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Survey of recent and ongoing food wars and drivers. List of hotspots for potential future conflicts in order of risk. Key role of water in conflict risk. Impact of nuclear conflict on global food security. Risk of > 1 billion migrants and refugees. Food, land and water as key global securioty issues.
The introduction begins with Ghana’s president Kwame Nkrumah (1957-1966) laying the foundation stone of the first reactor building at the new Ghana Atomic Energy Commission in Kwabenya. He promoted “scientific equity” and access to science for all citizens. The nuclear energy project, headed by the engineering professor R.P. Baffour, topped Nkrumah’s plans for scientific development. Nkrumah sent Baffour to the Soviet Union to negotiate with Prime Minister Khrushchev to see what resources Ghana might provide in exchange for technical assistance and a reactor. Nkrumah and his closest advisors asserted a new African vision for nuclear power, predicated on the idea that all countries had citizens with equal intellectual capabilities. Nkrumah expressed, “no country has monopoly of ability.” Ghana was among several independent African nations interested in nuclear energy and the peaceful uses of the atom including Tanzania, Libya, and Nigeria. Julius Nyere and Kenya’s Ali Mazuri stressed that Africans would be more capable of managing nuclear energy than Europeans. The introduction interrogates this assertion through a discussion of scientific equity, manpower and human capacity, and urban dynamics at Atomic Junction. It locates Ghana’s story within scholarship on the rise of nuclear power elsewhere, especially in India and South Africa.
Using the term “legacy” for a career as productive, insightful, and pathbreaking as Chris Bayly's is doubtless an understatement. The movement in his publications from the transitional world in the Indian subcontinent leading to British imperialism, through aspects of high empire in India, to world history through both case studies and broader context for grasping the implications of a changing world, provides valuable analyses for all of us, if not a pattern many could replicate. Perhaps what ought to be noted here is the experience, common to many of us working across a very broad range of problematics and focal points, to have found Bayly there, before us.
Much scholarship extrapolates global narratives of the Anthropocene from the “fossil capitalism” of European imperial powers. This analysis deploys the alternative lens of grid electricity—the great macro-technology of the twentieth century—to reevaluate the dynamics of the Anthropocene outside the Anglozone. Histories of Asian electrification refute the notion of any simple relationship between colonialism and fossil capitalism. Instead, they point towards a postcolonial trend of fossil developmentalism. Especially in the context of late development, energy expansion became a state-led moral project. Cutting against fossil capitalism's logic of commodification, electricity provision was increasingly conceptualized as a national good and an entitlement, even if one honored in the breach. This trend transcended the distinction between market and planned economies, and extended beyond formal democracies. The (partial) democratization of consumption brought by fossil developmentalism is the hallmark of the “Great Acceleration” in human impacts on the environment since 1950.
The Indian Supreme Court has become renowned for its policy making decisions, yet at the same time it has often confronted problems in implementation. A literature is developing around the question of which orders are implemented and why. This chapter adds to that literature using as a case study the Delhi Pollution Case and focusing on its most controversial aspect, the order for all public transport vehicles in Delhi to run on compressed natural gas. A confluence of factors came together in this case which it is argued explains its successful implementation. The crucial factor was intensive monitoring by the Court itself, which was supplemented by a series of facilitators that eased the Court’s burden. While this particular mix of factors and their interactions may infrequently reoccur, there are lessons to be drawn for enhancing the likelihood of implementation in future cases. The case also provides a warning. Focusing on implementation alone begs the question of the effectiveness of the Court’s broader policy making. Within five to ten years of the conversion to CNG, short term benefits to both the quality of Delhi’s air and public health had dissipated significantly.
The dominant accounts of the Indian Supreme Court’s capacity for social transformation place considerable emphasis on the exceptional public trust and confidence in the Indian judiciary. Using National Election Studies post election survey data collected following the 1996 and 2009 Parliamentary elections, this is the first study to evaluate and assess the nature and extent of trust in Indian courts using public opinion data. We find that Indians have remarkably high levels of trust and confidence in the Indian judiciary across socio-demographic factors and consistently across the two time periods examined in this study. Secondly, we find that standard explanations based on caste and religious identity do not find purchase when explaining trust in the judiciary. Nor does class status. Finally, we find that trust in elected institutions is positively associated with trust in the judiciary providing preliminary support for the institutional legitimacy or a diffuse support hypothesis. We conclude that the Indian judiciary enjoys significant public trust and confidence, that provides the institutional legitimacy for an innovative and radical approach to constitutional adjudication.
By the 1990s, India’s appellate courts had become closely involved in the regulation of street vending in several metropolitan cities. However, despite the frequent use of legal mechanisms by street vendor collectives, there has been little progress towards “formalization” of the street vending economy. To understand the limited impacts of legal intervention, it is necessary to examine the timing and the circumstances under which street vendor collectives first turned to judicial forums for protecting their livelihoods. Based on a historical examination of street vendor politics in Bombay and Madras, I show that legal mobilization in both instances was a response to serious threats faced by the political regimes that had previously shielded street vendors from dispossession and exploitation, rather than being a direct result of new legal opportunities (such as the emergence of public interest litigation). Since organized street vendors had a strong preference for maintaining the status quo, litigation was used as an effective method for buying time in the face of a hostile or uncertain political environment, even when the ultimate verdict was not likely to favor street vendors.
