What is right for the city or right to the city: criticality of citizenship and governance

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Amidst all the scramble of global investment capital, climate change and SDGs, there is an explicit nod toward the exigency of getting cities to function right. ‘Political deficit’ has characterised the urban development literature across the emerging and the developed economies. This is largely reflected in the absence of engagement across civic and community groups in dealing with proposed changes being orchestrated in the cities. For example, the announcement of Belfast to Bangalore, Deyang to Surat and Durban to Rio De Janeiro as the Rockefeller Foundation sponsored ‘Resilient Cities’ is a case in point. At the same time, the UN Habitat III- Urban (2016) has mandated to ‘Leaving No One Behind’. Getting the city to engage with urban managers have become a challenge towards inclusion and cohesion of city policy framework.

The challenge is for maintaining distributional justice and at the same time managing the integrity of the metropolitan cities. This paper will seek to establish the key contours of critical urban development debates by drawing examples of urban governance and citizenships globally. Getting the social, the cultural and the political right is a key challenge in framing the principles of trust and collaboration within the framework of cities. Therefore, situating the local in the transformation of urban governance is critical for the cities of India.

Keywords: Subsidiarity, participation, citizenship, civic engagement, sovereignty, managerialism and entrepreneurialism, civic society and civil society
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Development Goals and Indian Cities: Inclusion, Diversity and Citizen Rights
EditorsAshok Kumar, D.S. Meshram
Place of PublicationLondon/New York
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781003248781
ISBN (Print)9781032193557
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2021


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