Prakash Kashwan

Prakash Kashwan
Brandeis University

PhD
Here to connect with scholars of environmental & climate governance and justice, esp if you work in/on east Asia/Africa.

About

84
Publications
24,360
Reads
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727
Citations
Introduction
Prakash Kashwan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Professor Kashwan’s research, scholarship, and teaching focuses on climate justice, global climate and environmental governance, and political economy of development. In these endeavors he builds on his over two-decade-long engagements with questions of global and international environmental governance, including a first career in international development (1999-2005). He was among the winners of 2009 Young Scientist Research Award from the International Foundation for Science (IFS), Stockholm. He is the author of Democracy in the Woods: Environmental Conservation and Social Justice in India, Tanzania, and Mexico (Oxford University Press, 2017).
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - March 2021
University of Connecticut
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2011 - July 2018
University of Connecticut
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
August 2005 - July 2011
School of Public and Environmental Affairs Indiana University Bloomington
Field of study
  • Public Policy, International Environmental Policy

Publications

Publications (84)
Article
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Scholars and advocates increasingly favor rights-based approaches over traditional exclusionary policies in conservation. Yet, national and international conservation policies and programs have often led to the exclusion of forest-dependent peoples. This article proposes and tests the hypothesis that the failures of rights-based approaches in conse...
Article
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Studies of social dilemmas consistently report higher than expected levels of cooperation, especially in the presence of appropriate institutions. At the same time, scholars have argued that institutions are manifestations of power relations. The higher than expected levels of cooperation amidst widespread power asymmetries constitute an important...
Article
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This article investigates forest policies and institutions surrounding REDD+ in three heavily forested countries: India, Tanzania, and Mexico. The comparative analysis leads to three key insights. First, each of the case study countries has multiple land tenure statutes that result in different distributions of the costs and benefits of forest prot...
Article
This paper joins the debate on the relationship between inequality and the environment. Departing from the past contributions, which focused either on the theories of environmental behavior or on economic interests, this paper develops arguments about “political choice” mechanisms that help explain the linkages between inequality and national polic...
Book
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How do societies negotiate the apparently competing agendas of environmental protection and social justice? And why do some countries perform much better than others? Democracy in the Woods addresses these question by examining land rights conflicts—and the fate of forest-dependent peasants—in the context of the different forest property regimes in...
Chapter
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Written by an international team of over sixty experts and drawing on over three thousand scientific studies, this is the first comprehensive global assessment of the political impact of the Sustainable Development Goals, which were launched by the United Nations in 2015. It explores in detail the political steering effects of the Sustainable Devel...
Chapter
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Histories of colonial expropriation and the nature of political and economic systems shape environmental justice struggles. However, inequality and capitalism are institutionalized very differently in different contexts and counties. This chapter advances scholarship on a comparative politics of environmental justice in diverse contexts. It draws o...
Article
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Solar geoengineering is gaining prominence in climate change debates as an issue worth studying; for some it is even a potential future policy option. We argue here against this increasing normalization of solar geoengineering as a speculative part of the climate policy portfolio. We contend, in particular, that solar geoengineering at planetary sc...
Article
A widespread failure to recognize the social and political-economic causes of climate-related crises is an erasure of history that hides potential solutions and absolves guilty parties of responsibility. This blocking out of causality is perpetuating slow and silent violence against present and future generations. These erasures are illustrated by...
Article
This article brings to center-stage questions of inequality within the context of contemporary theory and scholarship on the commons. We engage with the commons literature to explore how social, economic, and political inequalities affect who has access to and control over the commons. We make the following key contributions as a way to engage simu...
Article
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The U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) 2021 report on solar geoengineering research is a political intervention in global climate politics. Although the NASEM report explicitly acknowledges the risks of unilateral research without broad-based public participation and global governance, the report minimizes these co...
Article
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India has been right to raise the question of climate injustice between North and South, but climate justice within countries is equally compelling. When India claims to represent the interests of poor countries, it is pertinent to ask: which India is being represented in global politics? Is the India where the richest one per cent hold more than f...
Poster
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Climate change intervenes in a world with gross inequalities. As a result, the effects of climate change are distributed unequally along the axes of nationality, geography, generations, gender, race, ethnicity, and age among others. Unless concerted efforts are made to counter these inequalities, the efforts to combat climate change are also likely...
Preprint
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In anticipation of the March 25th release of the National Academies report: Reflecting Sunlight: Recommendations for Solar Geoengineering Research and Research Governance, this brief primer outlines three areas of key questions to ask about any effort to advance solar geoengineering research using public funds.
Article
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This essay provides a broad-based and jargon-free introduction to climate justice to foster critical thinking, engaged discussions, and profound reflections. It introduces the reader to three dimensions of justice—distributional, procedural, and recognitional justice—and shows how each relates to climate justice. A unique contribution of this essay...
Article
Interest in forest-based carbon storage has led to growth in financing for carbon forestry. Most financial strategies rest on strong assumptions which are not valid in many parts of the world. We use cases drawn from tribal forestry in the US and government forestry in India to illustrate how carbon finance relies on the presence of enforceable rig...
