Environmentality: Community, Intimate Government, and the Making of Environmental Subjects in Kumaon, India
Agrawal writes about the relationship between government and subjectivity, particularly about the processes that create “environmental subjects” (people who care about the environment), using an example of changing interests in forest protection following the creation of community-forest management groups in Kumaon, India.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The author argues that shifts in beliefs and interests follow shifts in practices, and that participation and action are more important factors than social grouping (i.e. social class or gender are only tied to environmental subjectivity to the extent that they prevent, facilitate or compel practice). He shows that interests are not immutable, and certain forms of governmental regulation and enforcement generate new concepts of what constitutes the participants’ interest. He also contrasts “government at a distance” with “intimate government,” which is characterized by the dispersal of centers of authority to communities themselves and which can be key to increasing support for forest conservation.
Environmentality. Current Anthropology. 2005;46:161–190. doi:10.1086/427122..
- School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan