DSA2016: Politics in Development
- Prathivadi Bhayankaram Anand (University of Bradford) email
- Shailaja Fennell (University of Cambridge) email
- Flavio Comim (University of Cambridge and UFRGS) email
This panel aims to focus on cities as essential lenses to understand the current and future politics of development and as arenas of multiple conflicts of principles and ideas that shape the achievement of sustainable development.
The aim of this panel is to critically examine current resurgence in thinking about cities as crucial determinants of sustainable development and progress towards SDGs but also to expose some of the weaknesses in current ideas such as 'smart cities' and other related conceptions of cities. In that context, the panelists want to examine alternative lenses or angles including agency, publicness, and sharing and the extent to which these can help in promoting inclusive governance of cities and aim to generate a discussion on some of the key ideas for the politics of the next generation of 'new urban agenda'. Publicness as identified by Rawls and Nussbaum is one lens and capabilities and freedoms in the lines of Amartya Sen are another lens to understand agency and participation. These can be contrasted with conventional lenses of strategic spatial planning approaches and urban governance lenses. The motivation for this panel is that at present while some aspects of inclusiveness of cities are theorised, on the whole there is inadequate theorising of the constituents and determinants of inclusiveness. The aim of this panel is to develop clarity on some of these fundamental ideas and inform and shape the debate.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
The elusive quest for an inclusive city: Critical reflections on 'smart, inclusive and sustainable cities'
Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals captures the ambition to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. This paper critically examines the present approaches to smart, inclusive and sustainable cities and identifies some of the biggest challenges.
Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals captures the ambition to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The very drivers of city growth, namely productivity, innovation and enterprise are also contributors to widening the gap. Glaeser et al (2006) noted a peculiar feature that cities are attractive to the poor people and as a result may have a bigger concentration of poor people than rural areas. Income inequality in American cities has increased between 2007 and 2014. We do not have similar city-wide data for many developing countries but limited evidence from India suggests that urban income inequality especially in the larger cities has increased.
This paper based on a current three year British Academy funded research critically examines the present approaches to smart, inclusive and sustainable cities and identifies some of the biggest challenges to realising SDG11. Each of these adjectives applied to cities calls for various interventions and opens membership for global or national networks and indices. However, whether such programmes contribute to incorrectly focusing on cities for addressing issues which cannot be resolved at city level and require national and even international interventions is a moot point. Who can argue against being a smart or a sustainable city? The real challenge is one of how to address current challenges and deficits while maintaining long term strategic focus on sustainability and well-being and how to develop institutions that are truly inclusive in city that is changing all the time. This paper aims to examine these challenges.
Changing the politics of the state towards more inclusive cities: experiences from two cities in India
This paper examines outcomes of the Basic Services for the Urban Poor (JNNURM) in India. Focusing on Pune and Bhubaneswar, two cities with very different historical trajectories, the text describes and analyses efforts to institutionalise a more participatory and pro-poor politics.
Research on the BSUP sub-Mission of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in the two Indian cities of Pune and Bhubaneswar enables us to explore the ways in which grassroots organizations supported by NGOs can build political relationships that enable disadvantaged households and their communities to advance political inclusion and opportunities for asset accumulation.
The interaction between civil society and both political elites, and at the broader level the polity, has been the subject of considerable discussion. This is particularly the case in India where Chatterjee's distinction between civil and political society resonates among both academic and non-academic observers because of the way in which it captures an exclusionary and exploitative politics. The findings from these two cities enable us to explore the processes through which grassroots organizations, supported by NGOs, are able to advance the institutionalisation of policies, programmes and practices through which the interests of low-income and disadvantaged households are advanced. A temporal analysis stretching back over 15 years helps us understand the dynamic processes that lie behind the creation of development options that are less exclusionary. Findings offer an understanding of what inclusion might mean and how it might be secured.
Sustainable Cities and Educational Inclusion: examining the relationship between skill acquisition and employment outcomes in Indian cities.
This paper uses data from in tier I and tier II cities of expenditure on education and the level of skill acquisition and employment outcomes of youth in peri-urban and rural communities.
