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Commons And Community: Evidence From Southwestern Tribal Belt Of Madhya Pradesh

D.C. Sah


Sah and Shah (2003) have shown that the incidence of poverty in the South-Western tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh is alarmingly high. About three fifths of the households in this tribal belt were categorised as chronic poor. Since the positive impact of growth linkages on the chronic poor is weak and operates with a time lag what becomes pertinent for them is inclusion in various interventions by the state on one hand and social mobilisation that makes them aware of their rights on the other. This paper argues that lack of formal institutional structure and lack of progress have not discouraged formation of social capital in this region. With the help of civil society there is increased awareness of issues pertaining to the loss of natural resources. This has strengthened the social network's capabilities in terms of associational activities and led to trust among the social groups and individuals and collective action for shared goals. In relatively less remote areas, the stratifications created by political and economic processes have displaced the social hierarchy. But in remote rural areas, where economic hierarchy is fragile and reshuffles itself within a short span, the social elites get an upper hand even in non-social affairs. The dominance of social hierarchy in decision making would, however, not be due to the weakness of political elites; it is rather lack of efficiency in local government that gives space to social norms and informal institutions in non-social affairs of the community.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC India Working Paper


politics India adverse incorporation remote rural areas history scheduled tribes environment Madhya Pradesh social capital


CPRC-IIPA_22.pdf PDF 316.9 KB

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