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Uncivil City

Uncivil City
Ecology, Equity and the Commons in Delhi

First Edition

Other Titles in:
Development Studies | History | Sociology

January 2020 | 300 pages | SAGE YODA Press
As cities become habitat for most of humanity, the question of their ecological capacity to sustain lives worth living becomes ever more critical. Yet, when we listen to debates about city planning and governance, and observe urban environmental campaigns on the ground, we notice that they have little to do with ecology or justice. To examine this contradiction, Uncivil City: Ecology, Equity and the Commons in Delhi looks at two decades of environmental politics in Delhi—across homes and workplaces, ordinary streets and extraordinary spectacles, and the river and the Ridge. It argues that the terms of the discourse—what is an environmental issue, who is authorised to speak, and which modes of action count as legitimate—are partial, particularistic and perverse. ‘Bourgeois environmentalists’, who claim to speak in the public interest, for nature and society, have made the city what it is: unfair and unliveable. Only citizenship and civility will save the commons—air, water, space and trees—upon which cities depend for survival.

Publisher’s Acknowledgements
Introduction: An Uncivil City
Part I: Remaking Landscapes and Lives
Making Plans and Places
Sealing Factories and Fates
Playing Games
Part II: Contesting the Commons
Cows, Cars and Cycle-Rickshaws
The River
The Ridge
Part III: Conclusion and Coda
City Limits and Beyond
Climate Change, Uncertainty and the City

“Although published shortly before the arrival of COVID-19 in India, Baviskar’s thesis nonetheless echoes the events unfolding in the capital, and across urban India today…. The vision of Delhi to which Uncivil City is committed emerges from a radial sense of possibility to conceive new, collective futures.”

Himal Southasian, 25 May 2020

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Amita Baviskar

After studying Economics and Sociology at the University of Delhi, Amita Baviskar received her PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University. She is currently Professor of Sociology, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. Her research focuses on the cultural politics of environment and development in rural and urban India. She has taught at the University of Delhi and has been a visiting scholar at several universities including Stanford, Cornell, Yale, SciencesPo, University of California at Berkeley and the University of Cape Town. A recipient of the 2010 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences, she was also awarded the 2005 Malcolm... More About Author

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ISBN: 9789353289409