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Citizenship and Informality: Examining innovative state-led approaches to informality and their impact on urban citizenship
This exploratory research was based in Ahmedabad, India and examined the relationship between informality and notions of citizenship through a lens of tenure security. The researcher was hosted by CEPT University, Ahmedabad. The project abstract is as follows: Redress of informality is typically framed as extended citizenship, where those on the margin are enfolded into spheres of state regulated ‘formality’ (Deininger, Selod and Burns, 2012). The Indian Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation promotes highly innovate approaches to manage informality that moves beyond an informal-to-formal schema. The ‘Provision of Basic Services to the Urban Poor’ (GoI, 2009) is a policy that eschews tenure regularisation for permission from local authorities to stay (de facto tenure via service provision). Although discourses of citizen rights and state responsibilities permeate this policy, actual and perceived citizen-state relations and the sites/nature of engagements is unknown following implementation. The research explores the citizenship-informality relationship through a case study focused on tenure security that examine the effects of policy implementation on the lives of poor women/men in urban India and their subsequent relations to the state. Building on existing work on urban tenure (Banerjee, 2002; Benjamin, 2004) in India, and conceptualisations of urban citizenship (Miraftab, 2009; Cornwall, 2002; Roy and Alsayyad, 2006), the research assesses how far progressive national policies deliver better citizen-state relations. The findings lay empirical and theoretical groundwork for further study.
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