Winner of the 2016 Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award of the Political Geography Specialty Group at the AAG
Providing important insights into political geography, the politics of peace, and South Asian studies, this book explores everyday peace in north India as it is experienced by Muslims living and working alongside Hindus. Based on over 14 months of qualitative and archival research in the regional city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, it looks specifically at the everyday experiences and perspectives of the Muslim community to see how peace is socially and spatially produced. The author challenges normative understandings of Hindu–Muslim relations as relentlessly violent and instead demonstrates the ways in which Muslims are orientated towards securing and maintaining peace within India s secular state. In doing so, she dispels the notion of peace as a romantic endpoint occurring only after violence and political maneuverings.
The author also examines the ways in which geographical concepts such as space, place, and scale can inform and problematize understandings of peace. She applies a critical eye to understanding how practices of peace and non–violence are themselves inherently political, and play out through different spatial and material geographies. Filled with examples and case studies from the individual to the national level, this study uses the lens of geography to redefine the politics of peace and concepts of citizenship, agency, secular politics, and democracy.
Series Editors Preface viii
List of Abbreviations xii
List of Figures xix
1 Introduction 1
2 The Scalar Politics of Peace in India 35
3 Making Peace Visible in the Aftermath of Terrorist Attacks 67
4 Political life: Lived Secularism and the Possibility of Citizenship 90
5 Civic Space: Playing with Peace and Security/Insecurity 109
6 Economic Peace and the Silk Sari Market 138
7 Becoming Visible: Citizenship, Everyday Peace and the Limits of Injustice 159
8 Conclusions: Questioning Everyday Peace 176
Philippa Williams is Lecturer in Human Geography at Queen Mary University of London, UK. Her research and teaching intersect political, economic, and development geography, with a focus on everyday life in India and its transnational community. Her work investigates citizenship, development and justice, economic transformations, and the political economy of violence and non–violence. She is currently working on research projects in New Delhi and London funded by the British Academy, Royal Geographical Society, and Cambridge Humanities Research Grants Scheme. Her work has been published in leading journals, including Annals of the Association of American Geographers and Citizenship Studies. She is co–editor of Geographies of Peace (2014) and Secretary for the British Association for South Asian Studies.