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Title: Gendering resource rights and democratic citizenship
Authors: VASAN, S
Keywords: Community
Issue Date: 2007
Abstract: Recognition of political rights by state and civil society is all essential element of citizenship. However, this limited idea of citizens as rights bearing individuals is insufficient to constitute a democratic citizenship. In a democratic notion of citizenship, individuals are constituted not only as social subjects who receive certain rights from the state, but also as social agents who actively engage with the state. They are not merely holders of political rights conferred by a patriarchal state, but are active constituents of it. While the traditional notion of citizenship has focused on political rights, in subsistence-level societies political rights make little sense in the absence of a right to livelihood. In many rural subsistence-level societies forests are a primary arena for interaction, negotiation, struggle and conciliation between state and society. Policies and practices that shape con trol over forests have a direct impact oil the autonomy of citizens, and a struggle for such rights constitutes individuals as members of civil society. In this context, this article examines forest policies in Himachal Pradesh for their role in the recognition of the autonomy, rights and responsibilities of women. A reconstruction of the notion of citizenship needs to include livelihood rights as this often is the actual terrain where political rights are exerted, where struggles and negotiation between state and civil society takes place, and where individuals emerge as citizens. In addition, it is emphasised that active political engagement is a critical element of a democratic notion of citizenship, in addition to citizens being rights-bearing individuals.
ISSN: 0971-5215
Appears in Collections:Proceedings papers

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