Village Commons and the Public Sphere

Rita Brara

in Shifting Landscapes

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195673012
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081813 | DOI:
Village Commons and the Public Sphere

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This chapter comprises a brief, eco-historical account of the emergence of a public sphere in the villages of Lachhmangarh region. The chapter outlines the constitution and composition of the official statutory village council (gram panchayat) and the informal committee of ‘big men’ or ‘spokesmen’ (mukhias). Further, the functioning of the informal committee in relation to the village commons is investigated. The informal committee in the village discriminated against the powerless. The practices of the state pointed to the equality of all citizens. The chapter also reflects upon the local constitution of a ‘we’ group that draws upon the residential, territorial, and social form of the village to wrest shrinking environmental resources of the commons for village residents.

Keywords: public sphere; villages; Lachhmangarh; village commons; statutory village councils

Chapter.  19120 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Sociology

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