Matthew Shutzer | Regulation, Capital, and Subterranean Property in India’s Vitality Frontier, 1870 – 1975

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October 20, 2020

Speaker: Matthew Shutzer, Ciriacy-Wantrup Fellow in Pure Useful resource Economics and Political Financial system, UC Berkeley.

Moderator: Sharad Chari, Affiliate Professor, Division of Geography, UC Berkeley

The Institute for South Asia Research invitations you to a chat by historian of recent South Asia and the Ciriacy-Wantrup Fellow in Pure Useful resource Economics and Political Financial system at UC Berkeley, Dr. Matthew Shutzer.

Summary: This discuss will study the mutations of “subterranean property” as a authorized idea in colonial and postcolonial India, with particular consideration to the grounded historical past of property within the coal formations of the Barakar and Damodar river valleys. I’ll argue that previous to the breakdown of the zamindari property system below India’s land reforms of the 1950s, claims to coal property had been justified by way of an distinctive jurisprudence that allowed for the de facto displacement of adibasi (Indigenous) and lower-caste cultivating communities from the land. At variance with each institutionalist accounts of property rights and histories of authorized pluralism, I present how this jurisprudence of subterranean proper was not merely a discursive impact of colonial and early postcolonial law-making, however represented evolving normative claims related to “customary” landed privileges that mining corporations and huge landowners used to regulate the assets of the area. This jurisprudential legacy formed subsequent efforts by the postcolonial state in claiming India’s coal assets because the sovereign property of the nation-state, a venture that accelerated with the nationalization of the coal mines by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi through the international financial turbulence of the 1970s.

Speaker Bio: Matthew Shutzer is an historian of recent South Asia. He researches and teaches on points referring to the surroundings, science and expertise, financial improvement, international Indigenous research, and the politics of useful resource extraction. His present e-book venture is targeted on the interlocking histories of fossil fuels, capitalism, and state energy in colonial and postcolonial India. At current, he’s a Ciriacy-Wantrup Fellow in Pure Useful resource Economics and Political Financial system on the College of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Shutzer acquired his Ph.D. from New York College in 2019. Previous to his doctoral work, he was a part of a land tenure titling venture within the japanese Indian state of Odisha in partnership with governmental and civil society organizations in India and the UK. Parts of this analysis have been revealed as a chapter in Staking Claims: The Politics of Social Actions in Modern Rural India (Oxford College Press, 2016).

Dr. Shutzer has revealed and offered on power historical past and the modern geographies of fossil gas worth chains in quite a lot of retailers. A few of this writing might be discovered within the on-line journal,
Warscapes. He has additionally just lately written on the archives of power historical past for “The Archives of Financial Life in South and Southeast Asia,” hosted by Cambridge College’s Heart for Historical past and Economics, which might be discovered right here.


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