The special issue ‘Reconsidering the Region in India’, aims to develop a synthetic and theoretically nuanced account of the multifarious ways in which the idea of region has been imbricated in diverse spatial, political, cultural and socio-economic configurations and reconfigurations in contemporary India.
This special issue of the Journal of South Asian Development brings together four articles that explore the imagination and materiality of the ‘region’, a category that has recently reappeared, especially in relation to the politics of development in India. It illustrates how changing social and economic configurations, new dynamics of political power, and the entanglement of regionalist cultural politics with the politics of development (often refracted through the prisms of caste, class or gender) contribute to a respatialization and redistribution of social as well as political power. They also point to a politics of place linked to regional identities built around particular images of landscape, language, culture or history, or to an imagined community or regional homeland. The idea for this issue grew out of the Provincial Globalisation research programme, which studied the effects of transnational flows at the regional level and in provincial towns of India.
Introduction: Reconsidering the Region in India: Mobilities, Actors and Development Politics
Leah Koskimaki, Carol Upadhya
First Published August 9, 2017
Journal of South Asian Development
In this introduction to a special issue on ‘Reconsidering the Region in India’, we aim to develop a synthetic and theoretically nuanced account of the multifarious ways in which the idea of region has been imbricated in diverse spatial, political, cultural and socio-economic configurations. We draw from various bodies of anthropological, geographic and historical literature to elaborate on three themes that we believe are central to understanding contemporary processes of region-making in India: trans-regional mobilities and connections; the actors who produce and perform regional imaginaries; and changing regional politics of development.