Democracy and governance in India and South Africa

This research program questions the tensions between three phenomena which have been observed worldwide in the past decade, in the specific context of two emerging countries, India and South Africa: Firstly, globalization translates into a restructuration of big cities worldwide. Secondly, the government of cities is today typically fragmented between a multiplicity of actors, a phenomenon captured by the notion of « urban governance ». Thirdly, democracy is being reinvented at the local level, and particularly in cities.
Our objective is to observe how political participation (in its various forms, conventional or not, institutionalized or not) has an impact on the current reshaping of cities. Through the study of a series of mobilizations, we aim to identify the modes of operation of the democratic principle (i.e. the actual forms of democratic control, accountability and legitimacy) in the governance of six Indian and South African cities (Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata; Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town). Research will be organized around four themes: (i) the loci of decision-making in urban governance; (ii) the representative dimension of local democracy; (iii) participative procedures; and (iv) extra-institutional modes of participation.

  • Participants :
    Zarin AHMAD
    Loraine KENNEDY
    Cyril ROBIN
    Gilles VERNIERS