Article
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Effective public accountability is a prerequisite for protecting India's environment and the environmental human rights of all Indians. However, the question of what factors promote the accountability of public institutions remains under-researched in India. The recent and ongoing attempts by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change...
Article
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In a June 2015 "letter to humanity about the Environment", Pope Francis asks us to redefine our relationship with the world in "the language of fraternity and beauty". For him, "the world" includes fellow humans and non-human living species. This call of unity between humanity and nature is an attempt to heal the wounds Western modernity has caused...
Article
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The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) seeks to address the deeply entrenched inequalities that affect the world's peasants and other rural working people. UNDROP's mandate intersects with the goals of land rights and food sovereignty, sustainable development, and socially just clim...
Article
Full-text available
This article brings to center-stage questions of inequality within the context of contemporary theory and scholarship on the commons. We engage with the commons literature to explore how social, economic, and political inequalities affect who has access to and control over the commons. We make the following key contributions as a way to engage simu...
Article
Full-text available
We are in the middle of a planetary crisis that urgently requires stronger modes of earth system governance. At the same time, calls for justice are becoming increasingly pronounced in sustainability research: there can be no effective planetary stewardship without planetary justice. Rapid planetary-scale processes have reinforced and further creat...
Article
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The 2019 COVID-19 pandemic has amplified inequalities and human rights challenges; in some states, COVID-19 policies have been introduced that further curtail human rights. Although some limits may be justified in the time of a public health emergency, other rights are vital to secure precisely because of pandemic conditions. Following a discussion...
Article
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Scientists, corporations, mystics, and movie stars have convinced policymakers around the world that a massive campaign to plant trees should be an essential element of global climate policy. Public dialogue has emphasized potential benefits of tree planting while downplaying pitfalls and limitations that are well established by social and ecologic...
Article
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The United States is having a long-overdue national reckoning with racism. From criminal justice to pro sports to pop culture, Americans increasingly are recognizing how racist ideas have influenced virtually every sphere of life in this country. This includes the environmental movement. Recently the Sierra Club – one of the oldest and largest U.S...
Article
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This article identifies diverse rationales to call for anticipatory governance of solar geoengineering, in light of a climate crisis. In focusing on governance rationales, we step back from proliferating debates in the literature on ‘how, when, whom, and where’ to govern, to address the important prior question of why govern solar geoengineering in...
Article
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For the social scientists and the well-read Kairos readers, the text demonstrates both the limitations and the potential of conjoining political theory analyses with a political ethnography approach. Traditionally, political theory has been a normative field, that is, a field that asks questions of ethics and morality that are beyond the realm of s...
Article
Full-text available
Scientists, corporations, mystics, and movie stars have convinced policymakers around the world that a massive campaign to plant trees should be an essential element of global climate policy. Public dialogue has emphasized potential benefits of tree planting while downplaying pitfalls and limitations that are well established by social and ecologic...
Chapter
Full-text available
The frameworks and indices used for carrying out formal assessments of natural resource governance often fail to address a series of fundamental questions as to governance for what, by whom, under what conditions, and toward what ends? In this chapter, the author draws on a political economy of institutions approach to develop a parsimonious meta-f...
Article
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Solar radiation management (SRM) technologies would reflect a small amount of incoming solar radiation back into space before the radiation can warm the planet. Although SRM may emerge as a useful component of a global response to climate change, there is also good reason for caution. In June 2017, the Academic Working Group on Climate Engineering...
Article
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Public goods are defined by the technical conditions of nonexclusion and nonrivalry. Nonetheless, public goods are frequently viewed in environmental policy and scholarly debates as providing strictly positive benefits (or, in the case of public ‘bads’, providing strictly negative costs). We provide a theoretical understanding of heterogeneous exte...
Article
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This policy brief outlines a political-economic perspective for studying the impact of climate change in ways that inform pursuits of climate justice initiatives. It emphasises the plurality of interventions needed at the global, international, national, and sub-national levels to effectively address the social-discriminatory effects of climate cha...
Article
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Grassroots Global Governance: Local Watershed Management Experiments and the Evolution of sustainable Development. By Craig M. Kauffman. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 272p. $78.00 cloth. - Volume 16 Issue 3 - Prakash Kashwan
Article
Response to Craig M. Kauffman’s review of Democracy in the Woods: Environmental Conservation and Social Justice in India, Tanzania, and Mexico - Volume 16 Issue 3 - Prakash Kashwan
Article
Despite the recognition that institutions matter for international development, the debates over institutional reforms tend to obscure the role of power. Neoliberal models of development are often promoted in terms of their technical merits and efficiency gains and rarely account for the multiple ways that social, economic and political power shape...
Article
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This essay offers a brief overview of some of the key arguments about the relationship between democracy and the environment. Each of these arguments centres on the different dimensions of the relationship between democracy and the environment. The goal is to inform new research in ecological economics, so that it may engage more centrally with soc...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This policy brief outlines a political-economic perspective for studying the impact of climate change in ways that inform pursuits of climate justice initiatives. It emphasises the plurality of interventions needed at the global, international, national, and sub-national levels to effectively address the social-discriminatory effects of climate cha...
