The Political Economy of Green Growth in India (2012)

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This paper offers an overview of the Indian state’s alternative or sustainable development trajectories as well as the more mainstream policy decisions for high-growth objectives in the global economy. Rapid economic growth in India during the last two decades has accentuated the demand for energy and natural resources related to water, land and forests. Based on a review of the current policy framework in these areas and data from fieldwork in thenortheastern region of India, this paper addresses two inter-related themes: (i) how emerging economies like India have dealt with the question of access to resources in response to the opposing demands of “inclusive growth” and more equitable development aimed at closing “social divides”; and (ii) the specific case study of two seemingly contradictory development trajectories, namely the “Green Mission” and hydroelectric power (HEP) dams on the river Teesta in India’s northeastern Himalayan region. Our review of the policy agenda for water, land, forests and river dams suggests that current approaches toward growth have largely privileged a mainstream development perspective, promoted privatization and often aggravated existing social inequalities. The effectiveness of the so-called “green” or sustainable development approaches has largely been compromised due to their mainstream and increasingly neoliberal orientation conceptualized within a primarily techno-bureaucratic policy framework.
Language: English
Imprint: Social Dimensions of Green Economy and Sustainable Development 2012
Pages: 20
Series: Occasional Paper Five
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