Between the Lines
India’s urban slums exhibit dramatic variation in their access to local public goods and services – paved roads, piped water, trash removal, sewers, and streetlights. Why are some vulnerable communities able to demand and secure development from the state while others fail? Drawing on more than two years of fieldwork in the north Indian cities of Bhopal and Jaipur, Demanding Development accounts for the uneven success of India’s slum residents in securing local public goods and services. Auerbach’s theory centers on the political organization of slum settlements and the informal slum leaders who spearhead resident efforts to make claims on the state – in particular, those slum leaders who are party workers. He finds striking variation in the extent to which networks of party workers have spread across slum settlements. Demanding Development shows how this variation in the density and partisan distribution of party workers across settlements has powerful consequences for the ability of residents to politically mobilize to improve local conditions.
In this episode of Between the Lines, IDS Fellow Shandana Mohmand interviews Adam Auerbach, author of the book: Demanding Development: The Politics of Public Goods Provision in India’s Urban Slums.
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This podcast series explores books with ideas for positive social and environmental change. Each month we feature a book and an interview with its author. The interviews give an insight on what’s behind the book, the ideas, challenges and discoveries, and why it matters.