My book manuscript, The Energy State: Fossil Fuels, Economic Development, and Extractive Democracy in Postcolonial India, asks how a singular dependence on coal as the dominant energy resource of the nation shaped the politics of democracy and development in India during the twentieth century. Focusing on the formation of the mining complexes of India's eastern coal belt, this research documents how these areas came to be regarded as extreme examples of "developmental failure" under the postcolonial state, becoming marked by a politics of widespread corruption, anti-state violence, adivasi or first-nations secession movements, and state-sponsored paramilitaries. These political forms, I argue, were not aberrations external to postcolonial India's model of democratic development, but were indeed produced within specific regimes of law, science, and capital that provided the developmental state its most vital commodity: carbon energy. Reconstructing the formation of this social world of extraction from its origins in the global scramble for carbon resources during the late colonial period to the years of political crisis preceding India's coal nationalization in the 1970s, "Extractive Ecologies" offers a new interpretation of India's postcolonial history that brings issues of the environment, law, state violence, and indigenous identity to the center of the historiography of development and decolonization.       

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