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

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Revanchism in Mumbai? Political Economy of Rent Gaps and Urban Restructuring in a Global City

The political economy of rent gaps emerging from the "highest and best use" of land in Mumbai has led to a spatial restructuring of the city. Manufacturing units are increasingly relocated to the suburbs and the working classes and the poor cleansed from the high-end business and financial districts as the state is increasingly subordinate to the economy in the liberalisation era.

Revanchism in Mumbai? I n a recent article, Appadurai (2002) describes an example of deep democracy in Mumbai. He argues that in an era when megacities are increasingly characterised by forms of spatial governmentality and exclusion, new social movements are arising to promote inclusion, citizenship and human rights. These he terms deep democracy movements. His example is Society for the Promotion of Area Resources (SPARC), a Mumbaibased organisation founded to help slum-dwellers gain secure tenure of land, adequate and durable housing, and access to elements of urban infrastructure. Using a politics of non-violent confrontation with state authorities, SPARC exemplifies what Appadurai means by deep democracy: it is committed to negotiation and consensus-building, has created transnational alliances to further its causes, and believes that the poor know best how to survive poverty.

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