CECI n'est pas EXECUTE Jose Egas

Jose Egas

PhD Student
Institutional affiliation(s): EHESS

Professional contact information



Dissertation directors: Loraine Kennedy and Blandine Ripert

PhD program: EHESS - Territories, Societies, Development

Initial registration: 2014

Development, Conservation and Land Tenure: Adivasi Mobilization in Northern Kerala


On the basis of a critical approach to the Indian State’s liberalization project, the aim of my dissertation is to contribute to the debate on the mobilization of tribal castes in Southern India, particularly in Kerala, with a particular emphasis placed on the restructuring of rural political space through public action, democracy and resistance. In order to make the critical points of convergence between these dimensions explicit, this study aims to understand, from the point of view of political economy, the dynamics that contribute to configuring land tenure to the advantage of local elites and to implementing a fairly rigid environmental governance that fetishizes anthropic activity. My research thus queries the effectiveness of the political mobilization of the Adivasi and includes an analysis of two courses of action: electoral participation, on the one hand, as a chancy first step towards democracy, and grassroots protest on the other (public manifestations, land obstruction and other forms of protest that are exterior to democratic action), as an opportunity to make oneself seen in the public space by accumulating political capital in order to access social reform. Within this analytical trajectory, the dissertation also evaluates the rifts that open up within cohesion, the hierarchization of roles and the forming of internal elites among the Adivasi. Theses aspects reveal the processes of resistance that come out of the idea of a unified political project. While some sectors of this tribal elite have made a substantial profit out of the reservations in the electoral distribution, others have managed to find a niche for themselves in the administrave bureaucracy and circulate at a local scale at which they have the authority to make political decisions. This micro-scale, which is the result of formal institutions as well as informal processes that are the hallmark of localized democracy, makes it possible to apprehend the stakes involved in the play between resistance and public policy by revealing the role of Adivasi communities within the political landscape.




Since 2014 | Statutory PhD Student EHESS / CEIAS. Associate PhD Student, Institut Français de Pondichéry (IFP)

2013-2014 | Erasmus Mundus Master’s - Environmental Management of Ecosystems and Tropical Forests - AgroParisTech / Supagro, Montpellier (Thesis: “Conservation and Tribal development In Kerala South India”

2012-2013 | Erasmus Mundus Master’s - MSc Forests and livelihoods - University of Copenhagen / Faculty of Science

2007-2009 | Master’s in Communication - Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar UASB – Quito, Equador (Thesis: “Nuevos usos sociales de la fotografía: formas de representación y auto-representación fotográfica en las comunidades virtuales”)

2001-2007 | Bachelor’s in Social Anthropology - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador PUCE (Thesis: “Demanda, protesta y participación. El movimiento Indígena de Cotopaxi”)




2017 | La politique des faits et les moments politiques du chercheur dans un district adivasi en Inde du Sud.Gruaduate Student Conference organized by the LESC - UMR 7186 « Anthropologie critique et critique politique » 22-23 June 2017
Nanterre - Maison Archéologie et Ethnologie René Ginouvès

2016 | Identity, land and conservation: resilient Adivasis resistance in Kerala; 24th European Conference on South Asian Studies ECSAS – Panel 1 “Writing Adivasis histories” July 2016, Warsaw, Poland.

2016 | Adivasis Land: The postponed goals of ST affirmative action in Kerala; Public presentation, ATREE, Bangalore, India, 22 April 2016

2016  | An approach to Wayanad Forest dynamics. The axis between tribal development and conservation; Public presentation Institut Français de Pondichéry (IFP), Pondicherry, India, 22 April 2016


Research promotion


2017 | Coordinator of the conference entitled: « Pensar el Ecuador desde el mundo, pensar el mundo desde el Ecuador », EHESS, Paris 29 June 2017




2013 | Wilms - Posen, N.; Murer, C; Brandao, L.; Egas, J. "Joint Forest Management in Western Uganda -Impacts of decentralized decision-making on local livelihoods", IFSA News Journal, N.56, Freiburg, 2013.

2011 | Egas, Jose; "Saga: Fotografía y cultura" En: Coloma, A.; Ayala, R. Egas, J., En Contraste: Laboratorio Movil de Fotografía. CTB Ecuador / ALDHEA, Quito, 2011.

2009 | Egas, Jose; " Política Indígena en Cotopaxi. “La demanda, la protesta y la participación del MICC" Antropología: Cuadernos de investigación No. 8, November, PUCE, Quito, 2009.

2005 | Egas, Jose; "Literature and Structuralism, Anthropology overview", Antropología: Cuadernos de investigación No. 5, PUCE, Quito, 2005.


Scholarships and funding


2013-2014 | Erasmus Mundus Mobility Scholarship. Program: Master’s in Agricultural Sciences, emphasis in environmental management of ecosystems and tropical forests. AgroParisTech - Institut des Sciences et Industries du Vivant et de l'Environnement, Montpellier (July 2013 – July 2014).

2013 | Copenhagen University Fieldwork Scholarship. Research project entitled: "The Consequences of Palm Oil Plantations in Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia. Case Study of Socio-economic and Environmental Effects in the Mentu Mawang Community." Copenhagen University - SLUSE - ILUNMR. (February 2013)

2011 | Scholarship from the Ministry of Higher Education, Sciences and Technology SENESCYT, Equador. Erasmus Mundus Master’s Program SUTROFOR - Copenhagen University / AgroParisTech (GEEFT).



Last update: 5 October 2017


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