Introduction Forms and Norms: Questioning Illegal Urban Housing in the Middle East

Myriam Ababsa, Baudouin Dupret and Eric Denis

in Popular Housing and Urban Land Tenure in the Middle East

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9789774165405
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781617971358 | DOI:
Introduction Forms and Norms: Questioning Illegal Urban Housing in the Middle East

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The ambition of this book is to upgrade the knowledge of urban land tenure dynamics, eventually underscoring the banality of current trends. Instead of looking for the Middle East's specificities in politics, we suggest adopting a research policy that scrutinizes the ‘proximate’: denying the holistic and culturalist exception for the sake of the study of daily routines and practices. Nothing contributes more to the understanding of how urban societies are produced than the detailed, not-too-interpretive description of the ways in which e.g. housing deemed a priori illegal is secured, a transaction concluded, a conflict resolved, the breadth or the use of a street in construction determined and enforced. Add to that the description of how a land-titling policy is conceived of, formerly recognized equipments are claimed, a neighborhood is equipped with electric wires, sewerage systems, school facilities, and asphalted roads.

Keywords: Urban land tenure; ordinary practices; land-titling policy; housing; urban governance; legal practices; ordinary life; popular neighborhoods; irregular settlements; Middle East

Chapter.  4647 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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