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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Amma's Daughters«

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Amma's Daughters

Athabasca University Press | Our Lives: Diary, Memoir, and Letters


As a precocious young girl, Surekha knew very little about the details of her mother Amma’s unusual past and that of Babu, her mysterious and sometimes absent father. The tense, uncertain family life created by her parents’ distant and fractious marriage and their separate ambitions informs her every action and emotion. Then one evening, in a moment of uncharacteristic transparency and vulnerability, Amma tells Surekha and her older sister Didi of the family tragedy that changed the course of her life. Finally, her daughters begin to understand the source of their mother’s deep commitment to the Indian nationalist movement and her seemingly unending willingness to sacrifice in the name of that pursuit.

In this re-memory based on the published and unpublished work of Amma and Surekha, Meenal Shrivastava, Surekha’s daughter, uncovers the history of the female foot soldiers of Gandhi’s national movement in the early twentieth century. As Meenal weaves these written accounts together with archival research and family history, she gives voice and honour to the hundreds of thousands of largely forgotten or unacknowledged women who, threatened with imprisonment for treason and sedition, relentlessly and selflessly gave toward the revolution.

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"A well-crafted memoir from the period that reinforces the reader’s understanding of women’s individual and collective importance in the struggle for independence. Within a culture that was undergoing huge cultural and political shifts, many courageous women invested so much for the principles of an independent India, yet they remained constrained and discriminated against because of traditional gendered attitudes. Within those restrictions, Amma constantly had to stand her ground. Fortunately, she had the stamina, stubbornness and fearlessness to do so."

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"A great example of relational storytelling. . . . A memoir that is both engagingly imaginative and archival."

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Meenal Shrivastava is professor of political economy and global studies at Athabasca University.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada«

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Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada

Shrivastava, MeenalStefanick, Lorna (Hrsg.) | Athabasca University Press


Prior to May 2015, the oil-rich jurisdiction of Alberta had, for over four decades, been a one-party state. During that time, the rule of the Progressive Conservatives essentially went unchallenged, with critiques of government policy falling on deaf ears and Alberta ranking behind other provinces in voter turnout. Given the province’s economic reliance on oil revenues, a symbiotic relationship also developed between government and the oil industry. Cross-national studies have detected a correlation between oil-dependent economies and authoritarian rule, a pattern particularly evident in Africa and the Middle East. Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada sets out to test the “oil inhibits democracy” hypothesis in the context of an industrialized nation in the Global North.

In probing the impact of Alberta’s powerful oil lobby on the health of democracy in the province, contributors to the volume engage with an ongoing discussion of the erosion of political liberalism in the West. In addition to examining energy policy and issues of government accountability in Alberta, they explore the ramifications of oil dependence in areas such as Aboriginal rights, environmental policy, labour law, women’s equity, urban social policy, and the arts. If, as they argue, reliance on oil has weakened democratic structures in Alberta, then what of Canada as whole, where the short-term priorities of the oil industry continue to shape federal policy? The findings in this book suggest that, to revitalize democracy, provincial and federal leaders alike must find the courage to curb the influence of the oil industry on governance.

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“This book is a clarion warning of an unacceptable shift in the public sphere towards service of particular economic interests and away from democracy and the legitimate role of the government. […] The book also reveals the ceaseless dispute between business and public interests, or considered from another standpoint, between liberty and justice.”

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Meenal Shrivastava is associate professor of political economy and global studies at Athabasca University.

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Lorna Stefanick is a professor at Athabasca University, where she serves as coordinator for the Governance, Law, and Management program.

 
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