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Politics in the Informalizing Metropolis: Displacement and Uneasy Negotiations in Uncivil Ahmedabad

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Caleb Johnston


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Abstract This article documents the displacement of Baoris, an adivasi (indigenous) community livinginthecityofAhmedabad,India,andtheirsubsequentresettlementalongthecity’s precarious urban–rural frontier. I argue that this process signals the informalization of rights and territories, representing a political regime of governing in the remaking of the contemporary Indian metropolis. Recent actions taken by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to evict Baoris from the inner city are situated within the entangled processes and politics of urban restructuring, liberalization and Hindu nationalism. The absence and erosion of democratic protections, however, has not precluded the possibility of political negotiations with the local agents of state and capital, and this article assesses the tactics that community residents have deployed in their bid to maintain claims to territory, labour and services. I end by tempering enthusiasm for the informalizing city as a site for realizing alternative forms of justice and possible democratization.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Johnston C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

Year: 2014

Volume: 38

Issue: 2

Pages: 539-572

Print publication date: 01/03/2014

Online publication date: 23/05/2013

Acceptance date: 17/04/2013

ISSN (print): 0309-1317

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2427

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.12010


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