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The Return of the ‘Local’: Study of Three Neighbourhoods in Kolkata From 1990s to Present


· Anwesha Chakraborty Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi, India)


07/29 | 09:20-09:40 UTC+2/CEST


The present paper seeks to analyse the spatial, social and political transformations within three select neighbourhood spaces in the city of Kolkata since the liberalisation of the economy. As has been noted by many scholars on urban studies, this period saw a ‘reversal in pattern’ from earlier patron-client based network bondages in neighbourhoods in Kolkata. This paper relies on the literature available on the subject in the case of the city of Kolkata but further would like to see the implications of these changes in case studies in eastern, northern and southern regions of the city. The paper also tries to note that these studies were mostly conducted during the reform phase of the Left Government during its closing years and not a comprehensive study of Mamata Banerjee’s style of governance effective at the local level has been taken into account. Thus the paper will argue that certain measures made by the government like donating huge sums of money to clubs has been incorporated into the political culture of the urban environment. Moreover the paper seeks to understand the effects of the general economic stagnation of the city and the interest and functions of local representatives in delivering services to the citizens of a neighbourhood space in the current environment.