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Transnational Advocacy Networks and Affirmative Action for Dalits in India

Lerche, Jens (2008) 'Transnational Advocacy Networks and Affirmative Action for Dalits in India.' Development and Change, 39 (2). pp. 239-261.

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Abstract

In India, movements and parties representing the lowest ranking dalit caste groups have followed different strategies in their struggle against social, economic and cultural discrimination. In this article, a new dalit movement making use of a ‘transnational advocacy network strategy’ will be compared to a more ‘classical’ dalit political party. The main policy target for the new movement is an extension of existing aff irmative action policies, while the dalit BSP party focuses more on emancipatory issues. Based on an analysis of the impacts of the BSP and of the new movement at the grassroots level, it is argued that the achievements of the new movement are tempered by the fact that in order to make use of international discourses and political pressure, the movement has had to develop a strategy and policy proposals compatible with existing mainstream neoliberal discourses. This depoliticizes the policies, and hence makes them of less importance strategically. It is argued that this is likely to be a diff iculty for transnational advocacy networks in general.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: Transnational network, advocacy, neo-liberalism, dalits, India
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 0012155X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1111/j.1467-7660.2007.00478.x
Depositing User: Jens Lerche
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2009 16:04
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/6108

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