While absolving them from responsibility, I would like to thank Michael Burawoy, Jamie Cross, Asher Ghertner, Daniel Immerwahr, Colin Pace, Suchi Pande, Jonathan Parry, Raka Ray, Ian Scoones, Wendy Wolford and the anonymous reviewers of Development and Change.
Regimes of Dispossession: From Steel Towns to Special Economic Zones
Article first published online: 15 MAR 2013
© 2013 International Institute of Social Studies
Development and Change
Special Issue: Governing the Global Land Grab: The Role of the State in the Rush for Land
Volume 44, Issue 2, pages 381–407, March 2013
How to Cite
Levien, M. (2013), Regimes of Dispossession: From Steel Towns to Special Economic Zones. Development and Change, 44: 381–407. doi: 10.1111/dech.12012
- Issue published online: 15 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 15 MAR 2013
This article compares land dispossession for industrial development under state-developmentalism and neoliberalism in India. Drawing on interviews, ethnography and archives of industrial development agencies, it compares earlier steel towns and state-run industrial estates with today's Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and argues that they embody different regimes of dispossession. While steel towns and industrial estates reflected a regime of land for production with pretensions of inclusive social transformation, SEZs represent a neoliberal regime of land for the market in which ‘land broker states’ have emerged to indiscriminately transfer land from peasants to capitalist firms for real estate. The present regime has been unable to achieve the ideological legitimacy of its predecessor, leading to more widespread and successful ‘land wars’. The article argues more broadly that variations in dispossession across space and time can be understood as specific constellations of state roles, economic logics tied to class interests and ideological articulations of the ‘public good’.