International Development Planning Review

Infrastructural citizenship: (de)constructing state–society relations

International Development Planning Review (2020), 42, (2), 115–125.

Abstract

In this Viewpoint I introduce the analytical framework of Infrastructural Citizenship using examples from my research in contemporary South Africa. This is not a tightly defined concept but a broad heuristic tool to connect critical scholarship on infrastructure and citizenship that has been divided by disciplinary. Essentially, I argue that citizenship is embodied in infrastructure for both citizens and the state. For citizens, the state is materially and visibly represented through everyday (in)access to public infrastructure, while the state imagines and plans for citizens through infrastructure provision and maintenance. Infrastructural Citizenship provides an analytical framework to critically analyse these connections, and there by deepen understanding of both concepts as well as better understand the vitality of urban life.

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References

Amin, A. (2014) ‘Lively infrastructure’, Theory, Culture and Society, 31, 137–161. Google Scholar

Anand, N. (2017) Hydraulic City: Water and the Infrastructures of Citizenship in Mumbai, Durham, CA, Duke University Press. Google Scholar

Baptista, I. (2019) ‘Electricity services always in the making: informality and the work of infrastructure maintenance and repair in an African city’, Urban Studies, 56(3), 510–525. Google Scholar

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Coutard, O. and Rutherford, J. (eds) (2015) Beyond the Networked City: Infrastructure Reconfigurations and Urban Change in the North and South, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Fredericks, R. (2018) Garbage Citizenship: Vital Infrastructure of Labor in Dakar, Senegal, Durham, CA, Duke University Press. Google Scholar

Graham, S. and Marvin, S. (2001) Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures and the Urban Condition: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

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Larkin, B. (2013) ‘The politics and poetics of infrastructure’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 42, 327–343. Google Scholar

Lawhon, M., Nilsson, D., Silver, J., Ernstson, H. and Lwasa, S. (2018) ‘Thinking through heterogeneous infrastructure configurations’, Urban Studies, 55(4), 720–732. Google Scholar

Lemanski, C. (2009) ‘Augmented informality: South Africa’s backyard dwellings as a by-product of formal housing policies’, Habitat International, 33(4), 472–484. Google Scholar

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Monstadt, J. and Schramm, S. (2017) ‘Toward the networked city? Translation technological ideals and planning models in water and sanitation systems in Dar es Salaan’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 41(1), 104–125. Google Scholar

Painter, J. and Philo, C. (1995) ‘Spaces of citizenship: and introduction’, Political Geography, 14(2), 107–120. Google Scholar

Robins, S. (2002) ‘Planning “suburban bliss” in Joe Slovo Park, Cape Town’, Africa, 72(4), 511–548. Google Scholar

Rodina, L. and Harris, L. M. (2016) ‘Water services, lived citizenship, and notions of the state in marginalised urban spaces: the case of Khayelitsha, South Africa’, Water Alternatives, 9(2), 336–355. Google Scholar

Simone, A. M. (2004) ‘People as infrastructure: intersecting fragments in Johannesburg’, Public Culture, 16(3), 407–429. Google Scholar

Speer, J. (2016) ‘The right to infrastructure: a struggle for sanitation in Fresno, California homeless encampment’, Urban Geography, 37(7), 1049–1069. Google Scholar

Staeheli, L. (2010) ‘Political geography: where’s citizenship?’, Progress in Human Geography, 35(3), 393–400. Google Scholar

Staeheli, L. A., Ehrkamp, P., Leitner, H. and Nagel, C. R. (2012) ‘Dreaming of the ordinary: citizenship and the complex geographies of daily life’, Progress in Human Geography, 36, 627–643. Google Scholar

Star, S. (1999) ‘The ethnography of infrastructure’, American Behavioural Scientist, 43(3), 377–391. Google Scholar

von Schnitzler, A. (2016) Democracy’s Infrastructure: Techno-Politics and Protest After Apartheid, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. Google Scholar

Amin, A. (2014) ‘Lively infrastructure’, Theory, Culture and Society, 31, 137–161. Google Scholar

Anand, N. (2017) Hydraulic City: Water and the Infrastructures of Citizenship in Mumbai, Durham, CA, Duke University Press. Google Scholar

Baptista, I. (2019) ‘Electricity services always in the making: informality and the work of infrastructure maintenance and repair in an African city’, Urban Studies, 56(3), 510–525. Google Scholar

Beveridge, R. and Naumann, M. (2015) ‘Another urban infrastructure is possible: contesting energy and water networks in Berlin’, in O. Coutard and J. Rutherford (eds), Beyond the Networked City: Infrastructure Reconfigurations and Urban Change in the North and South, London, Routledge, 138–158. Google Scholar

Brown, J. (2015) South Africa’s Insurgent Citizens: On Dissent and the Possibility of Politics, London, Zed Books. Google Scholar

