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This book examines in rich detail the lives, struggles and strategies of South Asian activists seeking to advance various political, social and environmental causes. Through a series of case studies from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka on activists' efforts, it elucidates how they mediate between different spheres that are often (and sometimes legally) kept apart-the political and the legal, the economic and the political, the local and the international.
The uniqueness of this book lies in its treatment of 'civil society' as a process brought into being by the actions of specific individuals whose struggles and experiences can profitably be examined for understanding everyday politics.
The ethnographic studies lay bare how activists in the entire region continuously wrestle with the tensions between the tidy boxes of official classifications and the fuzzy categories of everyday life.
About the Author
David N Gellner is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls. He is the author of Monk, Householder, and Tantric Priest (1992) and The Anthropology of Buddhism and Hinduism: Weberian Themes (2001), and the co-author (with Sarah LeVine) of Rebuilding Buddhism: The Theravada Movement in Twentieth-Century Nepal (2005). Among his other edited volumes are Contested Hierarchies: A Collaborative Ethnography of Caste among the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal (with D. Quigley, 1995), Nationalism and Ethnicity in a Hindu Kingdom (with J. Pfaff-Czarnecka and J. Whelpton, Harwood, 1997; 2nd edition, 2008), Resistance and the State: Nepalese Experiences (2003; Berghahn, 2007), Nepalis Inside and Outside Nepal and Political and Social Transformations in North India and Nepal (both with H. Ishii and K. Nawa, 2007), Local Democracy in South Asia (with K. Hachhethu, 2008), and Ethnic Activism and Civil Society in South Asia (2009).