Clean city politics: An urban political ecology of solid waste in West Bengal, India

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Version: Author's accepted manuscript
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Serval ID
serval:BIB_2DB3D7206390
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Clean city politics: An urban political ecology of solid waste in West Bengal, India
Journal
Environment and Planning A
Author(s)
Cornea Natasha, Véron René, Zimmer Anna
ISSN
0308-518X
1472-3409
Publication state
Published
Issued date
06/12/2016
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Language
english
Abstract
Solid waste management is often perceived as one of the most pressing environmental problems facing local governments in urban India and elsewhere in the global south. However, solid waste is not simply a managerial problem but is in many ways a highly political issue that involves diverse political actors at different scales. Particularly at the local level, solid waste management can also be a key part of broader political strategies, acting through its unique materiality as an environmental artefact and social relic. In this paper, we use an urban political ecology approach to examine a recent segregation-at-source project in a small town in West Bengal as a lens to understand more general multi-scalar, socio-political urban processes. Drawing primarily upon qualitative field research, the paper shows how diffuse forms of power and different governmentalities were applied between and within state-level government agents, municipal authorities, local waste workers and local communities to implement and (re)shape this project. The research points to the complexity of urban environmental governance and everyday politics in which action repertoires ranging from threats, the creation of environmental and hygienic subjects, moral appeals and economic rationality, underpinned by the harmful character of waste and by socio-cultural imaginaries thereof, (re)produced uneven political ecologies of waste between and within different neighbourhoods of the city.
Keywords
Solid waste management, environmental governance, urban politics, urban political ecology, small cities, India
Create date
08/12/2016 14:48
Last modification date
09/04/2020 6:08
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