The Contested City

Diane Singerman

in Cairo Contested

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9789774162886
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970351 | DOI:
The Contested City

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This book is about the dynamics of neoliberal globalization in Cairo. It originated in questions that an international cohort of scholars raised in the late 1990s, when the power of globalization dramatically met resistance. The governance, technocratic politics, and planning in Cairo are discussed. Several chapters in this volume argue that the Egyptian state's fear and suspicion of the political participation and collective organization of its citizens leads the regime to devalue and weaken municipal governance and instead to view city issues, projects, policies, and services as the terrain of national bureaucratic actors. Additionally, several chapters tell the opposite story — of residents fighting back successfully and contesting forced “removals” or demolition orders after they block roads and bulldozers, talk to reporters, seek redress in the courts, or solicit support for their resistance from NGOs, political parties, celebrities, important political leaders, and even ministers. It also describes the meta-narratives, counter-narratives, modernist planning, and vernacular cosmopolitanism.

Keywords: Cairo; citizens; neoliberal globalization; cosmopolitanism; governance; technocratic politics; planning

Chapter.  14878 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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