Land Use Conflict in Delhi: A Window on the Issues Surrounding Renewed Participation in India

By Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal

In 2006 the capital city of India went through a violent conflict over land use, in which neighborhood associations played a major role. The conflict showed how a participatory scheme had given associations (representing only a fraction of the population) the status of legitimate actors of urban governance. It thus revealed the problematic relationship between the representative and participatory dimensions of urban democracy. This article situates the concerned participatory scheme in the broader context of the development of participation in India since the 1990s, and goes on to offer three possible readings of the conflict, which highlight the social and political issues at stake.


  • India
  • participatory scheme
  • Bhagidari
  • urban governance
  • representation
  • participation
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