This book provides a sociological analysis of the controversy surrounding GM crops in Telangana, India. There is much debate as to whether GM technology holds the key to improving the welfare of poor farmers globally or serves primarily to increase the profits of multinational corporations while enhancing cultivator risk.
Desmond’s study is located in the economically vulnerable and politically volatile district of Warangal in Telangana, a context associated with high numbers of farmer suicides. Uniquely foregrounding the perspectives of cultivators and the landless, Desmond explores how GM crops are variously legitimated and delegitimated in three Warangal villages by those whose livelihoods are at stake in the debate, but whose voices are rarely heard within it.
This book will be significant for those with an interest in GM crops, power and knowledge and their relation to understandings of development, democracy and risk management worldwide.
“… Based on meticulous field work in India’s cotton belt; …Elaine Desmond has demonstrated remarkable scholarship in presenting the process of technology legitimation and delegitimation at different levels of politicisation. In doing so, the work is potentially seminal for an improved understanding of technology uncertainty, institutional realities, and vested interests that are central to the process of technology diffusion.” (Prof.Sarthak Gaurav)
“Explored through stakeholder analysis and village fieldwork in the crisis-ridden state of Telangana, this book exposes democratic flaws in mediating risk exposure, markets and social justice. It is an original contribution to scholarship on GM (genetically modified) seeds and builds a powerful case for the redistribution of resources and knowledge. It is very relevant to students of rural development and innovation, not only in India, but worldwide.” (Barbara Harriss-White, Emeritus Professor of Development Studies, Oxford University)
“Drawing on field research in a key area of India's cotton belt, Desmond's insightful analysis of the GMO controversy focuses on the underlying struggles over how society manages risk as technologies change. This book is a timely and measured contribution and will be of interest to those concerned with the broader implications of the GMO debate for the global governance of risk.” (Glenn Davis Stone, Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies, Washington University)