Intervention, Inclusion and Collective Action

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSHS3DP2102

Semester and Year Offered: Semester 3

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr Imran Amin and Prof Anup Dhar

Email of course coordinator:


Course Objectives/Description:

This course will explore the theories and principles of intervention, inclusion, and collective action and their complexities. It will also look at different approaches to invention aimed at facilitating collective action. This course would help understand the phenomenon of agency, and the various theories of agency and interventions that are aimed at facilitating agency in individuals, groups and communities – in society in general, and rural societies in particular. The aim is to look at agency in the context of development (economic, social, political, and cultural). It also examines the contemporary manifestations of social movements, collective action and people’s resistance and organizations as phenomena of agency. The person(s) of the change agent(s) and the role s/he or they play(s) in stimulating the agency of people and communities is examined. Learners will be equipped with different approaches to intervention and be familiarized with different types of contentions, various mobilization strategies, along with skills to facilitate movement aimed at a developmentally meaningful outcome. Finally, the course shall complicate the question of agency and grapple with the complicated nature of its understanding in the contemporary, along with its stimulation in groups.

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Immerse in and engage with communities in rural and forest societies
  2. Co-research with community their life-worlds, issues and 'problems'
  3. Institute with community a transformative social praxis to work on identified 'problem'
  4. Transform communities with social justice and well-being considerations
  5. Reflect critically on the transformative social praxis instituted

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Unit I Intervention in the Context of Development: The first module looks a various actors involved in or making interventions is social life in the name of development. Looking at state, non-state, individual and community actors, the module offer a critical understanding of debate on their nature, characteristics, struggles and challenges of practice, and their intended output and unintended outcomes.

Unit II Agency in Intervention: The second module takes up the issue of ‘agency’ and its role in facilitating or resisting interventions. It enables the student to have critically reflexive understanding of agency by exposing them to the inherent subjectivation that lies there in. Such an understanding is to allow the student to develop sophisticated evaluative parameters for analyzing intervention.

Unit III Collective Action: The final module looks at theories of collective action to move beyond its logic and tragedy, to engage critically with its struggles in governing the commons of the rural context. Further by focusing on participant and their practices, the psycho-social meaning they attach to events of participation allows students to develop key insights into the co-participation of collectives-in-action for transformative social praxis.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Project: Action Research Plan and Design

Reading List:

  • Kohli, Atul. 2007. State and Redistributive Development in India.
  • Kohli, Atul. 2004. State-Directed Development: Political Power and Industrialization in the Global Periphery. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Koczberski, Gina. 1998. “Women in Development: A critical analysis”. Third World Quraterly. Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 395-409.
  • Lahiri-Dutt, Kuntala and Gopa Samanta. 2006. “Constructing Social Capital: Self-Help Groups and Rural Women's Development in India”. Geographical Research. 44 (3), pp. 285-295
  • Williams, Glyn. 2004. “Evaluating Participatory Development: Tyranny, Power and (Re)politicization”. Third World Quarterly. Vol. 25, No. 3, Pp. 557-578
  • Uma Kothari. 2001. “Power, Knowledge and Social control in Participatory Development”, Chapter 9 of the Book-Cooke, Bill and Uma Kothari. Eds. Participation: The New Tyranny. London: Zed Books.
  • Kumar, Girish. 2006. Local Democracy in India: Interpreting Decentralisation. New Delhi: Sage Publications Pvt. Ltd.
  • Sen, Amartya. 1992. Freedom, Agency and Well-Being. (Chapter 4) in Inequality Reexamined. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


  • Hall, Stuart. 1996. Introduction: Who Needs Identity In The Questions of Cultural Identity. London: Sage Publications
  • Melucci, Alberto. 1996. Challenging Code: Collective Action in the Information Age. Cambridge: The Press Syndicate of Cambridge University Press.
  • Morris D, Aldon, Carol McClurg and Mueller. 1992. Frontiers in Social Movement Theory. Yale University Press.
  • Della Porta, Donatella and Mario Diani. 2006. Social Movements: An Introduction. Wiley Blackwell