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

Vinay GidwaniSubscribe to Vinay Gidwani

Governance of Waste

Well-versed in the production of waste, corporate capital has not generally focused on capitalising on waste. The discards of consumption, previously approached broadly as mere waste, have recently found rebirth in an increasingly corporate waste market in India. Ranging from contracts for waste collection and incineration-plant installation to sales of recyclables, formal businesses are entering the business of revaluing waste, often to the detriment of India’s already existing informal waste sector that has long conducted its own waste-based businesses. This new, increasingly corporate, business of waste is intimately connected to a new waste governance regime in India. Concerns regarding two symbolically significant waste streams, municipal solid waste and electronic waste, illuminate waste beyond its “management,” and demonstrate its embeddedness in matters of consumerism, informal-sector livelihoods, and urban ecology.

On Capital, Not-Capital, and Development

The late Kalyan Sanyal's masterwork, Rethinking Capitalist Development, offers a profound meditation on the essence of contemporary capitalism in India. This review essay summarises the book's most novel qualities and then subjects Sanyal's arguments to a formal critique. It concludes that Rethinking Capitalist Development offers a provocative theory of postcolonial capitalism, one that advances the debate by forcing us to sharpen our conception of what Sanyal calls the "capital - not-capital" complex, a term he uses to characterise the entire complex of capitalist and non-capitalist production activities which coexist in contemporary political economy. While Sanyal's text remains generative to think with, its limitations - particularly concerning its engagements with Marx's theory of capitalism - merit critical scrutiny.

Urban Commons

From an understanding of the commons as a rural artefact, the concept has expanded to include urban spaces and practices. The destruction of common resources and the communities that depend upon them is a long-standing outcome of capitalist expansion. It is also a cause for concern, given the ultimate centrality of the commons to the reproduction of urban populations and ecosystems.

Urban Concerns: An Introduction

This is the first issue of a new biannual, the Review of Urban Affairs. The RUA will contain articles that look at different aspects of urbanisation in the context of the growing importance of "urban society" in India and elsewhere in the world. The review will be guided by an external advisory group which will suggest themes, commission articles and have them reviewed/revised before publication.
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