Books: Urban Governance in India

Joël Ruet, Stéphanie Tawa-Lama Rewal, Governing India’s Metropolises, New Delhi: Routledge, 2009.

« Urban governance today is characterized by a multiplicity of actors involved in the management of local affairs. The questions for inquiry are: who are the individuals and institutions, public and private, who actually plan and manage urban affairs? In what ways do they do so? Whose interests are accommodated, and under what conditions can co-operative action be taken? And, more generally, in what ways are interactions between the many actors of urban governance patterned? This volume, based on a series of case studies from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad, discusses the governance of Indian metropolises with these questions in mind. It analyses the changes that have taken place in governance over the last 15 years as a result of liberalization and decentralization, focusing on six collective services: primary education, healthcare, subsidized food, slum rehabilitation, water and sanitation, and solid waste management. The book documents the continued appropriation of the state by an enlarged elite (including the vast middle class) and an incomplete democratization of urban local bodies (evident in the lack of empowerment of municipal councilors), which goes along with a new economic regime as defined by new modes of engagement between the private sector and the state. Also, the concept of governance as it is operationalized in this volume highlights the importance of class in interactions between actors. By disentangling formal elements of governance (legitimized by the state) from informal ones (involving actors who are beyond the recognition of the state) the book ultimately reveals various power equations at play. This volume will be of interest to scholars and students of sociology, political science, development studies, development economics, urban planning, and public policy studies. »

 

 Dominique Lorrain (ed.), Métropoles XXL en pays émergents, Paris : Presse de Sciences Po, 2011. 

« Ingouvernables ? Les très grandes métropoles, de 5 à 20 millions d’habitants, se multiplient ; la majorité d’entre elles se situent dans les pays émergents, accroissant les défis : peut-on en effet gouverner de vastes ensembles complexes et divisés par des inégalités ? La recherche a souvent répondu par la négative. Cet ouvrage développe une approche de la ville matérielle et de ses institutions. La prise en compte des réseaux urbains et des institutions qui permettent de les piloter montre que, sans élaborer de grande théorie, les responsables urbains ont inventé les mécanismes d’un gouvernement ordinaire. Ils l’ont fait à partir de la résolution de problèmes pratiques et irrépressibles : fournir de l’électricité, de l’eau potable, assainir, permettre les déplacements etc. Trois résultats ressortent : les réseaux techniques contribuent à structurer les villes et font office de dispositifs de cohérence. Les métropoles sont d’autant plus gouvernables qu’il existe un pouvoir légitime de rang supérieur capable de faire des arbitrages. Enfin, l’urbanisation anarchique trouve ses causes dans les régimes de propriété foncière, dans une insuffisante planification urbaine et dans les pratiques des promoteurs et des acteurs locaux qui s’enrichissent par la production du bâti. Par la nouveauté de ces hypothèses, la précision des analyses conduites à Shanghai, Mumbai, Le Cap et Santiago du Chili, ce livre s’adresse à tous ceux qui travaillent sur la ville : élus, fonctionnaires territoriaux et fonctionnaires d’État, cadres des firmes urbaines, citoyens et étudiants. »

 

 I.S.A. Baud and J.De Wit (eds), New Forms of Urban Governance in India. Shifts, Models, Networks and Contestations. Delhi : Sage Publications, 2009.  

« This work looks at the impact of decentralization on local governance arrangements and citizen participation in urban democracy processes in India. To analyse the various issues, it includes case studies from the major cities throughout the country. New Forms of Urban Governance in India: Shifts, Models, Networks and Contestations examines how local governments work together with other actors in governing mega cities in India, especially in view of globalization and internal transformation processes. It analyses whether new forms of governance open up opportunities for more participatory urban governance and improved service delivery, with positive implications for poor groups in the cities. The articles in the collection deal with two major processes—bringing the government closer to citizens through decentralization, and working with private sector and civil society groups in providing urban services. Participation of the rich and the poor in local democratic processes, and the relations between local and city planning are focussed. Students and academics involved in Urban Studies, Economics and Development Studies and the study of Local Governance will find the work valuable. »

 

See Also:

Richard C. Crook and James Manor, Democracy and Decentralization in South Asia and West Africa. Participation, Accountability and Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998

Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria and Colin McFarlane, Urban Navigations. Politics, Space and the City in South Asia. Delhi: Routledge, 2011

K.C. Sivaramakrishnan, Revisioning Indian Cities. The Urban Renewal Mission. Delhi: Sage Publications, 2011

Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal and Marie-Hélène Zérah, « Urban Democracy: A South Asian Perspective », South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, 5/2011. Available online.

Stéphanie Tawa Lama – Rewal, Marie-Hélène Zérah and Véronique Dupont, (Eds) Urban Policies and the Right to the City in India: Rights, Responsibilities and Citizenship, UNESCO, Delhi, 2011. Available online.

Marie-Hélène Zérah and Loraine Kennedy, « Villes indiennes sous tutelles? Une réflexion sur les échelles de gouvernance à partir des cas de Mumbai et Hyderabad. », Metropoles, 9/2011. Available online.

 


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