Skip to main content
American Ethnologist (2016)
  • Aradhana Sharma
Civil society groups today are honored and relied on
by governments, as well as tightly regulated and
scrutinized for challenging state policies and
agencies. In contemporary India, political dynamics
of collaboration and confrontation between state
and nonstate actors increasingly unfold in
legal-social fields, taking “technomoral” forms.
Mixing technocratic languages of law and policy
with moral pronouncements, these actors assert
themselves as virtuous agents, marking their
political legitimacy as keepers of the public interest.
Using ethnographic research with Indian NGOs,
social movements, and a political party, we show
that as civil society groups interact with state
bodies, they redefine institutional boundaries and
claim moral authority over public stewardship.
Technomoral strategies are neither depoliticized nor
antipolitical, but constitute a righteous and rightful
form of politics.
  • NGOs,
  • state,
  • India,
  • morality,
  • activist politics,
  • neoliberalism,
  • law
Publication Date
Citation Information
Aradhana Sharma. "BORNSTEIN_SHARMA-2016-American_Ethnologist.pdf" American Ethnologist (2016)
Available at: