[CSH-CPR Urban Workshop #Online] The Right to be Counted: The Urban Poor and The Politics of Resettlement in Delhi (S. Routray)

Event Details

The Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) & Centre for Policy Research (CPR)

are pleased to invite you to a Online Urban Workshop (n°150)


Sanjeev Routray

(Asst Prof., Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam)


The Right to be Counted: The Urban Poor and The Politics of Resettlement in Delhi


Tuesday, 30 August 2023, at 3:45 pm IST onwards

The session will be online via zoom. To register, kindly fill out this FORM
The session will also be live-streamed on the CPR Facebook page.
In case of any issues and for queries, please email: urbanization@cprindia.org


About the talk:

The Right to be Counted: The Urban Poor and The Politics of Resettlement in Delhi’, published earlier this year, examines how Delhi’s urban poor, in an effort to gain visibility from the local state, incrementally stake their claims to a house and citizenship entitlements in the city. It describes the process of claims-making as an attempt by the political community of the poor to assert its existence and numerical strength in the city. By analyzing social, political, and economic relationships alike, it traces the ways the poor work to gain a foothold in Delhi.

In this talk, by providing three ethnographic vignettes, the speaker will elucidate the concept of numerical citizenship—a framework to understand the political mobilizations of the poor. Struggles over numerical citizenship constitute the systematic, protracted, and incremental political process by which the poor become entrenched in the city. In this respect, these numerical citizenship struggles encompass a range of dialectics, including: the monitoring and surveillance of the poor versus locality building; the politics of enumeration versus the countertactics of enumeration; state procedures of legal classification and categorization versus popular processes of renaming and reclassification; and projects of urban planning and legal erasure versus the lived politics of auto-archiving, mnemonic strategies, performances, and speech acts employed by the poor during resistance demonstrations. Along with analyzing the fraught process of calculative governmentality and an array of tactics and countertactics, the talk will also examine how the politics of the poor intersects with spatial arrangements, social cleavages, and activists in the city.

About Speakers:

Dr. Sanjeev Routray is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. He is a sociologist-anthropologist, critical urbanist, and migration specialist of South Asia and beyond. He is the author of The Right to be Counted: The Urban Poor and The Politics of Resettlement in Delhi (Stanford University Press 2022), and he is currently writing his second book tentatively titled The Plumbers of Delhi: Migration, Caste Sociality, and Citizenship in an Occupational Community. His articles have appeared in journals including International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and Urban Studies. Dr. Routray has received fellowships from the Urban Studies Foundation (UK), The Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies (UK), Zeit-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius Foundation (Germany), and International Development Research Centre (Canada) for his research.

This is the hundred and fifty (150) in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Aprajita Sarcar of CSH at aprajita.sarcar@csh-delhi.comMukta Naik at mukta@cprindia.org or Marie-Hélène Zerah at marie-helene.zerah@ird.fr


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