Bengt G. Karlsson

Bengt G. Karlsson
Stockholm University | SU · Department of Social Anthropology

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33
Publications
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342
Citations
Citations since 2016
18 Research Items
230 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022010203040

Publications

Publications (33)
Article
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The cultivation of tea has had major impact on societies and environments across the world. It has been the cause of imperial wars, colonial appropriations of territories and capitalist exploitation of people and ecologies. In this article, I am particularly concerned with the British empire of tea, what preceded it and its afterlife in the former...
Book
Cambridge Core - Social and Cultural Anthropology - Leaving the Land - by Dolly Kikon
Chapter
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Article
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In a recruitment centre in Dimapur, Nagaland, indigenous youth are trained for employment as service personnel in luxury hotels, restaurants and airlines. Most of them are unemployed, seeking new future prospects outside the region and the harsh existence of subsistence agriculture. English language skills, a general cosmopolitan outlook and their...
Article
Full-text available
In a recruitment centre in Dimapur, Nagaland, indigenous youth are trained for employment as service personnel in luxury hotels, restaurants and airlines. Most of them are unemployed, seeking new future prospects outside the region and the harsh existence of subsistence agriculture. English language skills, a general cosmopolitan outlook and their...
Article
Full-text available
This book review article probes present anthropological engagement with the environment through the prism of political ecology, placing political ecology in conversation with newer work in environmnetal anthropology. In situating this conversation, the reviewer draws on four recent anthropological monographs that, in one way or another, deal with a...
Book
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Geographies of difference brings together new research on Northeast India focusing on key socio-political and historical processes that make the area what it is today. Following recent major reconfigurations of ‘area studies’ in South and Southeast Asia, ‘geographies’ in the title highlights our approach to Northeast India as an emerging ‘geo-histo...
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ABSTRACT In the last decade, large numbers of indigenous youth from the uplands of Northeast India have migrated to metropolitan cities across the country. Many end up in the new service sector, getting jobs in high-end restaurants, shopping malls and spas. The demand for their labour is due to their un-Indian ‘exotic Asian’ appearance and a reputa...
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In this article, I seek to bring together a number of environmental histories to think about the place of forest in our lives. It is partly autobiographical in the sense that it concerns forest issues that I, for various reasons, have been entangled with recently. These are the making of carbon (REDD+) forests in Northeast India, preservation of th...
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Political ecology is a transdisciplinary research field addressing nature – society interrelations, often with a focus on contentions and struggles over land and natural resources. Power asymmetries and social inequalities are critical points of departure, and many scholars in the field pursue a kind of emancipatory engagement with subalterns or ma...
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This introduction presents the context and theoretical basis of fluidity of attachments in Northeast India. A large cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity, an international border situation, and various forms of unsettled relations with ‘mainstream India’ characterize Northeast India. These aspects form the frame of highly dynamic movements of...
Article
In this article I examine the ways in which the term “indigenous peoples” is reworked in a specific South Asian context. I focus on the new, hybrid category of “indigenous tribe” in the Indian state of Meghalaya. I argue that we can think of the indigenous tribe category as a strategic conflation of two different regimes of rights or political asse...
Article
Development professionals spend a lot of time writing and the aid industry has a vast production of texts. The author argues here that anthropology of development needs to look anew at how these texts are being produced, circulated and the purposes they serve. I have briefly identified six features of development writing: 1. Institutional ownership...
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This article discusses ethnicity and the state in Northeast India from the vantage point of James Scott's influential works, especially his recent book The Art of Not Being Governed. Scott has over the years explored different aspects of peasant or subaltern modes of opposing dominance. The overall insistence is on the resistance and agency of the...
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Unruly Hills is one of the most original and provocative books on environment and politics in India. Communities supposedly control most land, forests, and other natural resources in the hills of Northeast India. However capitalist transformations have rendered those hill communities quite powerless: they are hardly able to control the local resour...
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India's nuclear programme has suffered from a shortage of uranium. As elsewhere in the world, the main uranium deposits are located on lands belonging to indigenous or tribal peoples. This paper discusses the unfolding controversy relating to uranium mining in the West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. The government-owned Uranium Corporation of India has...
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Greener Pastures: Politics, Markets, and Community among. Migrant Pastoral People. Arun Agrawal. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998. ix. 219 pp., tables, figures, maps, notes, bibliography, index.
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This article examines the present mobilization of indigenous peoples in India and their assertions of indigeneity at the United Nations. The notion of ‘indigenous peoples’ is highly controversial in India, and both the government and leading social scientists/anthropologists claim that it is neither possible nor desirable to single out any such cat...
Article
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This paper deals with a number of questions relating to politics based on “ethnicity” or community belonging among “tribal” or indigenous peoples in India's northeastern region. In particular, I probe the complex question of indigenous peoples’ right to self‐determination, a right that most indigenous organizations in the world regard as crucial an...

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Project (1)
Archived project
This exhibition is concerned with the lives and lifeworlds of indigenous migrants who have travelled from the faraway Northeastern frontier to the expanding cities of South India. This movement does not involve the crossing of any international border, yet both geographically and culturally it is a movement into a very different place. It is a movement away from predominantly rural livelihoods with subsistence agriculture and politics revolving around ethnic homelands, with armed struggles and massive human rights violations and a corrupt local state structure, to a life in major Indian cities, where migrants are seen as outsiders, yet where their un-Indian looks and English language skills helps provide jobs in the growing, global service sector. The exhibition is part of a larger anthropological research project where Dolly Kikon and Bengt Karlsson examine why an increasing number of indigenous youth from Northeast India have started to migrate, leaving the land, at this particular point of time. This mobility has to be understood in the context of an affirmative action regime and a political culture that privilege sedentarism, that is, that people stay put in place and claim rights to ancestral territories.