democracy s infrastructure techno politics and protest after apartheid princeton studies in culture and technology

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Democracy S Infrastructure

Author : Antina von Schnitzler
ISBN : 9781400882991
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 20. 85 MB
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In the past decade, South Africa's "miracle transition" has been interrupted by waves of protests in relation to basic services such as water and electricity. Less visibly, the post-apartheid period has witnessed widespread illicit acts involving infrastructure, including the nonpayment of service charges, the bypassing of metering devices, and illegal connections to services. Democracy’s Infrastructure shows how such administrative links to the state became a central political terrain during the antiapartheid struggle and how this terrain persists in the post-apartheid present. Focusing on conflicts surrounding prepaid water meters, Antina von Schnitzler examines the techno-political forms through which democracy takes shape. Von Schnitzler explores a controversial project to install prepaid water meters in Soweto—one of many efforts to curb the nonpayment of service charges that began during the antiapartheid struggle—and she traces how infrastructure, payment, and technical procedures become sites where citizenship is mediated and contested. She follows engineers, utility officials, and local bureaucrats as they consider ways to prompt Sowetans to pay for water, and she shows how local residents and activists wrestle with the constraints imposed by meters. This investigation of democracy from the perspective of infrastructure reframes the conventional story of South Africa’s transition, foregrounding the less visible remainders of apartheid and challenging readers to think in more material terms about citizenship and activism in the postcolonial world. Democracy’s Infrastructure examines how seemingly mundane technological domains become charged territory for struggles over South Africa’s political transformation.

Eskom

Author : Sylvy Jaglin
ISBN : 9781775822158
Genre : History
File Size : 21. 81 MB
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Africa’s leading producer of electricity, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd, is also a vertically integrated monopoly, owned by the South African state. This national champion was shaken in 2008, when it was obliged to introduce ‘load shedding’, or rolling blackouts, and again in late 2014. Trying to understand how and why one of the iconic pillars of South African state capitalism is now in distress, the authors of this book argue that the so-called electricity crisis is in fact a public monopoly crisis. Moving beyond technical aspects, they explore the relationship between state power and Eskom before, during and after apartheid. From this perspective, they suggest that the current technical and financial troubles of this public utility are illustrative of the weakening of its technopolitical regime, of how national institutions have governed Eskom’s technological development, and of the pursuit of political goals in the production of electrical power. Without a clear industrial strategy during the 2000s, Eskom became a powerful tool of Broad-Black Economic Empowerment as well as a neopatrimonial system which generates profits captured by the ruling party. As a result, crisis in Eskom shakes the whole political edifice. Inefficient and its finances increasingly under scrutiny, this state-owned enterprise’s existence as a monopolistic public utility is regularly a subject of debate. The authors discuss the ambivalent role of Eskom in the national energy transition policy and whether solutions point in the direction of de-integrating this public monopoly and allowing its current technopolitical regime to enter a planned or natural decline.

Hydraulic City

Author : Nikhil Anand
ISBN : 9780822373599
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 73. 56 MB
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In Hydraulic City Nikhil Anand explores the politics of Mumbai's water infrastructure to demonstrate how citizenship emerges through the continuous efforts to control, maintain, and manage the city's water. Through extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Mumbai's settlements, Anand found that Mumbai's water flows, not through a static collection of pipes and valves, but through a dynamic infrastructure built on the relations between residents, plumbers, politicians, engineers, and the 3,000 miles of pipe that bind them. In addition to distributing water, the public water network often reinforces social identities and the exclusion of marginalized groups, as only those actively recognized by city agencies receive legitimate water services. This form of recognition—what Anand calls "hydraulic citizenship"—is incremental, intermittent, and reversible. It provides residents an important access point through which they can make demands on the state for other public services such as sanitation and education. Tying the ways Mumbai's poorer residents are seen by the state to their historic, political, and material relations with water pipes, the book highlights the critical role infrastructures play in consolidating civic and social belonging in the city.

Government Of Paper

Author : Matthew Stuart Hull
ISBN : 9780520272149
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 44. 36 MB
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"Drawing inspiration from actor-network theory, science studies, and semiotics, this brilliant book makes us completely rethink the workings of bureaucracy as analyzed by Max Weber and James Scott. Matthew Hull demonstrates convincingly how the materiality of signs truly matters for understanding the projects of 'the state.'" - Katherine Verdery, author of "What was Socialism, and What Comes Next?" "We are used to studies of roads and rails as central material infrastructure for the making of modern states. But what of records, the reams and reams of paper that inscribe the state-in-making? This brilliant book inquires into the materiality of information in colonial and postcolonial Pakistan. This is a work of signal importance for our understanding of the everyday graphic artifacts of authority." - Bill Maurer, author of "Mutual Life, Limited: Islamic Banking, Alternative Currencies, Lateral Reason" "This is an excellent and truly exceptional ethnography. Hull presents a theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich reading that will be an invaluable resource to scholars in the field of Anthropology and South Asian studies. The author's focus on bureaucracy, "corruption," writing systems and urban studies (Islamabad) in a post-colonial context makes for a unique ethnographic engagement with contemporary Pakistan. In addition, Hull's study is a refreshing voice that breaks the mold of current representation of Pakistan through the security studies paradigm." - Kamran Asdar Ali, Director, South Asia Institute, University of Texas

Aramis Or The Love Of Technology

Author : Bruno Latour
ISBN : STANFORD:36105011649212
Genre : History
File Size : 21. 75 MB
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Bruno Latour has written a unique and wonderful tale of a technological dream gone wrong. As the young engineer and professor follow Aramis' trail--conducting interviews, analyzing documents, assessing the evidence--perspectives keep shifting: the truth is revealed as multilayered, unascertainable, comprising an array of possibilities worthy of Rashomon. The reader is eventually led to see the project from the point of view of Aramis, and along the way gains insight into the relationship between human beings and their technological creations. This charming and profound book, part novel and part sociological study, is Latour at his thought-provoking best.

