‘Environmentality’ in rajasthan’s groundwater sector: Divergent environmental knowledges and subjectivities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This interpretive framework informs the present work, conceptually and methodologically, in four distinct ways. First, it is concerned with the ways in which the environment is discursively framed as an object of concern by the state and, in this instance as something that needs to be conserved and protected. Second, it examines the ways in which this new environmental awareness relies on the interaction of different forms of knowledge but especially the deployment of that knowledge by the state that is commonly defined both by regulator and regulated as expert and on which the authority of conservation rests. Exploring this confluence of topics opens up a space in which to understand both how people understand or see the state (Corbridge et al. 2005) and what this might mean for successful regulation. Third, environmentality shows how these ideas, and the rules needed to promote them, are most effective when their production and enforcement is decentralized. And fourth, it highlights that the legitimation of these ideas cannot be imposed but must be instilled, in accordance with the norm of decentralization, through governmentalized localities; this depends on the simultaneous production of environmental subjects, who will willingly perform the tasks of monitoring and enforcement. These concrete concerns can be expressed in the form of three distinct questions: 1) how and why does the state produce environmental subjects and what are the tensions in this process?; 2) how does looking to divergent state and local environmental knowledges inform this process?; and 3) what does this mean for the future efficacy of decentralized environmental regulation? The future of the regulation of Rajasthans groundwater resources, at least in the short-term, depends upon bridging the gap between state and lay environmental knowledge and how these two articulate in particular mutual understandings of each other and of the problems and solutions to groundwater overdraft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationContentious Geographies
Subtitle of host publicationEnvironmental Knowledge, Meaning, Scale
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317160489
ISBN (Print)9780754649717
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science


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