Wednesday, November 28, 2018
4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
McKinney Conference Room
Reception to follow.
Over the past three decades, women’s rights against violence have become heavily politicized in India. Diverse organizations weigh in on legal cases, providing financial, social, and political support to survivors and alleged perpetrators. Using data gathered through twenty-six months of participant observation with survivors, activists, and law enforcement personnel, this talk examines the consequences of these movements.
My research showed that politicization of individual cases does not improve survivors’ chances of receiving formal legal remedies, but it does have significant extra-legal consequences. Facing organized pressure, under-resourced and over-extended law enforcement personnel outsourced regulatory duties to civil society groups and to survivors themselves.
Using these findings, this talk builds a more general theory of rights struggles in developing, post-colonial contexts where democratic politics butts heads with limited states. I argue that within these conditions, rights mobilizations affirm a vicious cycle of state neglect while opening new risky spaces for women’s political and social assertions.