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Appadurai deep democracy

“Deep Democracy: Urban Governmentality and the Horizon of Politics”


Public Culture 14: 21–47


English, French

Anthropologist Appadurai tells the story of the Alliance, a group of nongovernmental organizations in Mumbai. Working with the urban poor, the Alliance organizes housing exhibitions to discuss designs for dwellings that meet the needs of the families who will occupy them; establishes a community-to-community exchange in which the poor conduct their own census; and inaugurates toilet festivals, bawdy celebrations of functioning public toilets. Appadurai explores what he terms “deep democracy,” the confrontation of inequality from below through emergent strategies of self-governance in which disenfranchised groups make conspicuous claims to citizenship.

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