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From slum[1] to ordinary neighborhood in a provincial town of South India: Resident-induced practices of participation and co-production

Abstract : This paper illustrates the bottom-up process of participation by which the settlers of a squatter settlement named Ponmudi Nagar (PMNGR) influenced the state agencies to legalize their occupation, access basic infrastructures and secure titles. The settlers’ experience illustrates the communities’ capabilities to mobilize with minimal or no external support, to influence the actions of government institutions through everyday engagement with different scales of government. Drawing on our fieldwork undertaken between 2012 and 2013, we discuss three key features of the bottom-up process of participation. Firstly, PMNGR settlers influenced the decision of government institutions and circumvented legal obstacles by mobilizing the opportunities as well as the ambiguities of institutional procedures, practices, and schemes. Secondly, while one central aspect of their actions is the generation of information and securing information recorded in the government registers, another dimension is pressuring the concerned institutions to create title documents for their plots. Thirdly, the settlers drew on the support of their networks in the mid-level bureaucracy and elected representatives, in their efforts to influence the actions and decisions of various public institutions. Based on our observations of a bottom-up participatory regularization process,[3] we call for more attention to the ordinary ways by which people attempt to improve their conditions without waiting for external intervention.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 24, 2016 - 11:17:22 AM
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Bhuvanaswari Raman, Eric Denis, Solomon Benjamin. From slum[1] to ordinary neighborhood in a provincial town of South India: Resident-induced practices of participation and co-production . Agnès Deboulet. Rethinking Precarious Neighborhoods, AFD, pp.211-231, 2016, Etudes de l’AFD, 2492-8313. ⟨halshs-01386462⟩

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