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Earth Democracy

Earth Democracy

Vandana Shiva


Additional Information


'One of the world's most prominent radical scientists.' 
The Guardian

This book remains one of Vandana Shiva's key works, in which she addresses some of the most pressing issues of our age – the privatization of our natural resources, the looming environmental crisis, and the rising tide of fundamentalism and violence against women.

In spite of all this, Shiva still sees cause for hope. Across the globe, a new wave of protest movements are championing alternatives based on inclusion, nonviolence, the free sharing of resources and the reclamation of the commons. Shiva argues that these ideals can serve as the basis for “earth democracy”, and for a more just and sustainable future.

This edition features a new preface by the author, in which she outlines recent developments in ecology and environmentalism, and offers new prescriptions for the environmental movement.

Vandana Shiva, a world-renowned environmental leader and thinker, is director of the Research Foundation on Science, Technology and Ecology.  Her many books include Ecofeminism, Soil, Not Oil and Staying Alive. Shiva has served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as non-governmental organizations including the Women's Environment Development Organization and the Third World Network. She is one of the leaders of the International Forum on Globalization, and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (1993).

'One of the world's most prominent radical scientists.' 
The Guardian

'A world leading expert on food sustainability.'
Refinery 29

'Shiva is a burst of creative energy, an intellectual power.'
The Progressive

'A leading thinker who has eloquently blended her views on the environment, agriculture, spirituality, and women's rights into a powerful philosophy.' 
Utne Reader

'In Earth Democracy, Shiva provides us with yet another commanding book that evaluates the fragile relationships between man and the environment.'
The Ecologist

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cover
About the Author ii
Title Page iii
Copyright iv
Contents v
Preface to the 2016 Edition vii
Introduction: Principles of Earth Democracy 1
Chapter One: Living Economies 13
The Three Economies 14
Nature’s Economy 15
The Sustenance Economy: Bringing People Back into the Picture 17
Markets and the Market 18
The Domination of the Market\r 19
What are the Commons? 21
Terra Nullius 22
The English Enclosures 23
From Commons to Commodities: Colonialism as Enclosure 25
Birth of Corporations 27
Economic Globalization/Corporate Globalization 29
Growth and Efficiency in the Market 32
Globalized Agriculture 33
Contemporary Enclosures 39
Intellectual Property Laws 40
Privatization of Water 42
“Takings” and Enclosures 44
Loss of Workers’ Security 48
The Blindness of the Market 49
Sustainability 50
Stability 51
The False Tragedy of the Commons 53
Myths About and Reasons for Overpopulation 57
Living Economies 61
Justice & Stability 63
Localization 64
Regulating the Market 65
Living Economies for Rejuvenation of Livelihoods 66
Living Economies in Practice 67
Navdanya: The Living Economy of Food 67
Lijjat Pappad: A Women’s Economy 68
Dabbawalas, the Dignity of Labor 70
Conclusion 71
Chapter Two: Living Democracies 73
Globalization and the Limits of Representative Democracy 73
The Crisis of Democracy in the Age of Globalization 74
Victory in Cancún 75
Free Market Democracy and Fundamentalism 80
Reinventing Local, Reinventing Global 82
The Community, the State, and the Corporation 86
From Politics of Exclusion to Politics of Inclusion 88
Localization is Not Autarky 89
People’s Protectionism 90
Diversity and Freedom 91
Seed Saving: Our Ethical Duty, Our Human Right 94
Living Democracy Movement 96
From Biodiversity to Monocultures 98
Toxic Pollution 101
Pollution and Depletion of Water Resources 102
Erosion of Soil and Soil Fertility 103
Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change 103
Organic Farming: The Ecological and Economic Imperative 104
From Dying Democracies to Living Democracies 106
Chapter Three: Living Cultures 109
From Cultures of Death to Cultures of Life 111
Globalization and Culture Wars 117
Globalization as Genocide 120
WTO Kills Farmers 120
Globalization and Crimes Against Women 130
Women: The Providers of Food and Water 130
The Trade Metaphor Versus Nature’s Economy 131
Braving a New Analysis 131
The Convergence of Patriarchies and Fundamentalisms 132
Female Feticide: Disappearing Women 134
Women as Guardians and Promoters of Life-Centered Cultures 138
Declaration of Interdependence 142
Chapter Four: Earth Democracy in Action 145
Bija Swaraj: Reclaiming the Democracy of All Life 145
Basmati Biopiracy 147
Monsanto’s Biopiracy of Indian Wheat 148
Anna Swaraj (Food Democracy) 151
The Law for Food Fascism 152
Food Laws and Safety for India’s Diverse and Local Food Economy 156
The Right to Information 159
Terra Madre: A Celebration of Living Economies 160
Another Paradigm for Food 162
Food Democracy 164
Jal Swaraj (Water Democracy) 167
Women Against Coca-Cola 168
Plachimada Declaration 170
Creating Water Democracy in Delhi 172
Citizens Statement on Water Tariff Increase 178
Rerouting Rivers: The Dream Project for Water Privateers. 179
The Himalayan Component 179
The Peninsular Component Includes 180
Conclusion 183
Notes 187
Index 195