Original, thought-provoking and gender-sensitive, Environmental Politics is an inquiry into why environmentalism has not yet had a greater impact on people's lives or on development policy in India. While sharing the environmentalists' concern about the direction of development, author Sumi Krishna does not restate well-worn arguments against conventional development, but provides an introspective analysis of the environmental movement and debate. The book challenges several ideological assumptions relating to environmental issues, and questions the effectiveness of environmentalism in dealing with complex problems such as population growth, and technological choices and conflicts over the use of resources. Stressing the premise that the environmental movement is not homogenous and that it encompasses a diversity of views and ideological positions, the author identifies and analyses the different approaches to the environment. Wide-ranging case studies reflect the successes and limitations of both institutional and populist ecology, and the roles that tradition, caste, women, and local communities play in environmental issues. The author doesn't offer simplistic solutions in conclusion, but urges that environmentalism should be redirected toward a broader agenda aimed at progressive changes in the structure of society. Emphasizing that people's lives and their interactions with the environment will change over time, she argues that environmentalism should extend the range of choices for the poor, not diminish them. Thoroughly researched, this book covers a wide range of pertinent issues and adds a different perspective to the debate on the environment in India. It constitutes an immensely useful resource for institutions, development policy makers and planners, professionals and researchers dealing with environmental issues, as well as for activists and the general reader.