Article
Full-text available
This is the full text, including citations of sources, of a blog published by the Guardian (Guardian Development 2030) https://www.theguardian.com/working-in-development/2017/nov/15/bigotry-against-indigenous-people-means-were-missing-a-trick-on-climate-change Are prejudices against indigenous people undermining our science and climate policy?
Article
This article presents one of the first empirical studies of the demand for collective forest rights by forest-dependent groups locked in longstanding conflicts with government forestry agencies, which is a common feature of forested regions in the Global South. This analysis shows that (1) past engagements with community-based forest protection hel...
Article
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This article argues for revisiting the institutional architecture of wildlife conservation in light of two recent trends: Increased popularity of landscape-level approaches and the recognition that conservation interventions must address longstanding questions of forest and land rights of local residents. The inquiry draws upon primary research con...
Article
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Contemporary scholarship on institutional reforms can be classified into two distinct perspectives. The first of these concentrates on the attributes of political context that shape the incentives and imperatives of political leaders, and a second perspective emphasizes institutional design and its effects on development outcomes. Following a simpl...
Article
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The debates about the general election campaign in India have often pitted “development” against secularism. In the process, questions about the emergence of alternative political formations have been pushed to the sidelines. This article argues that a development versus secular polarisation of national debates reflects a gross simplification of th...
Article
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Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Forest Enhancement (REDD+) has become a central focus of global climate change mitigation efforts. Even though the international demand for forest-based carbon sequestration is the key driver of REDD+, forest protection strategies must be implemented on the ground. This cross-scale na...
Article
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"The age of climate change that we live in has forced scholars and policymakers to rethinking fundamental tenets of international environmental governance. Moving beyond the ‘pure modes of governance, in which either state or market actors play a leading role, scholars now recommend co-management, public-private partnerships, or social-private part...
Article
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Kashwan, Prakash. (2012) Do Coalition Governments Bring Economic Stability? International Studies Review, doi: 10.1111/misr.12000
Article
From Introduction: "This paper presents a conflict between two communities of Viyal village. The downtrodden tribal community of this village challenges the power wielding Rajputs on the issue of controlling the village grassland. The case highlights the importance of concerted action in removing encroachments by powerful sections of society on com...
Article
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This article summarizes the experience of offering an online introductory course on geographic information systems (GIS) that utilizes available free/libre and open source software (FOSS). Two primary objectives are to (a) reach students in developing countries and (b) to help move forward the development of an open-content GIS curriculum as part o...
Article
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"The work of Tarun Bharat Sangh in Rajasthan has received much attention. There is an urgent need though to question development approaches that go overboard in extolling the virtues of greenery without tracing the hands that own the land and harvest the fruits of public money. This paper takes a critical look at the community institutions and rela...
Article
"This paper deals with the historical causes of the limited success achieved in Joint Forest Management program in India. In particular, this paper responds to the failure of a 'JFM success story' in the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh."
Chapter
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Environmental online communication epitomizes the opportunities offered by information and communication technologies in managing the changes brought about because of globalization of environmental and developmental concerns, and the increased integration of environmental issues with socio-political concerns of development. Taking the Community-Bas...
Article
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This brief is meant for dissemination of preliminary findings of an ongoing research project on property rights in India's forests and forestlands. The analyses presented here are based on author's doctoral dissertation research and a decade long engagement with India's forest policies and programs. A more detailed note including additional explana...
Article
From Introduction: "This case documents a conflict between three villages: Kojon Ka Guda, Saharia and Padtal located 48kms from Udaipur city in Rajasthan. While Khojon Guda belonged to Bemla Panchayat, the two other villages belonged to Lalpur Panchayat. After coexisting peacefully for decades, the communities found themselves pitted against each o...
Article
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From p. 424-425: "At issue is the permission granted by the Chhattisgarh government (GoC) to Jindal Strips Limited, now called Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), to extract water through a combination of stop dams and intake wells from the Kelo, downstream of Raigarh town. According to the local population and activists, fourteen villages of Ra...
Article
"This case study is about a traditional water harvesting structure constructed on a drain in Lava Ka Baas (LKB) village of Thanagazi block, Alwar district in Rajasthan. Ironically, while the battle was apparently fought to protect community rights over water resources, this study highlights the failure of strengthening community institutions, a mus...
Article
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"Based on author's empirical research, this paper argues that conservation efforts are not served well by a continued reliance on protectionist and exclusionary measures amidst an all pervasive rhetoric in the favor of decentralizing natural resource management in general. In doing so, the paper underlines how a narrow focus on wildlife protection...
Article
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"This article documents field observations regarding several hands on situations that led to conflicts in Joint Forest Management (JFM) Projects tried out in tribal and rural areas of Southern Rajasthan, India. In this way, the article raises several fundamental flaws in the current format of JFM. In the end, author offers some thoughts on possible...
Article
"The paper offers an explanation for the current conundrum of policy-making around questions of environment and development in India, where most resource rich areas within the country are also the areas where internal insurgency has taken roots. In conclusion, paper employs learning from disparate experiments in participatory governance to suggest...

