The Political Ecology of War in Maoist India

Conference paper

Miklian, Jason (2013) The Political Ecology of War in Maoist India, presented at International Studies Association, 3-6 April.

War, business, and democracy intersect in complex and surprising ways. In India, multinational mining companies operate throughout a warzone between the government and a Maoist insurgency. Actors increased legitimacy by undertaking activities ostensibly to benefit local indigenous populations, but traditional political ecology interpretations of these actors ignored their fluid and contradictory natures, blaming corporations instead of destructive governmental policies or corrupt and violent indigenous elites. By re-framing corporate social responsibility understandings beyond mere public relations necessities, mining companies can act as peacebuilders to assist disadvantaged communities, sidestep corrupt political machineries, and shed their reputations as conflict vultures.

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