friend, Comrade and a Visionary Ecosocialist by Quincy Saul (checked on 1 June 2018)

  20. India 2100: Towards Radical Ecological Democracy, FUTURES, 56 (2014) 62–72, by Ashish Kothari, Essay on the possibilities of a sustainable and equitable future for India, based on on-ground and policy initiatives already underway in many parts of the country. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)

  21. Beyond ‘development’ and ‘growth’: The search for alternatives in India towards a sustainable and equitable world by Ashish Kothari, inlcuded in the book Green Growth: Ideology, Political Economy and the Alternatives. (read a chapter titled 'Beyond 'development' and 'growth': The search for alternatives in India towards a sustainable and equitable world' by Ashish Kothari in this book) (checked on 14 Apr. 2016)

  22. Radical Well-Being Alternatives to Development Notes from a discussion at World Social Forum, Tunis, 27 March 2015, Organised by Kalpavriksh, Global Diversity Foundation, Centre for Environment and Development, Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties, and SADED, this workshop brought together a few alternative approaches, to learn from each other, and build common ground. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)

  23. Another exit strategy by Ashish Kothari shows glimpses of what an alternative kind of exit strategy from the EU might be. (checked on 18 Jul. 2016)

  24. In Why Ecosocialism: For a Red-Green Future by Michael Löwy the author discusses why socialism must place democratic management and reorganization of the productive system at the heart of the transformation, along with a firm commitment to ecological stewardship.  Also see - A Roundtable discussion on Löwy’s piece, with Ashish Kothari, Herman Daly, Mary Mellor, Giorgos Kallis, and other thinkers: https://greattransition.org/publication/ecosocialism-roundtable (checked on 20 Dec. 2018)

  25. The Commons as a Template for Transformation by David Bollier: An essay on how the movement towards safeguarding or revitalising the commons (physical, intellectual, etc) is crucial to the search for sustainability. Commentaries on the essay are also featured. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)

  26. Buen Vivir, Degrowth and Ecological Swaraj: Alternatives to sustainable development and the Green Economy by Ashish Kothari, Federico Demaria and Alberto Acosta discuss Buen Vivir from Latin America, Degrowth from Europe and Ecological Swaraj (or Radical Ecological Democracy) from India. The intention is to outline that there is politics beyond a unilinear future, unsustainable and unjust, consisting primarily of economic growth. (checked on 23 Dec. 2015)

  27. Finding Pathways to a Better Future  by John Foran, on how peoples' movements need to and can reconfigure political power for a better world, through the imagining of new kinds of 'parties'. (checked on 18 Dec. 2017)

  28. Report on Jan Sabhas conducted by Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC, Maharashtra) in the 6 administrative zones as part of 2014-15 Participatory Budgeting cycle, by Nikhil V.J. as a member of Citizens Facilitation Network. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)

  29. The astounding political turnaround in Greece, with the victory of the leftist Syriza party, could help promote alternative economic and social pathways. These four articles, read together, show this potential. Will it be actualised? Time will tell. Greece’s solidarity movement : ‘It’s a whole new model – and it’s workingby Jon Henley; Syriza’s historic win puts Greece on collision course with Europe by Ian Traynor and Helena Smith, Transforming crisis to krisis by Insurgenta Iskra and Greece: Syriza juggles coal, pipelines and climate ambitions by Arthur Neslen published in The Guardian. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)

  30. खरे स्वशासन कसे येईल ? मिलिंद बोकील यांचा हा  लेख 'मी माझ्या भोवतालच्या जीवनाचा, कारभाराचा नियंत / नियंती आहे,' असे नागरिकाला वाटत नाही, या वस्तुस्थितिपासून सुरु होतो, व ही परिस्थिती बदलायची कशी या प्रश्नाच्या उत्तराचा वेध घेतो. Khare svashaasan kase yeiil? This article in Marathi by Milind Bokil begins with the fact that citizens do not experience the power to change their situation to their liking, and goes on to explore ways to turn the situation around.