Caldeira, T. P. (2017) ‘Peripheral urbanization: autoconstruction, transversal logics, and politics in cities of the global South’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 35(1), 3–20. Google Scholar

Charlton, S. (2018a) ‘Spanning the spectrum: infrastructural experiences in South Africa’s state housing programme’, International Development Planning Review, 40(2), 97–120. Google Scholar

Charlton, S. (2018b) ‘Confounded but complacent: accounting for how the state sees responses to its housing intervention in Johannesburg’, The Journal of Development Studies, 54(12), 2168–2185. Google Scholar

Cornwall, A., Robins, S. and von Lieres, B. (2011) ‘States of citizenship: contexts and cultures of public engagement and citizen action’ (IDS Working Paper No. 363), 1–32. Google Scholar

Coutard, O. and Rutherford, J. (eds) (2015) Beyond the Networked City: Infrastructure Reconfigurations and Urban Change in the North and South, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Fredericks, R. (2018) Garbage Citizenship: Vital Infrastructure of Labor in Dakar, Senegal, Durham, CA, Duke University Press. Google Scholar

Graham, S. and Marvin, S. (2001) Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures and the Urban Condition: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Graham, S. and McFarlane, C. (eds) (2015) Infrastructural Lives: Urban Infrastructure in Context, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Harvey, D. (2008) ‘Right to the city’, New Left Review, 53, 23–40. Google Scholar

Holston, J. (2008) Insurgent Citizenship: Disjunctions of Democracy and Modernity in Brazil, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. Google Scholar

Isin, E. F. and Nielsen, G. M. (eds) (2008) Acts of Citizenship, London, Zed Books. Google Scholar

Larkin, B. (2013) ‘The politics and poetics of infrastructure’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 42, 327–343. Google Scholar

Lawhon, M., Nilsson, D., Silver, J., Ernstson, H. and Lwasa, S. (2018) ‘Thinking through heterogeneous infrastructure configurations’, Urban Studies, 55(4), 720–732. Google Scholar

Lemanski, C. (2009) ‘Augmented informality: South Africa’s backyard dwellings as a by-product of formal housing policies’, Habitat International, 33(4), 472–484. Google Scholar

Lemanski, C. (2011) ‘Moving up the ladder or stuck at the bottom? Homeownership as a solution to poverty in South Africa’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35(1), 57–77. Google Scholar

Lemanski, C. (2018) ‘Infrastructural citizenship: spaces of living in Cape Town, South Africa’, in A. Jones, B. Miller, K. Ward and D. Wilson (eds), The Routledge Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics, Abingdon, Routledge, 350–360. Google Scholar

Lemanski, C. (ed.) (2019) Infrastructure and Citizenship: Practices and Identities of Urban Citizens and the State, Abingdon, Routledge. Google Scholar

Lemanski, C. (forthcoming) ‘Infrastructural citizenship: the everyday citizenship of adapting and/or destroying public housing in Cape Town, South Africa’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. Google Scholar

Monstadt, J. and Schramm, S. (2017) ‘Toward the networked city? Translation technological ideals and planning models in water and sanitation systems in Dar es Salaan’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 41(1), 104–125. Google Scholar

Painter, J. and Philo, C. (1995) ‘Spaces of citizenship: and introduction’, Political Geography, 14(2), 107–120. Google Scholar

Robins, S. (2002) ‘Planning “suburban bliss” in Joe Slovo Park, Cape Town’, Africa, 72(4), 511–548. Google Scholar

Rodina, L. and Harris, L. M. (2016) ‘Water services, lived citizenship, and notions of the state in marginalised urban spaces: the case of Khayelitsha, South Africa’, Water Alternatives, 9(2), 336–355. Google Scholar

Simone, A. M. (2004) ‘People as infrastructure: intersecting fragments in Johannesburg’, Public Culture, 16(3), 407–429. Google Scholar

Speer, J. (2016) ‘The right to infrastructure: a struggle for sanitation in Fresno, California homeless encampment’, Urban Geography, 37(7), 1049–1069. Google Scholar

Staeheli, L. (2010) ‘Political geography: where’s citizenship?’, Progress in Human Geography, 35(3), 393–400. Google Scholar

Staeheli, L. A., Ehrkamp, P., Leitner, H. and Nagel, C. R. (2012) ‘Dreaming of the ordinary: citizenship and the complex geographies of daily life’, Progress in Human Geography, 36, 627–643. Google Scholar

Star, S. (1999) ‘The ethnography of infrastructure’, American Behavioural Scientist, 43(3), 377–391. Google Scholar

von Schnitzler, A. (2016) Democracy’s Infrastructure: Techno-Politics and Protest After Apartheid, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. Google Scholar

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Details

Author details

Lemanski, Charlotte