Negotiating development: the nuclear episode in the Sundarbans of West Bengal


  • Amites Mukhopadhyay University of Kalyani



This paper examines the dynamics of anti-nuclear campaigns in the Sundarbans of West Bengal. By focusing on a voluntary agency’s (in this case, the Development Forum) engagement with the anti-nuclear protest, it seeks to interrogate the standard environmental narrative in South Asia, which frequently characterizes the environmental movements as the people’s spontaneous emancipation from a destructive and monolithic state. This paper argues against such dualistic notions of state and society and documents local level negotiations in the wake of plans to set up a nuclear power plant; negotiations that render problematic theories treating the state or people as some kind of unified and monolithic unit.

Author Biography

Amites Mukhopadhyay, University of Kalyani

Amites Mukhopadhyay recently completed his PhD in social anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Kalyani, West Bengal, India. His research interests include the anthropology of development with particular focus on South Asia, NGOs, state-making and discourses of civil society in the Indian context.