Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies

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Contesting India's World Class City Evictions: Place Difference, Path, Dependencies, and Local Character of Anti-Eviction Activism

  • When Nov 04, 2019 from 06:00 to 08:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC100)
  • Where Universitätsstraße 3b; 10117 Berlin; R002
  • Attendees Liza Weinstein, Northeastern University (Chair) Prof. Talja Blokland, Humboldt University
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Title: Contesting India's World Class City Evictions: Place Difference, Path, Dependencies, and Local Character of Anti-Eviction Activism

Speaker: Liza Weinstein, Northeastern University

(Abstract below)

ENGLISH
The Think and Drink Series is presented by the Georg-Simmel-Center for Metropolitan Studies @ HU Berlin
-> on Mondays 6pm ct Room 002 (Ground Floor)
-> Universitätsstraße 3b / 10117 Berlin
-> Free & open to anyone interested in Urban Sociology, no prior registration needed
-> Talks and discussions take place in English language (with few exceptions)


More info:
https://www.sowi.hu-berlin.de/de/lehrbereiche/stadtsoz/think_drink

ABSTRACT
Since the early 2000s, local governments across India have carried out large-scale demolitions in informal settlements and “slum” communities, evicting hundreds of thousands of marginalized urban residents, justified by the stated need to make India’s cities “world class.” While these evictions have been characterized in academic and popular accounts as part of a global land grab and rooted in the logics of capital accumulation under contemporary global capitalism, this paper is part of a larger effort to historicize and localize India’s “world class city” evictions. This paper highlights, in particular, the distinct ways that evictions are being contested across India’s major cities and aims to explain why distinct movement forms emerge in different localities. Based on interviews, ethnography, and historical research in the Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, the paper identifies four ideal-typical models of anti-eviction contestation prevalent across urban India: legal activism, protest politics, political party advocacy, and civil society influence in local administration. In order to explain the city-specific character of these contestations, this paper draws on sociological theories of “place distinction” (Molotch et al, 2000) to develop a framework for explain how locally-specific movement forms emerge through cities' historical developments.