This chapter analyzes the impact of the Indian Supreme Court's watershed case on quotas for "backward classes," the Indra Sawhneycase. It explores the role of the decision in the mobilization of Dalit Muslims, who have been excluded from the constitutionally mandated affirmative action regime for the erstwhile Untouchable or Dalit castes ("Scheduled Castes"). It shows how the incipient mobilization came to creatively interpret the decision, in particular its interpretation of Hindu caste and a partial recognition of Muslim social stratification, as an endorsement of their claims. The appropriation and activation of the judgment allowed the mobilization to generate further political support, convince state commissions and eventually mount a constitutional challenge in the Court. This account aims to highlight the symbolic potential of the Court's decisions, often through unintended mechanisms, to reshape and extend social movement politics. It also highlights the role of political constraints, organizational infrastructure and the Indian institutional context as relevant factors in assessing judicial impact.
Cooperatives are a promising link that can coalesce subdisciplines such as agrarian, labor, economic, and social history. This article reassesses the significance of cooperatives in the agrarian and social history of South Asia. It provides a broad sketch of the major historical developments—legal, economic, and social—in India up to 1970, emphasizing the continuity between the colonial and postcolonial periods in terms of state engagement with cooperatives. The article goes on to discuss the existing historiography regarding the cooperative movement on the subcontinent, arguing for the substitution of the prevailing notion of failure with a more historically grounded and nuanced approach that takes into consideration the broader economic context, as well as social stratification and inequality. Finally, some promising avenues—including, but not limited to, organizational economics, bottom-up social and cultural history, and global history—are suggested for the future historiography of cooperatives in South Asia.
Following a period of great enthusiasm about the role of public interest litigation (PIL) as a tool for social change in India, there is now skepticism. It is often argued that the stated objective of PILs in the 1980s, to defend the interests of a disadvantaged and marginalized population, has now been lost. Is the skepticism justified? This chapter provides an empirical analysis of beneficiary inequality in the Indian Supreme Court between 2009 and 2014. Based on an analysis of public interest cases at the Supreme Court, the chapter seeks to characterize who uses public interest litigation in India, who wins and who loses, and the policy areas that occupy the Court's PIL docket. In doing so, it discusses broader patterns in the use of public interest litigation in India.
Activists have long turned to courts to influence policy. Much of the literature analyzing the experience of activists using courts has focused on judicial outcomes, yet accomplishments beyond successful judgments can be of equal importance as they also effect social change. In particular, engaging in litigation can have a demonstrable impact on the social movements themselves – building and strengthening movements, and providing spaces for manoeuvring. This chapter examines the impact of litigation on the development of the Right to Food Campaign in India, one of India's largest contemporary social movements. Using qualitative data from in-depth interviews with activists and lawyers and a comparative analysis with an earlier case, this chapter analyzes the factors and conditions under which courts can be catalysts for social mobilization, including the existence of opportunities for reform, pre-existing rights consciousness and organizational resources available for mobilization.
The Indian Supreme Court sits in panels and can have up to 31 judges. This chapter explores how the Indian Supreme Court developed its current structure and the impact of this structure on its functioning. It argues that the Supreme Court’s structure has a range of inter-related effects that includes increasing access to the Court, producing a “polyvocal” jurisprudence that destabilizes stare decisis, spurring experimentation among judges, fostering a “Chief Justice dominant” Court, and reducing the perceived partisanship of judges. Mapping the structure of the Court, as well as the Court’s relationship with the rest of the judiciary, helps us appreciate how judges ultimately interpret the law and the Constitution not in isolation, but within a larger judicial architecture.
This chapter critically evaluates the impact of the Indian Supreme Court's interim orders in the Right to Food case, a Writ Petition seeking better implementation of the Midday Meal Program (the largest school nutritional program in the world). We cite significant and varied empirical and social science evidence demonstrating that the Program expanded significantly – from a quantitative as well as a qualitative standpoint – in the years immediately following the Court's orders. The harder question is whether the expansion in the Program was "caused" by the Court's intervention, or was largely the consequence of changed political circumstances. We argue that while the supportive political environment was undoubtedly a significant factor, the evidence available seems to indicate that the Court played an important role too. These orders helped in improving the scheme in certain specific respects, in bringing sustained media attention to the issue, in entrenching the Program against subsequent shifts in political priorities, and in providing a platform for the broader social movement to coalesce around. The experience suggests that there is room for "qualified hope" as to the ability of courts to help realize socio-economic rights, albeit in certain limited situations and in partnership with other actors.
The Indian Supreme Court has been called “the most powerful court in the world” for its wide jurisdiction, its expansive understanding of its own powers, and the billion plus people under its authority. Yet scholars and policy makers have a very uneven picture of the court’s functioning: deep knowledge about the more visible, “high-profile” cases but very little about more mundane, but far more numerous and potentially equally important, decisions. This chapter aims to address this imbalance with a rigorous, empirical account of the Court’s decisions from 2010 to 2015. We use the most extensive original dataset of Indian Supreme Court opinions yet created to provide a broad, quantitative overview of the social identity of the litigants that approach the court, the types of matters they bring to the court, the levels of success that different groups of litigants have before the Court, and the opinion-writing patterns of the various judges of the Supreme Court. This analysis provides foundational facts for the study of the Court and its role in progressive social change.
This paper discusses the influence of the Mental Healthcare Act 2017 on mental healthcare in India. The new Act was introduced to meet the recommendations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Reforms proposed in the new legislation, challenges in their implementation and their effects on mental healthcare in the country are further discussed.