DEMOCRACYS INFRASTRUCTURE TECHNO POLITICS AND PROTEST AFTER APARTHEID PRINCETON STUDIES IN CULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY

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Democracy S Infrastructure

Author : Antina von Schnitzler
ISBN : 9781400882991
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 88.75 MB
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In the past decade, South Africa's "miracle transition" has been interrupted by waves of protests in relation to basic services such as water and electricity. Less visibly, the post-apartheid period has witnessed widespread illicit acts involving infrastructure, including the nonpayment of service charges, the bypassing of metering devices, and illegal connections to services. Democracy’s Infrastructure shows how such administrative links to the state became a central political terrain during the antiapartheid struggle and how this terrain persists in the post-apartheid present. Focusing on conflicts surrounding prepaid water meters, Antina von Schnitzler examines the techno-political forms through which democracy takes shape. Von Schnitzler explores a controversial project to install prepaid water meters in Soweto—one of many efforts to curb the nonpayment of service charges that began during the antiapartheid struggle—and she traces how infrastructure, payment, and technical procedures become sites where citizenship is mediated and contested. She follows engineers, utility officials, and local bureaucrats as they consider ways to prompt Sowetans to pay for water, and she shows how local residents and activists wrestle with the constraints imposed by meters. This investigation of democracy from the perspective of infrastructure reframes the conventional story of South Africa’s transition, foregrounding the less visible remainders of apartheid and challenging readers to think in more material terms about citizenship and activism in the postcolonial world. Democracy’s Infrastructure examines how seemingly mundane technological domains become charged territory for struggles over South Africa’s political transformation.
Category: Social Science

Post Soviet Social

Author : Stephen J. Collier
ISBN : 1400840422
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 55.15 MB
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The Soviet Union created a unique form of urban modernity, developing institutions of social provisioning for hundreds of millions of people in small and medium-sized industrial cities spread across a vast territory. After the collapse of socialism these institutions were profoundly shaken--casualties, in the eyes of many observers, of market-oriented reforms associated with neoliberalism and the Washington Consensus. In Post-Soviet Social, Stephen Collier examines reform in Russia beyond the Washington Consensus. He turns attention from the noisy battles over stabilization and privatization during the 1990s to subsequent reforms that grapple with the mundane details of pipes, wires, bureaucratic routines, and budgetary formulas that made up the Soviet social state. Drawing on Michel Foucault's lectures from the late 1970s, Post-Soviet Social uses the Russian case to examine neoliberalism as a central form of political rationality in contemporary societies. The book's basic finding--that neoliberal reforms provide a justification for redistribution and social welfare, and may work to preserve the norms and forms of social modernity--lays the groundwork for a critical revision of conventional understandings of these topics.
Category: Social Science

Political Machines

Author : Andrew Barry
ISBN : 0485006340
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 33.23 MB
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Technology assumes a remarkable importance in contemporary political life. Today, politicians and intellectuals extol the virtues of networking, interactivity and feedback, and stress the importance of new media and biotechnologies for economic development and political innovation. Measures of intellectual productivity and property play an increasingly critical part in assessments of the competitiveness of firms, universities and nation-states. At the same time, contemporary radical politics has come to raise questions about the political preoccupation with technical progress, while also developing a certain degree of technical sophistication itself.In a series of in-depth analyses of topics ranging from environmental protest to intellectual property law, and from interactive science centres to the European Union, this book interrogates the politics of the technological society. Critical of the form and intensity of the contemporary preoccupation with new technology, Political Machines opens up a space for thinking the relation between technical innovation and political inventiveness.>
Category: Political Science

Hydraulic City

Author : Nikhil Anand
ISBN : 9780822373599
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 57.77 MB
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In Hydraulic City Nikhil Anand explores the politics of Mumbai's water infrastructure to demonstrate how citizenship emerges through the continuous efforts to control, maintain, and manage the city's water. Through extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Mumbai's settlements, Anand found that Mumbai's water flows, not through a static collection of pipes and valves, but through a dynamic infrastructure built on the relations between residents, plumbers, politicians, engineers, and the 3,000 miles of pipe that bind them. In addition to distributing water, the public water network often reinforces social identities and the exclusion of marginalized groups, as only those actively recognized by city agencies receive legitimate water services. This form of recognition—what Anand calls "hydraulic citizenship"—is incremental, intermittent, and reversible. It provides residents an important access point through which they can make demands on the state for other public services such as sanitation and education. Tying the ways Mumbai's poorer residents are seen by the state to their historic, political, and material relations with water pipes, the book highlights the critical role infrastructures play in consolidating civic and social belonging in the city.
Category: Social Science

Infrastructures And Social Complexity

Author : Penelope Harvey
ISBN : 9781317224358
Genre : POLITICAL SCIENCE
File Size : 61.77 MB
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Contemporary forms of infrastructural development herald alternative futures through their incorporation of digital technologies, mobile capital, international politics and the promises and fears of enhanced connectivity. In tandem with increasing concerns about climate change and the anthropocene, there is further an urgency around contemporary infrastructural provision: a concern about its fragility, and an awareness that these connective, relational systems significantly shape both local and planetary futures in ways that we need to understand more clearly. Offering a rich set of empirically detailed and conceptually sophisticated studies of infrastructural systems and experiments, present and past, contributors to this volume address both the transformative potential of infrastructural systems and their stasis. Covering infrastructural figures; their ontologies, epistemologies, classifications and politics, and spanning development, urban, energy, environmental and information infrastructures, the chapters explore both the promises and failures of infrastructure. Tracing the experimental histories of a wide range of infrastructures and documenting their variable outcomes, the volume offers a unique set of analytical perspectives on contemporary infrastructural complications. These studies bring a systematic empirical and analytical attention to human worlds as they intersect with more-than-human worlds, whether technological or biological.
Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE

Power From The North

Author : Caroline Desbiens
ISBN : 9780774824187
Genre : History
File Size : 63.48 MB
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In the 1970s, Hydro-Qu?bec declared “We Are Hydro-Qu?b?cois.” The slogan symbolized the intimate ties that had emerged between hydroelectric development in the North and French Canadian aspirations in the South. Caroline Desbiens focuses on the first phase of the James Bay hydroelectric project to explore how this culture of hydroelectricity hastened the erasure of Aboriginal homelands and the manipulation of Northern Quebec’s material landscape. She concludes that truly sustainable resource development will depend on all actors bringing an awareness of their cultural histories and visions of nature, North, and nation to the negotiating table.
Category: History

Everyday Sectarianism In Urban Lebanon

Author : Joanne Randa Nucho
ISBN : 9781400883004
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 26.65 MB
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What causes violent conflicts around the Middle East? All too often, the answer is sectarianism—popularly viewed as a timeless and intractable force that leads religious groups to conflict. In Everyday Sectarianism in Urban Lebanon, Joanne Nucho shows how wrong this perspective can be. Through in-depth research with local governments, NGOs, and political parties in Beirut, she demonstrates how sectarianism is actually recalibrated on a daily basis through the provision of essential services and infrastructures, such as electricity, medical care, credit, and the planning of bridges and roads. Taking readers to a working-class, predominantly Armenian suburb in northeast Beirut called Bourj Hammoud, Nucho conducts extensive interviews and observations in medical clinics, social service centers, shops, banking coops, and municipal offices. She explores how group and individual access to services depends on making claims to membership in the dominant sectarian community, and she examines how sectarianism is not just tied to ethnoreligious identity, but also class, gender, and geography. Life in Bourj Hammoud makes visible a broader pattern in which the relationships that develop while procuring basic needs become a way for people to see themselves as part of the greater public. Illustrating how sectarianism in Lebanon is not simply about religious identity, as is commonly thought, Everyday Sectarianism in Urban Lebanon offers a new look at how everyday social exchanges define and redefine communities and conflicts.
Category: Social Science

The Road

Author : Dimitris Dalakoglou
ISBN : 9781526109347
Genre :
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This book is an ethnographic and historical study of the main Albania-Greece highway. But more than an ethnography on the road, it is an anthropology of the road. Highways are part of an explicit cultural-material nexus that includes houses, urban architecture and vehicles. Complex socio-political phenomena such as EU border security, nationalist politics, post-Cold War capitalism and financial crises all leave their mark in the concrete. This book explores anew classical anthropological and sociological categories of analysis in direct reference to infrastructure, providing unique insights into the political and cultural processes that took place across Europe after the Cold War. More specifically, it sheds light on political and economic relationships in the Balkans during the socialist post-Cold War period, focusing especially on Albania, one of the most under-researched countries in the region.
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Endangered City

Author : Austin Zeiderman
ISBN : 9780822374183
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 69.91 MB
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Security and risk have become central to how cities are planned, built, governed, and inhabited in the twenty-first century. In Endangered City, Austin Zeiderman focuses on this new political imperative to govern the present in anticipation of future harm. Through ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in Bogotá, Colombia, he examines how state actors work to protect the lives of poor and vulnerable citizens from a range of threats, including environmental hazards and urban violence. By following both the governmental agencies charged with this mandate and the subjects governed by it, Endangered City reveals what happens when logics of endangerment shape the terrain of political engagement between citizens and the state. The self-built settlements of Bogotá’s urban periphery prove a critical site from which to examine the rising effect of security and risk on contemporary cities and urban life.
Category: Social Science

In The Public S Interest

Author : Gautam Bhan
ISBN : 9780820350080
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 58.58 MB
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This book studies the recent legacy of basti “evictions” in Delhi—mass clearings of some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods—as a way to understand how the urban poor are disenfranchised in the name of “public interest” and, in the case of Delhi, by the very courts meant to empower and protect them. Studying bastes, says Gautam Bhan, provokes six clear lines of inquiry applicable to studies of urbanism across the global south. The first is the long-standing debate over urban informality and illegality: the debate’s impact on conceptions and practices of urban planning, the production of space, and the regulation of value. The second is a set of debates on “good governance,” read through their intersections with ideas of “planned development” within rapidly transforming cities. The third is the political field of urban citizenship and the possibilities of substantive rights and belonging in the city. The fourth is resistance and the ability of a city’s subaltern residents to struggle against exclusion. The two remaining inquiries both cut across and unify the first four. One of these is the role of the judiciary and the relationships between law and urbanism in cities of the global south. The other is the relationship between democracy and inequality in the city. What emerges about Delhi in particular are a set of new modes for the reproduction of inequality. When rights are lost, citizenship is unequal and differentiated, the promise of development is refused, and poverty and inequality are reproduced and deepened. The task at hand, says Bhan, is not just to explain evictions but also to listen to what they are telling us about “the city that is as well as the city that can be.”
Category: Social Science