Governments tend to provide fewer and poorer quality services in informal urban areas, resulting in a greater risk of growing inequality in skill acquisition accessible established urban residents and migrants. There are also differences in the availability of public provision in small and large cities, with citizens of small- and medium-sized cities being particularly poorly served with regard to educational services.
This paper will examine the impact of a variation in the quality of educational provision in urban and peri-urban spaces on skill acquisition and employment opportunities. Recent data from in tier I and tier II cities on the provision of education to understand how the expenditure on education compares with level of skill acquisition and employment outcomes of youth in peri-urban and rural communities. The implications for current educational provision for the future skilled labour within growing cities in India are critical for understanding how educational inclusion can be a key lever for improving the sustainability of key labour skills in cities.
In the current neoliberal environment, there is a focus on reform that regards 'marketisation' as an effective way to improve public education. This paper concludes by making the case while fiscal constraints that are faced by local and state governments are identified as the rationale for decentralization, it is often the preference to adopt business models rather than directly address the impact of social exclusion, reduced 'publicness' of educational provision on the sustainable human development in the city.
The politics of resilient cities: social inclusion in new regimes of urban environmental governance
The paper shows how notions of rights, responsibilities and resilience are contested as part of struggles for inclusion and how the capabilities of the urban poor are highly differentiated, and influenced by subjective identities and values as well as material status.
The paper examines social inclusion in new regimes of urban environmental governance that seek to promote resilience to climate change. The paper adds to existing theoretical debates about inclusive cities in two ways. First, it shows how notions of rights, responsibilities and resilience do not just frame modes of inclusion, but are contested as part of struggles for inclusion themselves. Second, it shows how the capabilities of the urban poor to act for individual and collective inclusion in projects to protect against climate risks are highly differentiated, and influenced by the subjective identities and values held by different groups, as well as their material statuses. The paper draws on two strands of empirical work which investigate the politics of inclusion and exclusion in the ladera or hillslopes programme, a landslide risk management programme in Bogota, Colombia. The first is based on fieldwork undertaken in 2009-2010 across a cross-section of households in three landslide risk zones, the second is a more recent investigation of the emergence and influence of Arraigo, a community-based platform for citizens affected by risk-related resettlement programmes in the city. The paper shows how the shifting politics of the state and the socio-political dynamics of communities in the risk zones interact to produce inclusion and exclusion, which also determines household and community resilience to risk. The paper will conclude with reflections for theories of urban governance and environmental change, and for the practices of resilience-building, in particular calls for the multi-stakeholder governance of climate change.
The New Urban Agenda of Inclusiveness & Sustainability: A Case Study of 'Smart Cities Mission' in India
Building on urban planning principles and the capability approach, the paper analyses key aspects of inclusiveness and sustainability of cities. Using the case study of the evolving project -'Smart Cities Mission' in India, it also explores the theory and practice of the new urban agenda.
More than 400 million people live in urban India today, almost seven times the population at the time of independence in 1947. Urbanisation in India has been linked with social segregation and higher level of inequality. Indian cities are deeply divided between slums and the rest, gated colony and ghettos, 'safe' and crime-prone, accessible and congested, private and public spaces etc.
The capability approach offers a suitable framework to analyse this fragmentation as it affects the residents' ability to achieve a set of valuable doings and beings: to live with dignity, to value certain types of social relations and opportunities; to influence governance and shape their future in a certain way. This approach allows us to explore the paradigm of new urban agenda of inclusiveness and sustainability based on freedoms, agency, and interactions.
Urban planning principles apply logic of optimal utiliisation of space and efficacy of spatial forms and land uses. The paper examines how the capability approach coupled with urban planning principles can assist in conceptualising cities where all residents can have equal opportunities to live well in the urban space they share on a sustainable basis, with specific reference to the evolving project - 'Smart Cities Mission' in India, launched in 2015. The mission promises to develop '100 Smart Cities' over five years. The paper also critically examines how this mission fits with the new urban agenda and the SDGs, and whether it encompasses an integrated set of policies and innovations for inclusive and sustainable spaces.
