Articles by Archana PrasadSubscribe to Archana Prasad

Towards a Conception of Socially Useful Nature

This article provides some theoretical and methodological reflections on the way in which the relationship between humans and nature has been captured in dominant forms of valuation of nature.It makes a critique of these methods and highlights the need to articulate a concept of “socially useful nature.” It uses this concept to interrogate dominant perspectives in the contemporary debates and methods on valuing nature from a Marxian perspective and shows the limitations of the tools and conceptual frameworks based on the principle of the commodification of nature in and for the market. In the context of this general theoretical framework, the article considers the methods promoted by the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting in valuation of nature and shows its inadequacy in arriving at a non-commoditised conception of “socially useful nature.”

Social Compliance Audits in Garment Factories

The violent clashes between workers and employers in India during the recent decade are testimony to a new terrain of labour struggle unleashed by the neo-liberal economic system. These clashes speak of the demise of the workers’ freedom of association and consequent waning of collective bargaining in the context of the phenomenal growth of private regulation of labour. Various private voluntary regulations introduced in the name of corporate social responsibility, potentially to protect workers from capitalist exploitation, have actually yielded contrary outcomes. By examining the example of social compliance audits, this paper brings out the trade-off between capital and labour in the global supply chains, and the corroborating demise of workers’ rights, which CSR initiatives do not mitigate.

Adivasis and the Anatomy of a Conflict Zone

Based on the field report of a fact-finding team that visited Bastar during 12-16 May 2016, this article highlights the impact of the long-standing armed conflict between the state and the Maoists on the Adivasi villagers of Bastar and points out that both are responsible for their current vulnerable state. After the visit the Bastar police has been harassing and intimidating the team members and theirlocal supporters.

Death in Police Custody

We have watched with disgust and horror the brutal police assault on students during a peaceful demonstration organised by four Left students’ organisations on 2 April 2013 in Kolkata and the subsequent death of Sudipta Gupta, a participant in the demonstration, while in police custody. Sudipta was...
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