Watered Down? Civil Society Organizations and Hydropower Development in the Darjeeling and Sikkim regions, Eastern Himalaya: A comparative study

Deepa Joshi, Joas Platteeuw, Jasber Singh, Juliana Teoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Mitigating climate change is often framed as the ultimate collective action problem of this era and great emphasis is made on the need for approaches that foster “cooperation” and “consensus”. This paper argues that the irony of this rhetoric could not be more stark; climate policy framing is an exclusionary process, and climate mitigating interventions that are engineered essentially to address neoliberal economic concerns rather than environmental challenges are often the source of multiple new conflicts. In this regard, this paper shows how the response of local non governmental organisations (NGOs) to hydropower development in the Darjeeling region of West Bengal in the Eastern Himalayas bears evidence to Gramscian analyses of “the manufacture of consent” between elite bourgeois actors - the state, formal civil society, political parties and the private sector. Such “associational” unions are only occasionally interrupted, as in the case of the people’s movement, Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) in North Sikkim. Finding a balance between resistance and enabling political space to think and act differently, the movement led to the cancellation of several hydropower projects put forward in the name of climate mitigation, and in the process, drew attention to political processes involved in the manufacture of consent. Using case studies from the Darjeeling and Sikkim regions, this paper distinguishes between Gramsci’s vision of the political space of disruption vis-à-vis the covert agenda of climate consensus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S63-S77
Number of pages15
JournalClimate Policy
Volume19
Issue numbersup1
Early online date15 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Fingerprint

hydropower
civil society
climate
India
climate policy
irony
collective behavior
private sector
rhetoric
climate change
elite
citizen
evidence
economics

Bibliographical note

© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

Keywords

  • Civil society
  • Hydropower
  • Political processes
  • Climate change
  • NGOs
  • Environmental governance

Cite this

Watered Down? Civil Society Organizations and Hydropower Development in the Darjeeling and Sikkim regions, Eastern Himalaya : A comparative study. / Joshi, Deepa; Platteeuw, Joas ; Singh, Jasber; Teoh, Juliana.

In: Climate Policy , Vol. 19, No. sup1, 2019, p. S63-S77.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{5d420d2b7c4047998595a0eafe8cb04f,
title = "Watered Down? Civil Society Organizations and Hydropower Development in the Darjeeling and Sikkim regions, Eastern Himalaya: A comparative study",
abstract = "Mitigating climate change is often framed as the ultimate collective action problem of this era and great emphasis is made on the need for approaches that foster “cooperation” and “consensus”. This paper argues that the irony of this rhetoric could not be more stark; climate policy framing is an exclusionary process, and climate mitigating interventions that are engineered essentially to address neoliberal economic concerns rather than environmental challenges are often the source of multiple new conflicts. In this regard, this paper shows how the response of local non governmental organisations (NGOs) to hydropower development in the Darjeeling region of West Bengal in the Eastern Himalayas bears evidence to Gramscian analyses of “the manufacture of consent” between elite bourgeois actors - the state, formal civil society, political parties and the private sector. Such “associational” unions are only occasionally interrupted, as in the case of the people’s movement, Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) in North Sikkim. Finding a balance between resistance and enabling political space to think and act differently, the movement led to the cancellation of several hydropower projects put forward in the name of climate mitigation, and in the process, drew attention to political processes involved in the manufacture of consent. Using case studies from the Darjeeling and Sikkim regions, this paper distinguishes between Gramsci’s vision of the political space of disruption vis-{\`a}-vis the covert agenda of climate consensus.",
keywords = "Civil society, Hydropower, Political processes, Climate change, NGOs, Environmental governance",
author = "Deepa Joshi and Joas Platteeuw and Jasber Singh and Juliana Teoh",
note = "{\circledC} 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright {\circledC} and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1080/14693062.2018.1557035",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
pages = "S63--S77",
journal = "Climate Policy",
issn = "1469-3062",
publisher = "Taylor & Francis",
number = "sup1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Watered Down? Civil Society Organizations and Hydropower Development in the Darjeeling and Sikkim regions, Eastern Himalaya

T2 - A comparative study

AU - Joshi, Deepa

AU - Platteeuw, Joas

AU - Singh, Jasber

AU - Teoh, Juliana

N1 - © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Mitigating climate change is often framed as the ultimate collective action problem of this era and great emphasis is made on the need for approaches that foster “cooperation” and “consensus”. This paper argues that the irony of this rhetoric could not be more stark; climate policy framing is an exclusionary process, and climate mitigating interventions that are engineered essentially to address neoliberal economic concerns rather than environmental challenges are often the source of multiple new conflicts. In this regard, this paper shows how the response of local non governmental organisations (NGOs) to hydropower development in the Darjeeling region of West Bengal in the Eastern Himalayas bears evidence to Gramscian analyses of “the manufacture of consent” between elite bourgeois actors - the state, formal civil society, political parties and the private sector. Such “associational” unions are only occasionally interrupted, as in the case of the people’s movement, Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) in North Sikkim. Finding a balance between resistance and enabling political space to think and act differently, the movement led to the cancellation of several hydropower projects put forward in the name of climate mitigation, and in the process, drew attention to political processes involved in the manufacture of consent. Using case studies from the Darjeeling and Sikkim regions, this paper distinguishes between Gramsci’s vision of the political space of disruption vis-à-vis the covert agenda of climate consensus.

AB - Mitigating climate change is often framed as the ultimate collective action problem of this era and great emphasis is made on the need for approaches that foster “cooperation” and “consensus”. This paper argues that the irony of this rhetoric could not be more stark; climate policy framing is an exclusionary process, and climate mitigating interventions that are engineered essentially to address neoliberal economic concerns rather than environmental challenges are often the source of multiple new conflicts. In this regard, this paper shows how the response of local non governmental organisations (NGOs) to hydropower development in the Darjeeling region of West Bengal in the Eastern Himalayas bears evidence to Gramscian analyses of “the manufacture of consent” between elite bourgeois actors - the state, formal civil society, political parties and the private sector. Such “associational” unions are only occasionally interrupted, as in the case of the people’s movement, Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) in North Sikkim. Finding a balance between resistance and enabling political space to think and act differently, the movement led to the cancellation of several hydropower projects put forward in the name of climate mitigation, and in the process, drew attention to political processes involved in the manufacture of consent. Using case studies from the Darjeeling and Sikkim regions, this paper distinguishes between Gramsci’s vision of the political space of disruption vis-à-vis the covert agenda of climate consensus.

KW - Civil society

KW - Hydropower

KW - Political processes

KW - Climate change

KW - NGOs

KW - Environmental governance

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85058707186&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/14693062.2018.1557035

DO - 10.1080/14693062.2018.1557035

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - S63-S77

JO - Climate Policy

JF - Climate Policy

SN - 1469-3062

IS - sup1

ER -