Marginal Gains

Author : Jane I. Guyer
ISBN : 0226311155
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 25. 83 MB
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In America, almost all the money in circulation passes through financial institutions every day. But in Nigeria's "cash and carry" system, 90 percent of the currency never comes back to a bank after it's issued. What happens when two such radically different economies meet and mingle, as they have for centuries in Atlantic Africa? The answer is a rich diversity of economic practices responsive to both local and global circumstances. In Marginal Gains, Jane I. Guyer explores and explains these often bewildering practices, including trade with coastal capitalism and across indigenous currency zones, and within the modern popular economy. Drawing on a wide range of evidence, Guyer demonstrates that the region shares a coherent, if loosely knit, commercial culture. She shows how that culture actually works in daily practice, addressing both its differing scales of value and the many settings in which it operates, from crisis conditions to ordinary household budgets. The result is a landmark study that reveals not just how popular economic systems work in Africa, but possibly elsewhere in the Third World.

Insurgent Citizenship

Author : James Holston
ISBN : 9780691142906
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 75. 23 MB
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Insurgent citizenships have arisen in cities around the world. This book examines the insurgence of democratic citizenship in the urban peripheries of São Paulo, Brazil, its entanglement with entrenched systems of inequality, and its contradiction in violence. James Holston argues that for two centuries Brazilians have practiced a type of citizenship all too common among nation-states--one that is universally inclusive in national membership and massively inegalitarian in distributing rights and in its legalization of social differences. But since the 1970s, he shows, residents of Brazil's urban peripheries have formulated a new citizenship that is destabilizing the old. Their mobilizations have developed not primarily through struggles of labor but through those of the city--particularly illegal residence, house building, and land conflict. Yet precisely as Brazilians democratized urban space and achieved political democracy, violence, injustice, and impunity increased dramatically. Based on comparative, ethnographic, and historical research, Insurgent Citizenship reveals why the insurgent and the entrenched remain dangerously conjoined as new kinds of citizens expand democracy even as new forms of violence and exclusion erode it. Rather than view this paradox as evidence of democratic failure and urban chaos, Insurgent Citizenship argues that contradictory realizations of citizenship characterize all democracies--emerging and established. Focusing on processes of city- and citizen-making now prevalent globally, it develops new approaches for understanding the contemporary course of democratic citizenship in societies of vastly different cultures and histories.

Endangered City

Author : Austin Zeiderman
ISBN : 9780822374183
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 76. 63 MB
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Security and risk have become central to how cities are planned, built, governed, and inhabited in the twenty-first century. In Endangered City, Austin Zeiderman focuses on this new political imperative to govern the present in anticipation of future harm. Through ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in Bogotá, Colombia, he examines how state actors work to protect the lives of poor and vulnerable citizens from a range of threats, including environmental hazards and urban violence. By following both the governmental agencies charged with this mandate and the subjects governed by it, Endangered City reveals what happens when logics of endangerment shape the terrain of political engagement between citizens and the state. The self-built settlements of Bogotá’s urban periphery prove a critical site from which to examine the rising effect of security and risk on contemporary cities and urban life.

The Rule Of Freedom

Author : Patrick Joyce
ISBN : 1859845207
Genre : History
File Size : 40. 45 MB
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The liberal governance of the nineteenth-century state and city depended on the "rule of freedom". As a form of rule it relied on the production of certain kinds of citizens and patterns of social life, which in turn depended on transforming both the material form of the city (its layout, architecture, infrastructure) and the ways it was inhabited and imagined by its leaders, citizens and custodians. Focusing mainly on London and Manchester, but with reference also to Glasgow, Dublin, Paris, Vienna, colonial India, and even contemporary Los Angeles, Patrick Joyce creatively and originally develops Foucauldian approaches to historiography to reflect on the nature of modern liberal society. His consideration of such "artifacts" as maps and censuses, sewers and markets, public libraries and parks, and of civic governments and city planning, are intertwined with theoretical interpretations to examine both the impersonal, often invisible forms of social direction and control built into the infrastructure of modern life and the ways in which these mechanisms both shape culture and social life and engender popular resistance.

Power From The North

Author : Caroline Desbiens
ISBN : 9780774824194
Genre : History
File Size : 29. 91 MB
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In the 1970s, Hydro-Qubec declared in a publicity campaign "We Are Hydro-Qubcois." The slogan symbolized the intimate ties that had emerged between hydroelectric development in Northern Quebec and French Canadian national aspirations. Caroline Desbiens focuses on the first phase of the James Bay hydroelectric project to explore how this culture of hydroelectricity marginalized Aboriginal territories through the manipulation of Northern Quebec's material landscape. She concludes that truly sustainable resource development will depend on all actors bringing an awareness of their cultural histories and visions of nature, North, and nation to the negotiating table.

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