State Life: Land, Welfare and Management of the Landless in Kerala, India
The pressing need to manage the spiralling number of landless people around the world has compelled several states to experiment with scattered land distribution programmes in combination with welfare transfers, instead of comprehensive land reform. This article examines the chasm between land demands and state responses in such contexts. Focusing on the Aralam resettlement site for the landless Adivasis in Kerala, India, it argues that management of the landless could take the form of ‘state life’ — a life envisaged by the state rather than the life the people wish to lead. Three interlinked processes are shown to shape state life in Kerala: the reduction of land to welfare, amplified welfare transfers and the mobilization of assumptions about the target population. State life enables states to extinguish simmering land struggles in the short term, but ultimately it reproduces landlessness.
Sudheesh, R. C., "State Life: Land, Welfare and Management of the Landless in Kerala, India" (2023). Articles. 53.
Development and Change