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  • 1.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    A Different Story of Coal: The Power of Power in Northeast India2016In: Industrialising Rural India: Land, policy and resistance / [ed] Kenneth Bo Nielsen, Patrik Oskarsson, Routledge, 2016, p. 107-122Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter points to the critical role energy and energy infrastructures plays in modern societies. It is argued that the ways in which different sources of energy are extracted, produced, refined, transported and consumed enable or produce certain social arrangements and eventually condition the very structure of society. Power, in other words, is loaded with power. Here I am interested in coal and then the small-scale, unregulated coal mining that takes place on indigenous lands in Northeast India. The story told revolves around the intervention by the National Green Tribunal putting a ban on what is termed as “un-scientific mining”. While this intervention is highly condemned by certain local actors, there are also those that hope this eventually will break the spell of coal.   

  • 2.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    After political ecology: New directions in the anthropology of the environment2018In: Anthropology Today, ISSN 0268-540X, E-ISSN 1467-8322, Vol. 34, no 2, p. 22-24Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This book review article probes present anthropological engagement with the environment through the prism of political ecology, placing political ecology in conversation with newer work in environmnetal anthropology. In situating this conversation, the reviewer draws on four recent anthropological monographs that, in one way or another, deal with aspects of nature'. The four monographs are Tania Murray Li's (2014) Land's end: Capitalist relations on an indigenous frontier; Marianne Elisabeth Lien's (2015) Becoming salmon: Aquaculture and the domestication of fish; Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing's (2015) The mushroom at the end of the world: On the possibility of life in capitalist ruin; and, lastly, Marisol de la Cadena's (2015) Earth beings: Ecologies of practice across Andean worlds. As I suggest, political ecology requires a radical remake, perhaps a political ecology 2.0, which brings in nature in a new way and makes the category of the political more inclusive.

  • 3.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Arupjyoti Saikia, Forests and Ecological History of Assam, 1826–20002012In: Contributions to Indian sociology, ISSN 0069-9667, E-ISSN 0973-0648, Vol. 46, no 3, p. 424-427Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Atoms: nuclear estrangement from Chernobyl to India2012In: Ecology and Power: struggles over land and material resources in the past, present, and future / [ed] Alf Hornborg; Brett Clark; Kenneth Hermele, Abingdon, Oxon; Routledge: Routledge, 2012, p. 239-249Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 5.
    karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Beyond Integration: indigenous assertion in India2004In: IIAS Newsletter, no 35, p. 8-9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In 2004 the Ministry for Tribal Affairs in India proposed a new ‘National Policy on Scheduled

    Tribes’, a venture that has not been undertaken since Independence. The document is still a

    draft; the Ministry has posted it on its homepage for feedback from interested parties. The

    policy, the Ministry states, ‘seeks to bring Scheduled Tribes into the mainstream of society

    through a multi-pronged approach for their all-round development’. Judging from the

    massive critique by tribal or indigenous peoples’ organisations, much of the problem stems

    from this very aspiration

  • 6.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Book review: Environment & ethnicity in India: 1200-19912002In: Asian Ethnicity, ISSN 1463-1369, E-ISSN 1469-2953, ISSN 1463-1369, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 263-274Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Carbon Fantasies: Intimate Stories from a Resource Frontier2021In: Economic and Political Weekly, ISSN 0012-9976, Vol. LVI, no 18, p. 28-29Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Comment on article1998In: Current Anthropology, ISSN 0011-3204, E-ISSN 1537-5382, ISSN 0011-3204, Vol. 39, no 2Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Contested Belonging: An Indigenous Peoples struggle for Forest and Identity in Sub-Himalayan bengal2000Book (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Destroying one's own home: resource frontiers and indigenous governance in Northeast India2022In: Contemporary South Asia, ISSN 0958-4935, E-ISSN 1469-364X, Vol. 30, no 2, p. 298-300Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article is part of a Book Forum review of Sanjib Baruah's book In the Name of the Nation: India and its Northeast (2020). The Book Forum consists of individual commentaries on this text by five interested scholars, followed by a response by the author. The article may be read individually or alongside the other contributions to the Forum, which together constitute a comprehensive discussion of the themes and arguments in the book.

