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Everyday Peace?: Politics, Citizenship and Muslim Lives in India

ISBN: 978-1-118-83778-8
248 pages
August 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
Everyday Peace?: Politics, Citizenship and Muslim Lives in India (1118837789) cover image


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 northern India as it is experienced by the Hindu-Muslim community.

  • Challenges normative understandings of Hindu-Muslim relations as relentlessly violent and the notion of peace as a romantic endpoint occurring only after violence and political maneuverings
  • Examines the ways in which geographical concepts such as space, place, and scale can inform and problematize understandings of peace
  • Redefines the politics of peace, as well as concepts of citizenship, agency, secular politics, and democracy
  • Based on over 14 months of qualitative and archival research in the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India
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Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Preface viii

Acknowledgements ix

List of Abbreviations xii

Glossary xiv

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

References 191

Index 213

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Author Information

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.

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'In this sparkling new book, Philippa Williams describes in rich detail the social practices binding Hindus and Muslims together in the Indian city of Varanasi. Williams not only challenges received wisdom on religious communal relations in India but also demonstrates the crucial importance of examining the social reproduction of everyday peace. A tour de force.'

— Craig Jeffrey, Professor of Development Geography, University of Oxford, UK

'Philippa Williams' new book is in the best tradition of interdisciplinary and critical work on peace. Research and theory about peacemaking and peacebuilding has historically shifted from dealing with inter-state war to how peace is configured through everyday social relations. Work on the latter approach is becoming increasingly sophisticated and interdisciplinary. It often draws upon examples now becoming visible because of more sophisticated methodologies and theory, from across the world, and as opposed to the Eurocentric exemplars commonly used in political science. Williams' study pioneers new understandings of the spatial and social production of peace especially in subaltern frameworks such as some of India's Muslim communities.'

— Oliver Richmond, Professor of International Relations, Peace & Conflict Studies, University of Manchester, UK

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