Neo-Liberalism, Mining and Labour in the Indian State of Odisha: Outlining a Political Economy Analysis (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2016.1277252) is a path-breaking analysis that seeks to link changes in work in mines to the broader political economy of the region.
The abstract states:
In a context of mining privatisation and a drive towards labour informalisation in India, this article investigates the implications for labour of the neo-liberal agenda in the mining sector of the Indian state of Odisha. This is part of a broader research project investigating the social dynamics underlying the neo-liberal project in Odisha. The article initially summarises previous analysis of the political economy of mining privatisation policies in order to provide the background for understanding the implications of neo-liberal mining policies for labour. Acknowledging the complexity of labour’s situation and future, the article focuses first on mining labour relations and labour conditions in private iron ore mines; and second, the article seeks to detail the implications of the expansion of opencast mining in forest areas on the livelihoods of that part of the population – mainly consisting of Scheduled Tribes or Adivasis and partially of Scheduled Castes or Dalits – who in some measure depend on forest resources and/or agricultural land in mining areas. In sum, the article attempts to raise the issue of the dynamic interaction between the reproduction of a specific, local, socially and politically dominant class, and the reproduction of labour fragmentation within the neo-liberal turn of capitalism.