Poor households, urban slums and the sustainable city - some reflections
This paper is based on recent fieldwork in the Chennai Metropolitan area, India, which was conducted with a focus on sanitary realities of the peri-urban poor. The paper aims to highlight some of the responses from urban slum households and the implications for sustainability.
This paper is based on recent fieldwork in the Chennai Metropolitan area, India, which was conducted with a focus on sanitary realities of the peri-urban poor. The paper aims to highlight some of the responses from urban slum households and the implications for sustainability. In particular I want to reflect on the realities of sanitation in poor urban settlements and the interface between public policy and lived reality.
The main source of data, qualitative interviews, offer insights not only in regards to sanitation, but also tell a story of employment related migration, urbanization, and how people make ends meet. In this sense the study offers an indication for human decision making based on what is most conducive for survival, an understanding of which would only improve communal politics in a sustainable city that takes into consideration that capability and freedom of its citizens are paramount for their productivity and well-being.
Gender Budgeting for Women's Well-being in Local Administrations in Turkey: An Assessment of Sustainability
This paper will explore the sustainability of gender budgeting practices of the local administrations in Turkey since 2013 and conduct a Well-Being Gender Budget analysis of the two municipalities that were involved in United Nations Joint Program-Women Friendly Cities Project between 2006 and 2014.
Gender budgeting can be a powerful tool to reduce inequalities in the society, specifically if it is implemented by local administrations. A major flaw in the actual practice of gender budgeting is its lack of continuity in general. This paper intends to follow up our research on Well-Being Gender Budget audits carried out in Turkey for 2013 in a selected number of municipalities including those pilot cities, which committed to the United Nations Joint Program-Women Friendly Cities Project (UNJP-WFCP) between 2006 and 2014. Taking that study forward, this paper will explore the sustainability of gender budgeting practices since then and analyse public policy and budget documents of the local administrations from the two cities (which were involved in UNJP-WFCP ), Kars and Nevşehir, for 2013-2016 period from the women's well-being perspective. Our methodology takes its root from the capabilities approach and Gender Well-Being Budgets literature. Annual performance programs and the most recent strategic plans will be audited with a special focus on policies and related budget allocations which directly address women and gender equality. These will be mapped with capabilities to produce analytical tables to see whether there occurred a progress or retreat in mainstreaming gender into budget processes in the recent years. Reflections, if any, of disparities in scale, region and party politics on gender equality concerns at local level will be discussed. A comparative analysis of findings will unravel advantageous and disadvantageous conditions for sustainability of the gender budgeting framework in local administrations in Turkey.
The Intimate State: Ward members' experiences of everyday politics in Dehradun, India
I examine the intimacy of encounters between citizens and ward members at the lowest level of urban governance. I reveal how such experiences emerge from and inform ward members’ understanding of their position, performance of duties, and differential responses to sections of their constituency.
Inclusive urban governance is critical to the achievement of the SDGs, yet everyday experiences of municipal representatives have largely escaped scholarly attention. Ward members in Dehradun, India, are elected representatives at the lowest level of urban governance, and hence at the frontline of citizen/state encounters. Everyday politics is found in citizens' assertions of their rights, demands for services, claims for entitlements, and other requests for state action. Rather than uncritically celebrate the assertiveness of some sections of the urban citizenry, I interrogate the ways failures of governance are devolved to ward members, and the personal costs they bear. Scarce government resources, politics battles between the state, municipal and ward levels of government, and bureaucratic inefficiency, mean that the ability of ward members to meet the demands of citizens is severely constrained. At the same time, first-hand knowledge of the consequences of such failures for the poor, alongside raised citizens' expectations, profoundly affect ward members in their everyday lives, and their divergent responses to different sections of their constituency.
In this paper, I develop the notion of the 'intimate state' to capture the affective and relational aspects of urban governance. By examining the intimacy of ward member/citizen encounters in the context of the broader self-narratives, I reveal how such experiences emerge from and inform the ways ward members inhabit their position and perform their duties. As such, the 'intimate state' can inform analysis of decentralised governance, and the inclusiveness required to achieve the SDGs.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.