  • 11.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Disquieting Gifts: Humanitarianism in New Delhi Erica Bornstein (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012)2014In: Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR), ISSN 1081-6976, E-ISSN 1555-2934, Vol. 37, no 1, p. 198-200Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Ecodevelopment in crisis: Buxa Tiger Reserve and Forest People1999In: Economic and Political Weekly, ISSN 0012-9976, Vol. 34, no 30Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Rabhas who live in the Buxa tiger reserve buffer zone must see some irony in their officially acknowledged status of partner's in wildlife conservation. The tiger project has so far meant only curtailed employment and access to the forest for them, for the concept of popular participation in conservation is still only a concept. What is wanting is an effort to address appropriately the question of indigenous peoples rights.

  • 13.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Entering into the Christian Dharma: Contemporary ' tribal' conversions in India2002In: Christians, cultural interactions: and Indias's religious traditions / [ed] J.M Brown, R.E Frykenberg (eds), Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing company , 2002, p. 133-153Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Evading the State Ethnicity in Northeast India through the Lens of James Scott2013In: Asian Ethnology, ISSN 1882-6865, Vol. 72, no 2, p. 321-331Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses ethnicity and the state in Northeast India from the vantage point of James Scott's influential works, especially his recent book The Art of Not Being Governed. Scott has over the years explored different aspects of peasant or subaltern modes of opposing dominance. The overall insistence is on the resistance and agency of the peasant. In the context of the hill societies that Scott deals with in the book, the entire societal design can be understood to be an act of resistance that aims at keeping the state away. As part of this, ethnic identities are portrayed as extremely fluid and remolded to serve political purposes. Scott's notion of Zomia opens up a new way of thinking about Northeast India. Even so, as I argue, one still ends up thinking of the hills from the perspective of the valley and in so doing we miss aspects of the hill societies and ways of being in the world that cannot be reduced to a state-effect. If one looks more closely at these other aspects, more persistent forms of identification and a sense of belonging might come to the fore. Rather than just trying to escape from the state, people in the hills also hope for another, different, state.

  • 15.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Forskningsöversikt: Humaniora- och samhällsvetenskapsområdet, Vetenskapsrådet2014Other (Other academic)
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  • 16.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Greener pastures2000In: American Ethnologist, ISSN 0094-0496, E-ISSN 1548-1425, ISSN 0094-0496, Vol. 28, no 1Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 17.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Human rights: an anthropological enquiry2005Collection (editor) (Other academic)
  • 18.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University.
    India against itself2002In: The Journal of Peasant Studies, ISSN 0306-6150, E-ISSN 1743-9361, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 164-167Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 19.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Indigenous natures: forest and community dynamics in Meghalaya, North-East India2006In: Ecological nationalisms: nature, livelihoods, and identities in South Asia / [ed] Gunnel Cederlöf, K. Sivaramakrishnan, Seattle: University of Washington Press , 2006Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 20.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Indigenous politics: commmunity formation and indigenous peoples' struggle for self-deterrmination in North-East India2001In: Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, ISSN 1070-289X, E-ISSN 1547-3384, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 7-45Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper deals with a number of questions relating to politics based on “ethnicity” or community belonging among “tribal” or indigenous peoples in India's northeastern region. In particular, I probe the complex question of indigenous peoples’ right to self‐determination, a right that most indigenous organizations in the world regard as crucial and that is central to the UN draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Autonomy or self‐determination, in one form or another, is on the agenda of more or less all mobilized communities in Northeast India. In multi‐ethnic contexts, however, it is not easy to translate such demands into viable political solutions. By discussing several different cases, the contemporary Bodoland movement, the Naga struggle for sovereignty, and the mobilization of the Rabha people, the paper brings the issue of indigenous politics in India into focus.

  • 21.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Into the Grid: Hydropower and Subaltern Politics in Northeast India2016In: Staking Claims: The Politics of Social Movements in Contemporary Rural India / [ed] Uday Cahndra, Daniel Taghioff, Oxford University Press, 2016, p. 64-83Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 22.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Introduction:  2011In: Power to the people?: (Con-)tested civil society in search of democracy / [ed] Heidi Moksnes and Mia Melin, Uppsala: Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development , 2011, p. 201-204Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 23.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Introduction: Northeastern research entanglements2018In: Geographies of difference: Explorations in Northeast India / [ed] Mélanie Vandenhelsken; Meenaxi Barkataki-Ruscheweyh; Bengt G. Karlsson, London: Routledge, 2018Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The introductory chapter takes stock of the present context of research on and in Northeast India, asking; (1) what does the ongoing internationalisation of Northeast Indians studies imply for local scholarship and the people in the region and (2) what is the current state of research on “cultural identity” and “ethnic politics” and how do we move beyond it?

