THE book examines the interaction of nature and society through the lens of groundwater development. It explores how the nature shapes trajectories of changes in agrarian
societies and, in turn, how communities respond to changes in the natural resource base on which they depend.
The author argues that dependence on groundwater structurally influences the direction of agrarian change and moulds the economic fortunes of farmers and communities in locally specific ways. He examines the role of the state, of class structures and caste relations in determining the outcomes of struggle for, access to and control over water.
The author maintains that though societies develop new institutions to address problems of groundwater depletion, these intstitutions are neither homogenous nor equally beneficial to all. The work is based on detailed empirical work in two villages of North Gujarat. It closely examines markets for groundwater and suggests that institutions of agrarian exchange are best understood through an examination of economic functions, social norms and the exercise of power.
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