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Hearts and mines: A district-level analysis of the Maoist conflict in India


  • Kristian Hoelscher

    (University of Oslo and Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway)

  • Jason Miklian

    (Peace Research Institute Oslo and Noragric, UMB, Ås, Norway)

  • Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati

    (Alfred-Weber-Institute for Economics, University of Heidelberg, Germany)


India’s rapid economic growth over the last decade has been coupled with a Maoist insurgency that competes with the state for rural allegiance. In response to the threat, the Government of India has securitized development, using public works programmes in an attempt to sway locals away from Maoist allegiance. However, these areas are also home to massive iron and coal mines that drive India’s growth. This study aims to address the lack of local-level analysis and the lack of a robust dataset by merging qualitative fieldwork with disparate district-level conflict data sources to explore different potential explanatory variables for the Maoist insurgency, including the relationship between development works, violence, and natural resource extraction. We find that while effective implementation of development programmes is loosely related to the immediate suppression of violent activities in Maoist-affected districts, and under certain conditions mining activity increases the likelihood for conflict, it is the presence of scheduled caste and tribal communities that is the best predictor of violence.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristian Hoelscher & Jason Miklian & Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati, 2012. "Hearts and mines: A district-level analysis of the Maoist conflict in India," International Area Studies Review, Center for International Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 141-160, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:intare:v:15:y:2012:i:2:p:141-160

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:506-522 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Chakraborty, Lekha & Garg, Shatakshi & Singh, Gurpreet, 2016. "Cashing in on Mining: The Political Economy of Mining Regulations and Fiscal Policy Practices in India," Working Papers 16/161, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    3. repec:eee:wdevel:v:111:y:2018:i:c:p:113-129 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Gomes, Joseph Flavian, 2015. "The Political Economy of the Maoist Conflict in India: An Empirical Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 96-123.
    5. repec:eee:wdevel:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:338-357 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. de Juan, Alexander, 2012. "Mapping Political Violence – The Approaches and Conceptual Challenges of Subnational Geospatial Analyses of Intrastate Conflict," GIGA Working Papers 211, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.


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