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Please be as specific as you can and please avoid jargon -- explain it in plain English.

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Projects

Projects (12)
Project
Global and local commons are central to the intersecting challenges of climate change, sustainability, and resource degradation. While this has always been the case, questions of inequality and justice have gained greater significance in the present moment, in which the fate of global and local commons is tied together more strongly than ever before. For example, powerful actors seek to use local forest commons as sites for global restoration efforts or international carbon offset projects that are meant to stop the deterioration of global atmospheric commons. At the same time, because of the widespread reckoning with questions of justice and equity both global and local commons present new opportunities for justice-centered resource stewardship. The Ostrom Workshop Working Group on "Power, Inequality and Justice in the Commons" builds on the workshop tradition of institutional analysis to develop novel analytical approaches for a deeper understanding of issues of power, inequality, and justice in the commons. To do so, we engage with a plurality of theoretical and methodological approaches, including classical institutional analysis of the commons and interdisciplinary fields such as political economy, political ecology, agrarian studies, critical theory, development studies, and urban studies. This working group will act as a hub of brainstorming, researching, and writing that both advances our knowledge and is relevant for policy-making, and citizen actions. It aims to build stronger bridges between the Ostrom Workshop and the members of International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC). We welcome early- and late- career scholars, scholar-activists, and other researchers to join us in this exciting new endeavor. It is hosted by the Commons Governance Program at the Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA https://ostromworkshop.indiana.edu/research/commons/index.html. To join this working group, please fill out the following Google Form: https://forms.gle/zYFeyHqSwfSzE6F26
Project
Climate change and its impacts are glocal - they originate in and manifest at both global and local levels. Climate governance, therefore, must be conceived as a multi-scale phenomenon. This project is meant to develop conceptual and theoretical as well as offer empirical analysis of the multi-scale processes of climate governance.
Project
Climate change has caused large-scale devastation – flooding, wildfires, and water and power outages – in cities throughout the world. Governments and donor agencies are often focused on technical fixes, which does little to address the fact that the poor and marginalized social groups are often affected disproportionately climate change impacts. This raises the question of climate justice. In this project, we add a deep understanding of politics to our analysis of institutional change in pursuit of climate justice in urban areas in the Global South. The members of the project team are a group of political scientists and other social scientists who have done extensive field research in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. They draw on their ongoing research collaborations and longstanding institutional linkages to develop pedagogical resources and co-produce a handbook designed to serve the needs of policymakers, municipal administrators, and civil society activists. In pursuit of its main goals, this project would 1) establish a network of academics, policymakers, practitioners, and civil society activists engaged in climate justice issues; 2) organize an international workshop that brings together various stakeholders from the Global South; and, 3) develop pedagogical resources and a handbook of successful cases of climate justice policies and programs being implemented by municipal governments. This project makes significant contributions to the discipline by fostering cross-regional and multidisciplinary collaborations between political scientists in the United States and academics, policymakers, municipal officials, and activists from the Global South. The proposed project would facilitate cost-effective online publishing of a working paper series and a set of policy briefs. This will benefit young researchers and civil society activists whose voices tend to be under-represented within the discipline. The project seeks to demonstrate new modes of public engagements to address the formidable challenges of climate justice.