    It is suggested that margins, backwaters, frontiers or different kinds of in-between spaces have proven to be much more productive sites of research than the much-discussed “heartlands” and national centres. The increased prominence of earlier forgotten regions like Northeast India can hence be understood as part of a more general shift in how the world is being perceived. That foreign scholars make an inroad is positive, yet something to think critically about. The indigenous communities of the region also seek to free themselves from colonial hegemonies and develop their own scholarship and ways of knowing. Such quests need to be supported. However important aspects of ethnicity still are, there are plenty of other fields in the social sciences and humanities that need to be taken up, for example, popular culture in urban centres, migration from the region and the development of more inclusive ways of being Northeasterners, class formation and the new tribal elite, and the intersections of humans and other living organisms. The ultimate aim of the introduction, and of the volume as a whole, is a critical scrutiny and repositioning of Northeast Indian Studies.

  • 24.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Jorden vi ägde: Resursanvändning, genus och privatisering av mark i nordöstra Indien2016In: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademiens årsbok, Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 2016, p. 77-95Chapter in book (Other academic)
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  • 25.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Life and Death in the Plantation: Tea and the travel of seeds, plants and science across the Indian Ocean2021In: Seedways: The Circulation, Control and Care of Plants in a Warming World / [ed] Bengt G. Karlsson; Annika Rabo, Stockholm: Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien , 2021, p. 121-144Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this essay I seek to retrace the movement of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis var. assamica) from the forest to the plantation, and from Assam across the Indian Ocean to East Africa and the Kenyan highlands. As the plant has moved it has been altered to suit demands for higher productivity, as well as to suit soil and climatic conditions in new locations. One of the more significant results of such plant breeding efforts in Kenya is the release of the tea clone TRFK 306/1, popularly known as “purple tea”. Purple tea is a new variety of the plant that Singphos and other indigenous communi- ties cultivated in the Assam forest and adjoining areas of highland Burma and Yunnan, China. My aim here is to explore the interaction of people and plants, and to think about what happens when plants travel. Such movements are usually in the form of travelling seed. How do plants thrive when they land up in a foreign setting, and what is gained and lost in the migration?

  • 26.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Märkligt tyst om kärnvapnens ´fredliga´näringskedja2017In: Dagens ArenaArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    »Diskussionen om kärnvapen förbiser ofta helt den nukleära kedjan, den infrastruktur som ytterst möjliggör dessa vapens framställning.«, Bengt G. Karlsson, professor i socialantropologi vid Stockholms universitet gör här en resa i det nukleära västerländska landskapet, där strålningen från kärnkraftshaveriet i Tjernobyl  från 1986 förrädiskt göms i idyllisk natur.

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  • 27.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Political Ecology: anthropological Perspectives2015In: International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences / [ed] James D.Wright, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2015, 2, p. 350-355Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Political ecology is a transdisciplinary research field addressing nature – society interrelations, often with a focus on contentions and struggles over land and natural resources. Power asymmetries and social inequalities are critical points of departure, and many scholars in the field pursue a kind of emancipatory engagement with subalterns or marginalized people whose liveli- hoods depend on the local resource base. Capital accumulation and political economy more generally provide the overall framework for understanding such instances of dispossession and displacement of local communities by global forces of state and market. Political ecology has from its very inception remained a rather loosely defined research field. During the last two decades, the field has expanded rapidly. From an earlier largely rural focus, recent work increasingly engages environmental politics in urban settings and addresses contemporary questions such as climate modeling, genetically modified organisms, food industries, pollution, city planning and infrastructure development. The way ahead is for political ecology is to enter into new conversations with related strands of scholarship, like, for example, with science and technology studies, with studies that concern human – animal relations, and recent work in anthropology on ontology and radical alterity. This article aims to give a short introduction to central aspects of contemporary political ecology and its emergence.

