Juhi Tyagi has a PhD in Sociology from Stony Brook University, New York where she worked on resilience in armed movements. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the International Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Erfurt/Delhi. Before starting her doctoral program, Juhi worked for several years doing research and advocacy in regions of political conflict in India. She has a Masters in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. Her research interests include social movements, insurgency, complex organizations, gender, economic sociology, and development. She has published is several peer reviewed journals such as Mobilization, The Sociological Quarterly and Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations.
Peasant Discontent & States: How armed groups impact state-capital trajectories and forward peasant interests
This project studies the effectiveness of radical groups in targeting the state for advancing the material and social interests of peasants. Social movements around the world have focused on states as the primary targets of their struggles. States, in turn, have been found to be influenced by the corporate class and, ultimately, in the gains they deliver to social movements resulting from a reconciliation with business interests. Although ample evidence suggests the embeddedness of corporate networks in the functioning of states, overly simplified formulations, such as viewing states as tools at the disposal of the business elite, need reformulation – with data on when, how and by how much.
States cannot afford a complete submission to business interests at the cost of political upheaval. Thus, they need to manage their own economic interests alongside their citizen's demands. An investigation of the gains made by collective struggles against the state would hence achieve three things: One, provide insights into the business class interests of the state (by means of what the state is willing to concede to and not); two, mediate between the highly prevalent ongoing debate on the degree of infiltration of capital relations in rural Asian economies; and, three, examine the effectiveness of armed peasant groups in improving local conditions under particular state-capital configurations.
This research relies on interviews, village studies and quantitative data of the political economy and social movement landscapes from two comparable regions in India – which witnessed the presence and absence of collective action respectively. Analysis of archival material contributes towards a historical dimension, for establishing socio-political contingencies in the emergence of the mercantile class, their transition into agricultural capitalists – and – their evolving influence on state actions.
The implications of this research are far reaching. With a four-fold increase in armed movements across the globe in the last decade – several within agrarian economies – it informs our analysis of the state and capital in creating and sustaining the conflict infrastructure.