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Terrains of negotiation: local politics, bureaucracy, and urban residents in contemporary Chennai

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TitleInfo
Title
Terrains of negotiation: local politics, bureaucracy, and urban residents in contemporary Chennai
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Narayan
NamePart (type = given)
Priti
NamePart (type = date)
1987-
DisplayForm
Priti Narayan
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
author
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Ghertner
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D. Asher
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D. Asher Ghertner
Affiliation
Advisory Committee
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
chair
Name (type = corporate)
NamePart
Rutgers University
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
degree grantor
Name (type = corporate)
NamePart
School of Graduate Studies
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school
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Text
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theses
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2019
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2019-10
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2019
Language
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English
Abstract (type = abstract)
This dissertation examines how the informal poor make claims to city land and basic services in a landscape marked by increasingly violent and frequent slum evictions. I posit that outcomes for the urban poor emerge from their adept navigation of ‘terrains of negotiation’ with politicians, local bureaucrats, and activists to preserve their citizenship in the city. Terrains of negotiation emerge as part of the contested arena of patronage relations widely discussed in the literatures on postcolonial state-society relations and urban informality.

Based on over thirteen months of ethnographic field work conducted in an informal settlement, archival research, and multiple years of housing rights activism, I forward that residents deploy particular, temporally variable, strategic positions on shifting terrains of negotiation. I examine moments at which

(i) as pliable clients of local political patrons, residents cede slum territory and spatial privileges to avoid threats to their occupancy;
(ii) as biopolitical subjects of the welfare state, they stake claim to land, legitimacy, and citizenship, both current and future, through a metis, or learned practice of capturing identity documents;
(iii) as active encroachers of city space who build their own community infrastructure, residents attempt to strengthen their moral claims to the land by demonstrating its current use value by creating and sustaining an urban commons; and
(iv) as consumers of municipal services who are willing to pay and bribe for access, they are able to secure access to certain state agencies and a form of substantive urban citizenship.

The terrains of negotiation I examine emerge at the intersection of both the splintering of housing patronage in the state bureaucracy and the absence of formal regulations for eviction and resettlement, and a more fluid landscape of political parties and community organizations in shaping patterns of collective action. Terrains of negotiation are uncertain, unpredictable webs of political alliance that form in particular spatial settings and that, I argue, allow the urban poor to exert considerable, although inconsistent, claims upon the state in the face of deep economic and political vulnerability.
Subject (authority = local)
Topic
Urban poor
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Geography
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Poor -- India -- Chennai
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Eviction -- India -- Chennai
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Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD_10373
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application/pdf
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1 online resource (x, 228 pages) : illustrations
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references
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School of Graduate Studies Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10001600001
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Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/t3-43p2-1p91
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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The author owns the copyright to this work.
RightsHolder (type = personal)
Name
FamilyName
Narayan
GivenName
Priti
Role
Copyright Holder
RightsEvent
Type
Permission or license
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (point = start)
2019-09-30 02:31:49
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Name
Priti Narayan
Role
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Affiliation
Rutgers University. School of Graduate Studies
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Author Agreement License
Detail
I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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2019-10-31
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (point = end)
2021-10-30
Detail
Access to this PDF has been restricted at the author's request. It will be publicly available after October 30th, 2021.
Copyright
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Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
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2019-09-30T02:27:18
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2019-09-30T02:27:18
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