  • 28.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Projekt tiger: ursprungsfolk och naturvård i Indien1997In: Att kräva livet åter: ursprungsfolk i kamp för sin miljö och kultur / [ed] Ulf Johansson Dahre, Lund: Agora , 1997, 1. uppl., p. 76-92Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 29.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    På väg i Bhutan2015In: Druk Yul: medlemstidning för The Swedish Bhutan Society, ISSN 1401-9469, no 2, p. 9-13Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
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  • 30.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Review  of Globalization, the state and violence2004In: The Living beyond conflict seminar, ISSN 1651-0526, Vol. 4, no 5Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 31.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Shillong: tribal urbanity in the Northeast Indian borderland2017In: IIAS newsletter / International Institute for Asian Studies, ISSN 0929-8738, Vol. 77, p. 32-33Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this short essay, I will try to outline a few key traits or characteristics of present-day Shillong, a city I have come to love and feel at home in.

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    Shillong
  • 32.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Souvereignity through indigenous Governance: Reviving 'Tradition lpolitical institutions' in Northeast India2005In: NEHU journal, ISSN 0972-8406, Vol. 3, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 33.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Sovereignty through indigenous governance: reviving 'traditional' political institutions in Northeast India2011In: The Politics of belonging in India: becoming Adivasi / [ed] Sangeeta Dasgupta & Daniel J. Rycroft, New York: Routledge, 2011, p. 141-153Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 34.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Stolen harvest2001In: Chicago south Asia newsletter, Vol. 25, no 2Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 35.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    "The eco-killer canal": large-scale water projects in India1998In: Water: the taming of a scarce resource / [ed] Gunnel Cederlöf, Uppsala: Forum for Development Studies, Uppsala University , 1998, p. 85-92Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 36.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    The Forest of Our Lives: In and Out of Political Ecology2016In: Conservation and Society, ISSN 0972-4923, E-ISSN 0975-3133, Vol. 14, no 4, p. 380-390Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, I seek to bring together a number of environmental histories to think about the place of forest in our lives. It is partly autobiographical in the sense that it concerns forest issues that 1, for various reasons, have been entangled with recently. These are the making of carbon (REDD+) forests in Northeast India, preservation of the urban forests and planting of indigenous trees in Karura forests in Nairobi, Kenya, and the transformation of Swedish forests into vast industrial plantations. I come to these issues with little knowledge about the forest ecology or the flora and fauna, as such, but rather as a scholar with earlier experience of analysis of the social and political dynamics involved in conflicts over forests, that is, how differently powered actors seek to appropriate, stake claims to or control the forest. Hence, my point of departure and analytical framework is largely that of political ecology. In a conversation about the work of the anthropologist Brian Morris, I will point to the thinness of such an approach and open up aspects that are critical to Morris' way of engaging with the interactions of people, plants, insects, and animals. This, I will argue, is a truly grounded environmental anthropology.

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  • 37.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    The imperial weight of tea: on the politics of plants, plantations and science2022In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 130, p. 105-114Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The cultivation of tea has had major impact on societies and environments across the world. It has been the cause of imperial wars, colonial appropriations of territories and capitalist exploitation of people and ecologies. In this article, I am particularly concerned with the British empire of tea, what preceded it and its afterlife in the former colonies. Research on tea within the social sciences and humanities have mainly concentrated on the precarious situation of plantation laborers. Informed by recent scholarship in multispecies- and critical plant studies, I seek to trace the intimate relations between people and plants. Taking a cue from James C. Scott’s “grain hypothesis,” I suggest an “imperial crop hypothesis” asking if there are any particular attributes of the tea plant that lend itself to imperial ambitions. In this I straddle between a political ecology concerned with power, resources and infrastructures that enabled the British to establish its empire of tea, and a multispecies approach that foregrounds the entangled ecologies of plant life. I concentrate on four particular moments of this history: the British “discovery” of tea grown by indigenous peoples in the hills of the newly annexed Ahom kingdom in the early 19th century; the establishment of the Assam plantations during second half of the 19th century; the travel of tea across the Indian Ocean and the making of Kenyan tea industry during the 20th century; and, finally, the development of purple tea, a new variety of tea projected as the tea plant for the 21st century.

