Analytical and conceptual framework to study structures of governance and multi-level power relations in urban initiatives. Empirical application in Concepcion and Santiago, Chile
AuthorZunino, Hugo Marcelo
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation is focused on constructing and testing an analytical and conceptual framework to study structures of governance moving concrete urban initiatives forward. Relying on Anthony Giddens' notion of structuration I consider structures of governance as outcomes of a recursive relation between social practices and broader properties of the social system and, by embracing some insights from Michel Foucault, I regard the execution of power as a necessary condition for the process of structuration to occur. The framework I develop here suggests reading structures of governance as power arrangements constructed through socio-discursive rules operating for analytical purposes at three distinct functional or institutional levels: policy-making, implementation, and operational. In this way, I attempt to capture the multi-level exercise of power, relating the local conditions in which urban initiatives unfold to broader political and economic situations. I take two Chilean case studies to apply this construct in comparative perspective: the North Rivera Project in the city of Concepcion and the Portal of the Bicentenary Project in the city of Santiago. Both initiatives will bring about profound changes in these cities in terms of creating new spaces for capital investment, building new residential and consumption districts, and affecting the local community either directly through physical displacement or indirectly through the impacts of nearby new urbanized areas. To interpret the rules in place that frame governing processes I make use of semi-structured and documentary evidence. In the concluding section I argue that the analytical and conceptual framework constructed was useful to examine interconnections among levels, to define the channels used by social actors to control society and urban space, and to generate strategic information on which to base policy recommendations. This framework was able to disentangle the social practices creating the distinct and particularistic power relations moving each project forward, suggesting that structures of governance are not only being constructed vertically but also horizontally and/or spatially via actors operating under possibilities and constraints emerging from the broader system and conscious, at the same time, of the local conditions in which they operate and able to deploy strategies consistent with those conditions.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Geography and Regional Development