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Interrogating India's ModernityDemocracy, Identity, and Citizenship$
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Surinder Jodhka

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198092070

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198092070.001.0001

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Strangers, Neighbours, and Political Order in The South Asian City

Strangers, Neighbours, and Political Order in The South Asian City

(p.20) 1 Strangers, Neighbours, and Political Order in The South Asian City
Interrogating India's Modernity

T.B. Hansen

Oxford University Press

This essay underlines the significance of taking the story of South Asian cities like Bombay (now Mumbai) seriously, not merely for understanding the specificities of South Asian urbanization, ‘a deviation from a historical/theoretical norm’, but also because they increasingly represent the ‘real’ world and its futures. The author calls for a rethinking of the central tenets of established urban theory, which has been based mainly on Western trajectories of urban growth and capital formation, in the light of the South Asian urban experience. Drawing mainly on historical and his own contemporary studies of Mumbai, he argues that established urban theory is particularly inadequate in understanding three interrelated dynamics in South Asia: questions of belonging and ‘right to the city’; questions of strangers and neighbourliness; and the relationship between political power and administrative authority.

Keywords:   South Asia, urban theory and experience, Mumbai, belonging, politics, administrative authority

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