Displacement, Resettlement, and Rehabilitation

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Discipline ElectiveSHE2ED3092

To which offered: (I/ III/ V) IV semester

Course Title: Displacement, Resettlement, and Rehabilitation

Credits: 2 Credits

Course Code (new): SHE2ED309

Type of Course: Elective

Cohort : MAED

Course Coordinator and Team: Prof. Asmita Kabra

Email of course coordinator: asmita[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None


Land is the basis for all productive activity, and as such, is at the crux of issues and debates on environment and development. Concerns of growth, distribution and sustainability are linked intimately with questions about land ownership, access and use. This course will familiarize students with some of these issues in the backdrop of the global surge in land acquisition and involuntary displacement since the 1980s, which has reconfigured traditional forms of access, tenure and control over land in the global South.

Learning objectives

This 2-credit interdisciplinary course will provide students with a holistic view of global and local frameworks of law, policy and experience of land acquisition, population displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation. The questions of voluntary versus involuntary displacement, special concerns relating to indigenous communities, and the challenges of post-displacement reconstruction of livelihoods will be discussed in depth. On successful completion of the coursework, students will be able to understand and apply these concepts in consultancies, research projects, advocacy and field action related to land acquisition, displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation. As such, it is useful for those seeking careers as consultants, field practitioners, researchers or activists, or simply as engaged citizens.

Course Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Read and comprehend perspectives on involuntary land acquisition and displacement from social sciences, law and public administration
  2. Critically analyse and compare national and global law/policy frameworks governing land acquisition and resettlement through evidence-based arguments
  3. Critically engage with alternative discourses from political science, economics, sociology, law, philosophy and anthropology to identify the impacts of displacement
  4. Apply this conceptual understanding to real-world case studies of displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation
  5. Design and carry out careful field-based enquiry into impact of land acquisition on the life and livelihoods of urban and rural populations

Course Outline

S. No.

Module name


Development and displacement: An overview of issues and debates


Land acquisition laws and policies: Global and Indian perspectives


Theorizing displacement: CBA, IRR and political economy approaches


Displacement, resistance and social movements


Resettlement, rehabilitation and livelihood reconstruction


Research methods in displacement and resettlement

Indicative Reading List

  1. Baviskar, A. In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995.
  2. Brockington, Daniel and James Igoe. "Eviction for Conservation: A Global Overview." Conservation and Society, Vol.4, No.3, 2006: 424-470.
  3. Cernea, Michael M. “The Risks and Reconstruction Model for Resettling Displaced Populations.” World Development October 25, 1997: 1569-87
  4. Dwivedi, R. “ Displacement, Risks and Resistance: Local Perceptions and Actions in the Sardar Sarovar.” Development and Change 30(1), 1999: 43-78.
  5. Dwivedi, R. “Models and Methods in Development-induced Displacement.” Development and Change 33(4), 2002: 709-732.
  6. Hakim, Roxanne P. “From Corn to Cotton: Changing indicators of fod security amongst resettled Vasavas.” In Risks and Reconstruction: Experience of resettlers and refugees, by M. and C. McDowell Cernea, 229-252. Washington D.C.: The World Bank, 2000.
  7. Hakim, Roxanne P. “Identity, Resettlement and Perceptions of Change: The Vasava Bhils of Gujarat, India.” Goldsmiths Anthropology Research Papers, University of London, 2000.
  8. Iyer, Ramaswamy R. “Towards a Just Displacement and Rehabilitation Policy.” Economic and Political Weekly Volume 42, No.30, 2007: 3103-3107
  9. Kabra, Asmita (2016). “Assessing economic impacts of forced land acquisition and displacement: A qualitative rapid research framework”. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal Vol.34, Issue 1.DOI: 10.1080/14615517.2015.109603
  10. Kabra, Asmita, and Sonam Mahalwal. 2014. “Impact of Conservation-Induced Displacement on Host Community Livelihoods: Complicating the DIDR Narratives.” Land Use Policy 41 (November): 217–24. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2014.05.010.
  11. Kabra, A. Conservation-induced displacement: Anatomy of a win-win solution.Social Change Volume 43, Number 4 (December 2013). doi: 10.1177/0049085713502592Social Change December 2013 vol. 43 no. 4 533-550
  12. Kabra, Asmita. "Conservation-induced Displacement: A comparative study of two Indian Protected Areas." Conservation and Society 7(4), 2009: 249-267.
  13. Mathur, H.M. (ed). Managing Resettlement in India: Approaches, Issues, Experiences. New Delhi, Oxford University Press. 2006.
  14. McLean, J. and S. Straede. "Conservation, relocation, and the paradigms of Park and people management: A case study of the Padampur villages and the Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal." Society and Natural Resources 16, 2003: 509-526.
  15. Nielsen, Kenneth. 2011. “Land, law and resistance”, Economic and Political Weekly Vol 66, No. 41; 38-40.
  16. Penz, Peter, Jay Drydyk and Pablo S. Bose. (2011). Displacement by development: ethics, rights and responsibilities. Edinborough: Cambridge University Press. Introduction and Chapter 1.
  17. World Bank Operational Manual, Operational Policies. 2001. Involuntary Resettlement. Washington DC.

Course Organization and Teaching

The coursework will consist of two weekly lectures by the course faculty. Lectures will be based on prior reading by students and will be interactive and discussion-based. Outline notes for each lecture will be posted to students by email.

The course will use a host of case studies from India and elsewhere to illustrate core concepts. The pedagogy will combine classroom lectures with intensive reading, seminars, small group discussions and presentations.


There will be two or three assessments during the course, in the form of test/essay/seminar presentations, including a choice based essay on a sector/theme of choice for each student.