Elite Discourse Coalitions and the Governance of 'Smart Spaces':Politics, Power and Privilege in India's Smart Cities Mission

Basu, I. 2019. Elite Discourse Coalitions and the Governance of 'Smart Spaces':Politics, Power and Privilege in India's Smart Cities Mission. Political Geography. 68, pp. 77-85. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2018.11.002

TitleElite Discourse Coalitions and the Governance of 'Smart Spaces':Politics, Power and Privilege in India's Smart Cities Mission
TypeJournal article
AuthorsBasu, I.
Abstract

This article reveals the elite discourse coalition which frames the priorities and institutional arrangements of the Smart Cities Mission in India. After locating the SCM within India's neoliberal urban policy trajectory and the new elite coalition it encompasses I describe three separate elite discourses: Modi's technocratic nationalism IT and consulting firms' technological utopia and middle class urban citizenship. Together the discourses have: shifted the moral sphere of urban policy from inclusive rights to exclusive privilege, privatised governance instead of local democracy and turned digital technocracy into a simplified solution for structural problems of urban inequality. While the elite discourses contest each other on certain areas which could lead to delays and stops in Smart City projects, together they have left the imprint of an elite led governance arrangement for urban planning and development in India.

KeywordsSmart Cities, India, Neoliberalism, Elites
JournalPolitical Geography
Journal citation68, pp. 77-85
ISSN0962-6298
Year2019
PublisherElsevier
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2018.11.002
Web address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0962629817302251
Publication dates
Published in printJan 2019
Published online23 Nov 2018
LicenseCC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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Accepted author manuscript
Under embargo until 23 Nov 2020

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