Re-evaluating Gandhi

Swaraj and Swadeshi in ‘Environmental’ Activism


  • Peter Cox University College Chester



Gandhi, green movement, environmental activism, liberation, post-colonial theory, swaraj, swadeshi


Gandhian contributions to the development of the green movement have been generally under-explored. This article seeks to re-examine key Gandhian themes in order to indicate their potential contribution to some contemporary debates. The emphasis on place-centred knowledge, tempered by a ‘post-relativistic ethic’, is highlighted as a valuable resource for interpreting contemporary ‘environmental’ activism. It is suggested that such a framework can provide grounds for further explorations beyond the limitations of the foundationalism-relativism debate. The Gandhian emphasis on swaraj and swadeshi also open considerable potential to link to wider debates on the nature of liberation, particularly in the context of post-colonial theory.

Author Biography

Peter Cox, University College Chester

Senior Lecturer, Department of Social and Communication Studies, University College Chester, Parkgate Road, Chester CH1 4BJ, UK


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How to Cite

Cox, P. (2004). Re-evaluating Gandhi: Swaraj and Swadeshi in ‘Environmental’ Activism. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 9(1), 105–123.