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Markets of protection: the 'terrorist' maoist movement and the state in Jharkhand, India

Shah, Alpa ORCID: 0000-0003-1233-6516 (2006) Markets of protection: the 'terrorist' maoist movement and the state in Jharkhand, India. Critique of Anthropology, 26 (3). pp. 297-314. ISSN 0308-275X

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0308275X06066576


This article explores the continuities between the local state and the ‘terrorist’ extreme left-wing armed guerrilla Naxalite movement, the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), in Jharkhand, Eastern India. The article shows how the MCC gained grassroots support by having greater control over a ‘market of protection’, and not through a shared ideology. This protection is a ‘doubleedged commodity’ – it is protection to access the informal economy of the state but also protection from the possibilities of the protector’s activities. In selling protection, the MCC competes in a market previously controlled by the state. The MCC increases its control over the market as an idea of its immense power – as well as fear of the organization, emerging from both its visible and invisible qualities, including its propensity for violence – is created among its targets. Unveiling this market of protection demonstrates the contested boundaries between the state and the ‘terrorist’ in rural Jharkhand.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2006 The Author
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2013 13:23
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2024 18:09

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