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  • 38.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    The politics of deforestetaion: Indigenous assertain in India2004In: CENICES, OKD Institute of social change and developmentArticle in journal (Refereed)
  • 39.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    The social life of categories: affirmative action and trajectories of the indigenous2013In: Focaal: European Journal of Anthropology, ISSN 0920-1297, E-ISSN 1558-5263, Vol. 2013, no 65, p. 33-41Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article I examine the ways in which the term “indigenous peoples“ is reworked in a specific South Asian context. I focus on the new, hybrid category of “indigenous tribe“ in the Indian state of Meghalaya. I argue that we can think of the indigenous tribe category as a strategic conflation of two different regimes of rights or political assertions. The first relates to the existing nation-state framework for affirmative action as expressed in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, while the second relates to the emerging global framework for asserting the rights of indigenous peoples. While the benefits of asserting the status of indigenous tribes is obvious, for example, preventing other, nonindigenous tribes from owning land in the state, the long-term gains seems more doubtful. Both affirmative action programs and indigenous peoples frameworks are motivated by a moral imperative to redress historical injustices and contemporary social inequalities. To evoke them for other ends might eventually backfire. The larger point I seek to make, however, is that political categories tend to take on a life of their own, escaping their intended purposes and hence applied by people in novel and surprising ways.

  • 40.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Theory from the hills2019In: The Highlander: Journal of Highland Asia, E-ISSN 2632-0541, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 26-30Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Highlander suggests that geography, and especially, altitude matters. And indeed things look different depending on where you stand. Climb a mountain and the perspective changes as does the landscape itself; the flora, fauna, smells, the air and much more change. High altitude gives a sense of clarity, you can see further out in the distance, things otherwise hidden reveal itself and patterns, traces, paths emerge. It is perhaps no surprise that mountains are places of introspection and spiritual quests. Yet again how altitude matters in a more precise manner in the workings of society is harder to tell. James C. Scott famously argues that hills are difficult to govern and therefore allow for more egalitarian, democratic and non-state types of polities to flourish (2009). His take on “Zomia”, originally proposed by Willem van Schendel, has encouraged scholars to think regions, and geography more generally, outside the dominant framework of nation-states. For Scott, the hills carry a political vision of an anarchist or acephalous society. Indeed, we need to be reminded that another world is possible. Zomia is a powerful image for this.

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    Theory from the hills
  • 41.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Uncivil attachments2010In: Power to the People? (Con-)tested Civil Society in Search of Democracy / [ed] Heide Moksnes and Mia Melin, Uppsala: Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD), Uppsala University , 2010, p. 201-205Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 42.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Unruly Hills: a political ecology of India's northeast2011Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The questions that inspired this study are central to contemporary research within environmental anthropology, political ecology, and environmental history: how does the introduction of a modern, capitalist, resource regime affect the livelihood of indigenous peoples? Can sustainable resource management be achieved in a situation of radical commodification of land and other aspects of nature? Focusing on conflicts relating to forest management, mining, and land rights, the author offers an insightful account of present-day challenges for indigenous people to accommodate aspirations for ethnic sovereignty and development.

  • 43.
    Karlsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Writing development2013In: Anthropology Today, ISSN 0268-540X, E-ISSN 1467-8322, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 4-7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Development professionals spend a lot of time writing and the aid industry has a vast production of texts. The author argues here that anthropology of development needs to look anew at how these texts are being produced, circulated and the purposes they serve. I have briefly identified six features of development writing: 1. Institutional ownership, 2. multiple authorship, 3. impersonal style, 4. terminology, 5. Communicable simplifications and 6. temporality. The more general point is to call for a more sophisticated engagement with development texts. There might be more going on in these documents than immediately meets the eye. More than anything else, these texts grant legitimacy and presence to the actors involved in development. Writing development is more about the production process, the language and what it ultimately bring in terms of aid flows, rather than the substance of the text itself.

  • 44.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Kikon, Dolly
    Wayfinding: Indigenous Migrants in the Service Sector of Metropolitan India2017In: South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, ISSN 0085-6401, E-ISSN 1479-0270, Vol. 40, no 3, p. 447-462Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the last decade, large numbers of indigenous youth from the uplands of Northeast India have migrated to metropolitan cities across the country. Many end up in the new service sector, getting jobs in high-end restaurants, shopping malls and spas. The demand for their labour is due to their un-Indian 'exotic Asian' appearance and a reputation for being hardworking and loyal. Such labour market value is a remarkable reversal of their position considering the earlier colonial stereotypes of their savagery and disobedience, reproduced through the de-politicisation of their armed insurrections during the post-colonial period. This paper addresses their daily experiences of vulnerability and marginality as well as the freedom and aspirations that a migratory life seem to engender.

