Neo-liberalising Inclusion? Waste picking, data activism, and the state

Harsha Anantharaman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Non-governmental organisations and civil society actors have mobilised in several Indian cities around issues facing informal waste pickers. Data (surveys, narratives, visualisations) is a key basis on which NGOs premise such negotiations with the state. How a data-based NGO–state collaboration can provide the state new modalities of intervention and control over informal labour and its unaccounted value chains is discussed. However, the state’s response, as observed in Chennai, had been fractured and idiosyncratic. Given this, it is also shown how this selective “hearing” by the state is articulated with certain dynamics of data and NGO activism to facilitate the roll-out and rollback processes of neo-liberalisation in Chennai.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalEconomic and Political Weekly
Issue number47
StatePublished - 2019

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© 2019 Economic and Political Weekly. All rights reserved.


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