Infrastructure and Informality: Contesting the Neoliberal Politics of Participation and Belonging in Cape Town, South Africa
AuthorStorey, Angela Diane
AdvisorPark, Thomas K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 12-Apr-2021
AbstractThis dissertation examines the production of an everyday politics of infrastructure within informal settlements in the Khayelitsha area of Cape Town, South Africa. As residents attempt to meet water, sanitation, and electricity needs through assemblages of informal service connections, in addition to limited formal services provided by the municipality, their material exclusions are articulated as evidence of persistent political marginality. Residents engage in multiple modes of politicized action seeking expansion to formal infrastructure and full inclusion in the promises of citizenship. However, they also face an array of complications created by municipal reliance upon neoliberal policies, practices, and logics. Despite a nominal emphasis on participatory processes of governance and development, municipal approaches to service provision and community engagement produce further marginalization. In order to theorize the intersection of neoliberal urban governance and democratic practice, this dissertation examines participation as the result of complex interactions between everyday experience, urban governance, circulating moral logics, and the work of civil society. The realm of politics emerges as one unbound by parties, NGOs, or social movements; instead, it is read dialectically both into and from the landscape of informality. Across three articles, this dissertation examines participation as a contested terrain of politicized action, shaped by neoliberal practices of governance, post-colonial tensions, and uneven social acknowledgement of experience, knowledge, and action.
Degree ProgramGraduate College