  • 45.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Rabo, Annika
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Introduction2021In: Seedways: The Circulation, Control and care of Plants in a Warming World / [ed] Bengt G. Karlsson; Annika Rabo, Stockholm: Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien , 2021, p. 7-20Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 46.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Rabo, AnnikaStockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Seedways: The Circulation, Control and Care of Plants in a Warming World2021Collection (editor) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This book is about seeds and why and how seeds matter today, as in the past. Under the main headings Biopower, Agrobiodiversity, Circulation/mobility, and Seeds and their caretakers, the human-seed relationship is explored from different viewpoints. In a historical perspective the co-evolution of plants and humans can be traced through myths, rituals and cultural practices. In our present-day world of accelerating climate change, expansion of monocultural plantations and loss of biodiversity, collecting, saving and securing seeds has become a global concern. The ritual significance of seeds, seed control and agricultural development, and official policies versus cultural practices are among the themes discussed. Engaging with seeds also raises critical political questions about control over the material basis of our existence, that is, the main food crops.

    The volume is the result of a two-day international symposium held at the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities in Stockholm 2018.

    Authors: Guntra A. Aistara, Kaj Århem, Roy Ellen, L. Jamila Haider, Tracey Heatherington, Bengt G. Karlsson, Dolly Kikon, Matti W. Leino, Birgit Müller, Rebecca Öhnfeldt, Annika Rabo, Ola Tveitereid Westengen & Rami Zurayk

  • 47.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Subba, Tanka B.
    Indigeneity in India2006Collection (editor) (Refereed)
  • 48.
    Karsson, Bengt G
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Nuclear Lives: Uranium mining, indigenous peoples, and development in India2009In: Economic and Political Weekly, ISSN 0012-9976, Vol. 44, no 34, p. 43-49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    India's nuclear programme has suffered from a shortage of uranium. As elsewhere in the world, the main uranium deposits are located on lands belonging to indigenous or tribal peoples. This paper discusses the unfolding controversy relating to uranium mining in the West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. The government-owned Uranium Corporation of India has for long been trying to get access to the deposits of uranium, but has failed due to local opposition. During the past two years the government has stepped up its efforts to allow mining in Meghalaya and seeks to win over local people with promises of development. Although a reasonable proposition for some, there is also a strong opposition to this, usually citing either health reasons or issues having to do with ethnic sovereignty and indigenous rights. Allowing uranium mining, it is argued, would lead to the loss of indigenous lands and open the region to a large-scale influx of non-tribal people.

  • 49. Kikon, Dolly
    et al.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Leaving the land: indigenous migration and affective labour in India2019Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During the last decade, indigenous youth from Northeast India have migrated in large numbers to the main cities of metropolitan India to find work and study. This migration is facilitated by new work opportunities in the hospitality sector, mainly as service personnel in luxury hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and airlines. Prolonged armed conflicts, militarization, a stagnant economy, corrupt and ineffective governance structures, and the harsh conditions of subsistence agriculture in their home villages or small towns impel the youth to seek future prospects outside their home region. English language skills, a general cosmopolitan outlook as well as a non-Indian physical appearance have proven to be key assets in securing work within the new hospitality industry. Leaving the Land traces the migratory journeys of these youths and engage with their new lives in cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram.

  • 50. Kikon, Dolly
    et al.
    Karlsson, Bengt G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Light Skin and Soft Skills: Training Indigenous Migrants for the Hospitality Sector in India2020In: Ethnos, ISSN 0014-1844, E-ISSN 1469-588X, Vol. 85, no 2, p. 258-275Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a recruitment centre in Dimapur, Nagaland, indigenous youth are trained for employment as service personnel in luxury hotels, restaurants and airlines. Most of them are unemployed, seeking new future prospects outside the region and the harsh existence of subsistence agriculture. English language skills, a general cosmopolitan outlook and their fair complexion have proven key assets in securing work within the new hospitality industry. In this article, we deal with the activities at the recruitment centre itself, looking at the skill sets - the 'soft skills' - and habitus that the instructors try to instill in the participants to make them employable. We apply the notion of 'affective labour'. Such labour is all about care, or more precisely in this context, caring for customers. But care also has a wider resonance in the lives of the young migrants, that is, to care for the family, community and ancestral lands back home.

12 1 - 50 of 52
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