Reviews: In the Shadows

'In the Shadows of the State" is an important, original, thoughtful, and beautifully written book. I have no doubt that it will be considered the single most important account we have of state-society relations in Jharkhand. It is also a remarkably erudite and properly critical account of the production and use of 'indigeneity' and 'development' as social constructions that can contribute to the domination of poor rural Jharkhandis. Its significance ranges far beyond India.' Stuart Corbridge, co-author of Jharkhand: Environment, Development, Ethnicity.

'Tightly argued, this book will stir up debate in anthropology and the study of contemporary India. It will reward close reading because none of its insights are easily won or carelessly tossed out...its sophisticated scholarship and advances the best traditions of scholarly debate in anthropology, in these pages and in the classroom.' K. Sivaramakrishnan, American Anthropologist

'This ethnography should be widely read across the discipline.' Megan Moodie, American Ethnologist

'This is an outstanding book of importance for its content and the challenges it sets out to its readers.' Duncan McDuie-Ra, Asian Studies Review

'In the Shadows of the State" is a simple, engaging, and beautifully written book that makes a significant and original contribution to the global literature on the politics and practice of indigeneity, and to the rich body of critical geographical and anthropological research on tribal life and politics in Jharkhand and eastern India. It should be required reading for all scholars and activists committed to resolving the awkward relationship between indigeneity and indigence.' Haripriya Rangan, Journal of Asian Studies

’In the Shadows of the State is a fine and unusual study of indigenous politics, culture, and activism, which will be of interest to students of India as well as of the cultural politics of indigeneity elsewhere in the world. Alpa Shah provides a robust and non-sentimental ethnography of the realities and contradictions of tribal life, and a powerful critique of the practices of the state, NGOs, and the highly vocal middle-class activists who promote preservation of both natural resources and pristine tribal life.' Thomas Blom Hansen, co-editor of States of Imagination: Ethnographic Explorations of the Postcolonial State

'Alpa Shah s book is an engaged and exceptionally lively account of the intersection between the everyday state and the people of one of India s most marginalized Tribal areas. A major contribution to the regional literature, her sometimes counterintuitive, often sobering, but always compelling analysis richly deserves the attention of anyone interested in the politics of indigeneity and its uneasy relationship with class politics and with left-wing activism.' Jonathan Parry, London School of Economics

'It is a pleasure to read In the Shadows of the State for its delicate handling of such formidable concepts as the state, governance, indigeneity, corruption, and conservation. Nusrat Chowdhury, Political and Legal Anthropology Review

'Alpa Shah's In the shadows of the state is both thought provoking and highly accessible . Shah's work presents a valuable contribution to discussions surrounding the relationship between rural adivasi communities and the deep sources of inequality and misrepresentation which continue to affect their lives . [A]n important work.' Ketan Alder, Contemporary South Asia

'This work is a powerful critique of those who speak in the name of the poor Adivasis in Jharkhand but use them only as a means for advancing their own interests; whether it is the developmental state or the indigenous rights activists or political parties. In its meticulous research, the book explores the dangers of culture-making in the name of the indigenous population. The study provides much insight for those who are interested in questions regarding the nature and functioning of the Indian state, caste system and indigenous rights activism as well for the Left movement in India.' M. Muneer Journal of Contemporary Asia