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Controlling the WaterMatching Technology and Institutions in Irrigation Management in India and Nepal$
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Dik Roth and Linden Vincent

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198082927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198082927.001.0001

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Transformation of Tank Irrigation Policy and Technology on the Interface of a Recursive State–Society Relationship

Transformation of Tank Irrigation Policy and Technology on the Interface of a Recursive State–Society Relationship

Chapter:
(p.229) 8 Transformation of Tank Irrigation Policy and Technology on the Interface of a Recursive State–Society Relationship
Source:
Controlling the Water
Author(s):

Dik Roth

Linden Vincent

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198082927.003.0009

Both influential scholarly works and development policy provide a powerful discursive space to the idea of local or pre-modern knowledge and community control over natural resources. This chapter provides a critique of both the ideas of the superiority of local or pre-modern knowledge and of community as a suitable form of institutional control over resources. It locates the transformation of pre-modern tank irrigation technology in the socio-agrarian context of Karnataka in the last four decades. The author ultimately argues that technological artifacts are not inert objects. They articulate with a complex mix of social tensions, relations of power, and ideological systems, and are transformed in historical processes. Those who advocate artifacts and knowledge systems as objects of values and virtues fail to capture their social and political scripting, thus denying technology as a historical process.

Keywords:   tank irrigation technology, irrigation designs, technological transformations, traditional knowledge, paddy cultivation, agrarian politics, agrarian change, state–society relationships, technological scripts, irrigation in Karnataka

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