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Rule By Aesthetics – World-Class City Making in Delhi - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Rule By Aesthetics: World-Class City Making in Delhi

Asher Ghertner


This book offers a powerful examination of mass demolition in the world’s second largest city of Delhi, India. Using Delhi’s millennial effort to become a world-class city, the book shows how aesthetic norms can replace the procedures of mapping and surveying typically considered necessary to administer space. This practice of evaluating territory based on its adherence to aesthetic norms—what the text calls “rule by aesthetics”—allowed the state in Delhi to intervene in the once ungovernable space of slums, overcoming its historical reliance on inaccurate maps and statistics. Slums hence were ... More

Keywords: India, slums, urban planning, economic development, displacement, housing, land rights, law and society, governmentality, gentrification

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780199385560
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199385560.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Asher Ghertner, author
Assistant Professor of Geography, Rutgers University