Development as Recolonization

The Political Ecology of the Endosulphan Disaster in Kasargod, India

Author: Silpa Satheesh


This paper examines the Endosulphan pesticide disaster in Kasargod, Kerala, India. The paper argues that the pesticide disaster was the culmination of an agrarian modernization project implemented in the region by the state-owned Plantation Corporation of Kerala (PCK). An exploration of the political ecology of the disaster shows the recolonization of residents and nature by PCK through neocolonial forms of centralized and exclusionary spatial and resource control mechanisms. In this context, the paper questions the glorification of the "Kerala model" of development from the standpoints of environmental justice and resource rights, relying on the lived experiences of the people of Kasargod.

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December 2017
© elin o'Hara slavick