Chapter

Transformation of Tank Irrigation Policy and Technology on the Interface of a Recursive State–Society Relationship

Dik Roth and Linden Vincent

in Controlling the Water

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780198082927
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199082247 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198082927.003.0009
Transformation of Tank Irrigation Policy and Technology on the Interface of a Recursive State–Society Relationship

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Both influential scholarly works and development policy provide a powerful discursive space to the idea of local or pre-modern knowledge and community control over natural resources. This chapter provides a critique of both the ideas of the superiority of local or pre-modern knowledge and of community as a suitable form of institutional control over resources. It locates the transformation of pre-modern tank irrigation technology in the socio-agrarian context of Karnataka in the last four decades. The author ultimately argues that technological artifacts are not inert objects. They articulate with a complex mix of social tensions, relations of power, and ideological systems, and are transformed in historical processes. Those who advocate artifacts and knowledge systems as objects of values and virtues fail to capture their social and political scripting, thus denying technology as a historical process.

Keywords: tank irrigation technology; irrigation designs; technological transformations; traditional knowledge; paddy cultivation; agrarian politics; agrarian change; state–society relationships; technological scripts; irrigation in Karnataka

Chapter.  9566 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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