POL 2038 WEEK 9 READING SUMMARY

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University of Cape Town **We aren't endorsed by this school
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POL 2038F
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Political Science
Date
May 22, 2023
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3
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POL 2038 LSTAKI001 WEEK 9 Richard Ballard (2014) Geographies of development III: Militancy, insurgency, encroachment and development by the poor, Progress in Human Geography 39 (2), 214-224. Richard Ballard's article, "Geographies of development III: Militancy, insurgency, encroachment and development by the poor," published in Progress in Human Geography in 2014, explores the complex relationships between militancy, insurgency, encroachment, and development by the poor. The author argues that these phenomena are not mutually exclusive, but rather intertwined and often interdependent. The main points of the article are: × Development by the poor is often characterized by encroachment, which refers to the occupation of land or resources that are officially designated as off-limits or private property. Encroachment is driven by the need for livelihoods and basic resources, and is often a response to exclusionary development policies and practices. × Encroachment can also be a precursor to militancy and insurgency, as marginalized communities may use force to resist eviction or defend their rights to resources. Militancy and insurgency are not solely motivated by ideology or political goals, but also by the need for basic resources and the desire for recognition and representation. × Militancy and insurgency can be seen as forms of "development from below," in which marginalized communities use force to challenge the status quo and demand a more equitable distribution of resources and power. × The relationship between militancy and insurgency on the one hand, and development on the other, is complex and often paradoxical. While militancy and insurgency can disrupt development projects and undermine the rule of law, they can also be a means of securing basic resources and social justice. × The article concludes by arguing that development practitioners and policymakers need to recognize the role of encroachment, militancy, and insurgency in shaping development processes, and to engage with these phenomena in a more nuanced and empathetic manner. Rather than dismissing them as threats to stability and progress, there is a need to understand the underlying grievances and aspirations of marginalized communities, and to work towards more inclusive and just forms of development.
POL 2038 LSTAKI001 WEEK 9 Alex Wafer and Sophie Oldfield, Chapter 10 Contesting the participatory sphere: Encountering the state in Johannesburg and Cape Town in Popular politics in South African cities - Unpacking community participation C. Benit-Gbaffou (ed.) p. 232-248 Alex Wafer and Sophie Oldfield's chapter, "Contesting the participatory sphere: Encountering the state in Johannesburg and Cape Town," published in the book "Popular Politics in South African Cities - Unpacking Community Participation" edited by C. Benit- Gbaffou, examines the challenges and contradictions of participatory democracy in South African cities. The main points of the chapter are: × Participatory democracy is seen as a key tool for promoting citizen engagement and accountability in post-apartheid South Africa. However, the implementation of participatory processes has been fraught with challenges, including a lack of resources, political will, and capacity at the local government level. × In Johannesburg and Cape Town, participatory processes have been co-opted by the state to legitimize top-down decision-making and exclude marginalized communities from meaningful engagement. Community representatives who participate in these processes are often co-opted and undermined by the state, leading to disillusionment and disengagement among local residents. × In response, marginalized communities have developed alternative forms of participatory democracy, including street-level activism, protests, and grassroots movements. These alternative forms of participation are often confrontational and disruptive, but they serve as a means of holding the state accountable and challenging the exclusionary nature of mainstream participatory processes. × The authors argue that a more nuanced understanding of participatory democracy is needed, one that recognizes the power imbalances and contradictions inherent in the relationship between the state and marginalized communities. This requires a shift away from a technocratic approach to participatory democracy towards one that acknowledges the agency and autonomy of citizens, and that recognizes the importance of social movements and grassroots activism in shaping democratic processes. × The chapter concludes by arguing that the challenge for participatory democracy in South African cities is to move beyond tokenistic forms of engagement and towards a more transformative approach that seeks to empower marginalized communities and
challenge the underlying structures of power and inequality. This requires a renewed commitment to social justice and democratic values, as well as a willingness to engage in difficult and uncomfortable conversations about the nature of power and participation in contemporary South Africa.
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