  31. Manifesto of People’s Global Action, a coordination of movements across the world to fight WTO and “free” trade, which puts profits before people; transfers means of production into the hands of a few large corporations by displacing traditional means of production; is primarily dependent on unsustainable exploitation of natural resources which results in stark economic inequality in the society. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)

  32. Politics and ‘The Totality of Natural Relations’ by Ariel Salleh states that an ecofeminist emphasis on the totality of natural relations opens the way for a respectful conversation between the social movements, and that it does this by throwing new light across given Marxist constructs of class, labour, and value. She calls ecofeminism a model of relational care and sustainable provisioning to learn from. (checked on 16 Nov. 2017)

  33. How an Ecuadorian Community is Showing Its Government How to Really Live Well by Neema Pathak Broome and Ashish Kothari on how the Nabon community in Ecuador is showing what real 'well-being' means, moving away from the neo-extractivism its govt has been promoting. (checked on 18 Dec. 2017)

  34. The residents of Paris for the first time participate in the city’s participatory budget project. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)

  35. Polarising Development: Alternatives to Neoliberalism and the Crises, edited by Lucia Pradella, Thomas Marois. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)

  36. Blog on the theme - The interplay between the politics of resistance and the dynamics of constructive alternatives, by Ashish Kothari: Will 2015 be a year of hope? (see India Together: RESISTANCE & RECONSTRUCTION) (checked on 23 Mar. 2015)
  37. The Idea of India Makes Little Room for Its Ecology by Nagraj Adve explains how global warming and its effects gently – and sometimes more abruptly – interrogate our modern political imagination of the nation and points at an approach that may better prepare residents of South Asia to cope with the challenges that these might pose before us. (checked on 2 Mar. 2016)

  38. 'Beyond 'development' and 'growth': The search for alternatives in India towards a sustainable and equitable world' is a chapter (authored by Ashish Kothari) in the book Green Growth: Political ideology, Political Economy and the Alternatives, edited by Gareth Dale, Manu V. Mathai and Jose Puppim de Oliveira, published by Zed Books. (checked on 10 Jun. 2016)

  39. In “Economic Democracy: An Ethically Desirable Socialism That Is Economically Viable” David Schweickart proposes an alternative political-economic system model that has neither capital markets nor labor markets in the usual sense. Workers would control their own jobs and workplaces, while productive resources would become the collective property of society and there would be social control over investment. (checked on 10 Jun. 2016)

  40. In “Participatory Economics and the Next System” Robin Hahnel describes a model (developed together with Michael Albert) that revolves around (a) social ownership of the productive “commons,” (b) consumption rights based on effort and need, (c) and workplace councils and neighborhood consumer councils which coordinate their interrelated activities through participatory planning rather than through markets. (checked on 10 Jun. 2016)

  41. In “Whole Systems Change: A Framework & First Steps for Social/Economic Transformation” Riane Eisler’s model places economic policies and practices in their larger social context, proposing two integrative social categories that go beyond religious vs. secular, capitalist vs. socialist, East vs. West, and so forth. It proposes an action plan to break with traditions of domination, identifies trends in this direction, and outlines four strategies to build the missing foundations for a more equitable and sustainable socio-economic system. (checked on 10 Jun. 2016)

  42. In Social Democracy: Not Socialism, and Coming to America” Lane Kenworthy proposes a model that closely resembles the actual political economies of the Scandinavian countries and has as its primary goals the full realization of economic security, equality (low inequality) of opportunity, and shared prosperity. It is in essence a market capitalist model with generous and employment-friendly social policy. (checked on 10 Jun. 2016)

  43. The Mexican indigenous community that ran politicians out of townCherán, in the violent state of Michoacán, will stand apart from Mexico’s electioneering season, having tackled corruption and exploitation by banishing political parties, police and gangsters. (checked on 4 Apr. 2018)

  44. Hamburg — straddling the dichotomies of being rich and being woke by Prathap Nair. Even as there is increasing alienation between Europe and China through the trade war, Hamburg has been courting China and India. (checked on 11 Sep. 2018)

  45. Thoughts on Libertarian Municipalism by Murray Bookchin (1999, revised for publication). He explains that while communitarianism refers to movements and ideologies that seek to transform society by creating so-called alternative economic and living situations such as food cooperatives, health centers, schools, printing workshops, community centers, neighborhood farms, “squats,” unconventional lifestyles, and the like, Libertarian municipalism, by contrast, is decidedly a confrontational form of face-to-face democratic, antistatist politics. (checked on 6 Oct. 2018)

  46. Citizens’ Assemblies and the next democratic revolution by Brett Hennig It appears that the demand for citizens’ assemblies is crossing cultural barriers and being promoted as the preferred democratic tool of a new generation of activists.

  47. Manifesto of Indian Farmers: Adopted by an assembly representing the farmers of India on the occasion of the historic Kisan Mukti March organised by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, Delhi, 30 November 2018.   भारती किसानों का घोषणापत्र: अखिल भारतीय किसान संघर्ष समन्वय समिति द्वारा आयोजित ऐतिहासिक किसान मुक्ति मार्च के अवसर पर किसानों की प्रतिनिधि सभा में अंगीकृत, दिल्ली, 30 नवंबर 2018 (checked on 16 Aug. 2019)

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