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 : 22.80 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

Political Machines

Author : Andrew Barry
ISBN : 0485006340
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 47.12 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 : 55.91 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

Monitoring Movements In Development Aid

Author : Casper Bruun Jensen
ISBN : 9780262317023
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 31.20 MB
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In Monitoring Movements in Development Aid, Casper Jensen and Brit Winthereik consider the processes, social practices, and infrastructures that are emerging to monitor development aid, discussing both empirical phenomena and their methodological and analytical challenges. Jensen and Winthereik focus on efforts by aid organizations to make better use of information technology; they analyze a range of development aid information infrastructures created to increase accountability and effectiveness. They find that constructing these infrastructures is not simply a matter of designing and implementing technology but entails forging new platforms for action that are simultaneously imaginative and practical, conceptual and technical. After presenting an analytical platform that draws on science and technology studies and the anthropology of development, Jensen and Winthereik present an ethnography- based analysis of the mutually defining relationship between aid partnerships and infrastructures; the crucial role of users (both actual and envisioned) in aid information infrastructures; efforts to make aid information dynamic and accessible; existing monitoring activities of an environmental NGO; and national-level performance audits, which encompass concerns of both external control and organizational learning. Jensen and Winthereik argue that central to the emerging movement to monitor development aid is the blurring of means and ends: aid information infrastructures are both technological platforms for knowledge about aid and forms of aid and empowerment in their own right.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Infrastructures And Social Complexity

Author : Penelope Harvey
ISBN : 9781317224358
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 60.73 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: Social Science

Power From The North

Author : Caroline Desbiens
ISBN : 9780774824194
Genre : History
File Size : 27.10 MB
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In the 1970s, Hydro-Qubec declared in a publicity campaign "We Are Hydro-Qubcois." The slogan symbolized the intimate ties that had emerged between hydroelectric development in Northern Quebec and French Canadian national aspirations. Caroline Desbiens focuses on the first phase of the James Bay hydroelectric project to explore how this culture of hydroelectricity marginalized Aboriginal territories through 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

Hollow Land Israel S Architecture Of Occupation

Author : Eyal Weizman
ISBN : 9781844678686
Genre : History
File Size : 75.76 MB
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An exposé of Israel's reconceptualization of geopolitics in the West Bank, Gaza, and other occupied territories offers insight into their practices of control and transformation using natural and built features that violently reinforce domination-minded agendas while promoting urban warfare.
Category: History

Endangered City

Author : Austin Zeiderman
ISBN : 9780822374183
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 54.17 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

Pipe Politics Contested Waters

Author : Lisa Björkman
ISBN : 9780822375210
Genre : History
File Size : 81.71 MB
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Winner, 2014 Joseph W. Elder Prize in the Indian Social Sciences Despite Mumbai's position as India's financial, economic, and cultural capital, water is chronically unavailable for rich and poor alike. Mumbai's dry taps are puzzling, given that the city does not lack for either water or financial resources. In Pipe Politics, Contested Waters, Lisa Björkman shows how an elite dream to transform Mumbai into a "world class" business center has wreaked havoc on the city’s water pipes. In rich ethnographic detail, Pipe Politics explores how the everyday work of getting water animates and inhabits a penumbra of infrastructural activity—of business, brokerage, secondary markets, and sociopolitical networks—whose workings are reconfiguring and rescaling political authority in the city. Mumbai’s increasingly illegible and volatile hydrologies, Björkman argues, are lending infrastructures increasing political salience just as actual control over pipes and flows becomes contingent on dispersed and intimate assemblages of knowledge, power, and material authority. These new arenas of contestation reveal the illusory and precarious nature of the project to remake Mumbai in the image of Shanghai or Singapore and gesture instead toward the highly contested futures and democratic possibilities of the actually existing city.
Category: History

Insurgent Citizenship

Author : James Holston
ISBN : 0691130213
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 28.36 MB
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Insurgent citizenships have arisen in cities around the world. This book examines the insurgence of democratic citizenship in the urban peripheries of São Paulo, Brazil, its entanglement with entrenched systems of inequality, and its contradiction in violence. James Holston argues that for two centuries Brazilians have practiced a type of citizenship all too common among nation-states--one that is universally inclusive in national membership and massively inegalitarian in distributing rights and in its legalization of social differences. But since the 1970s, he shows, residents of Brazil's urban peripheries have formulated a new citizenship that is destabilizing the old. Their mobilizations have developed not primarily through struggles of labor but through those of the city--particularly illegal residence, house building, and land conflict. Yet precisely as Brazilians democratized urban space and achieved political democracy, violence, injustice, and impunity increased dramatically. Based on comparative, ethnographic, and historical research, Insurgent Citizenship reveals why the insurgent and the entrenched remain dangerously conjoined as new kinds of citizens expand democracy even as new forms of violence and exclusion erode it. Rather than view this paradox as evidence of democratic failure and urban chaos, Insurgent Citizenship argues that contradictory realizations of citizenship characterize all democracies--emerging and established. Focusing on processes of city- and citizen-making now prevalent globally, it develops new approaches for understanding the contemporary course of democratic citizenship in societies of vastly different cultures and histories.
Category: Political Science