ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Exclusion, Poverty and Urban Governance

Urban Poverty, Local Governance and Everyday Politics in Mumbaiby Joop De Wit, Routledge South Asian Edition, 2017; pp 320, ₹795.

Readers of the book under review will benefit from Joop de Wit’s long involvement with urban governance in India, both as a researcher and development practitioner. His career spans from his first anthropological study of urban poverty and governance in Madras in 1984, followed by stints as the programme advisor of the Dutch-funded urban poverty programme in Bengaluru, and his continued engagement with urban governance and poverty in Mumbai.

The book aims to “assess to what extent Mumbai’s urban poor are affected by processes of social, economic and political exclusion, resulting from current modalities of urban governance, local democracy and related local politics” (p 258). He does so through examining what he describes as “three understudied areas or ‘black boxes’” (p 8). These are “the changing conditions and power position of the urban poor vis-à-vis other governance actors; the nature of local democracy by focusing on the roles of municipal councillors in relation to the urban poor; and the role of the private, corporate business sector as regards local politics and governance” (p 8).

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