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Environmental Activism in India’s Garden City: The Role of Civil Society Networks for Governance of Urban Social-Ecological Systems in the Global South
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

As urban ecosystem services have considerable impact on human well-being, sustainable management of urban green spaces is increasingly important. Previous studies indicate thatinvolving civil society in governance might help overcome some of the many complex challengesinvolved. However, research so far rarely focuses on cities in the Global South, where most of thefuture population growth is projected to take place. In Bangalore, India, a network of citizens isworking to monitor and protect greenery and other urban commons in streets and public spaces.This study combines interviews and social network analysis to describe the function and activitiesof this environmental movement. The results show a network with a core of more active and well connected members, and a large periphery of heterogeneous actors with some links to the core but few among themselves. The periphery is an asset for monitoring the fragmented urban ecosystemand provides a diversity of information, ideas and knowledge. However, as the group grows thesparsity of links outside the core complicates democratic participation and deliberation, causingdifficulties for consensus-building and decision-making. Results further show that the core group isless focused on collaboration with government city officials compared to similar cases in countries in the North. Instead, its ability to connect to local residents and civil society groups is of crucialimportance for legitimizing claims and gaining support in campaigns. Understanding this “sociallegitimacy” could be crucial for the governance of urban social-ecological systems in the South.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 32 p.
Keyword [en]
citizen activism; environmental movements; social-ecological systems; social network analysis; South Asia; urban ecosystem governance; urbanization
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-78444OAI: diva2:539646
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-07-04 Created: 2012-07-04 Last updated: 2012-09-27Bibliographically approved

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