Book Reviews

Publication Date01 July 2016
AuthorDipankar Guha
DOI10.1177/0019556120160328
Date01 July 2016
SubjectArticle
BOOK REVIEWS
Ranabir
Samaddar, Government of Peace: Social Governance,
Security
and
the Problematic
of
Peace, England, Ashgate Publishing
Limited, 2015, pp. XII+240, £ 65.
Government
of
Peace
is
the name given to the interface
of
popular
movements, women's and other rights-based claims for
justice
and
recognition and the governing process. And this interface describes the
dynamics
of
how the new governance mechanisms lean towards conflict-
resolution and peace-building and how they have been evolving in the
last two decades or so. The book built around narratives
of
a special type
of
governance whose aim
is
to make social conflicts disappear or at least
become manageable, and schisms in society become occasions for society's
modern development. Social governance
is
a crucial aspect
of
such rule,
which now tries to reshape society
as
the stakeholder
of
ways
of
governance.
Policies are thus aimed at identifying and involving the stakeholders. The
idea
of
a government
of
peace
in
this way sits at the con:
of
the interlinked
issues
of
social governance, peace building and security. Through an
exploration
of
this idea, the book thus addresses a major question in world
politics today, namely, how does post-colonial democracy produce a specific
form
of
governance in order to cope with conflicts, insurgencies, revolts,
and acute dissents? Analysing the Indian experience, the articles in this
volume collectively show how rules
of
social governance have evolved
on
the basis
of
experiences
of
insurgencies and internal conflicts. As a strategy
to cope with acute conflicts, government now- expands hugely; money
becomes more attuned to a money-centric modem way
of
life.
Yet,
as this
book argues, this style
of
g~vemance
does not remain uncontested. New
subjectivities emerge from new movements for social justice powered by
women, migrants, farmers, Dalits, low caste and other subaltern groups,
as
the chapters on Nagaland and Bihar testify.
In this context, this book deals with five overlapping themes: (a) The
evolution
of
post-colonial modes
of
pacification as part
of
a distinct mode
of
governance and its relations with conflict management and the issue
of
peace; (b) Dialogues and their relations with security, peace processes,
and peace accords; (c) Territorial reorganisation (state reorganisations,
creation
of
autonomous areas and homelands) and other governmental
steps towards peace-building; (
d)
The political economy
of
development,

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