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  • 1.
    Fält, Lena
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
    From Shacks to Skyscrapers: Multiple Spatial Rationalities and Urban Transformation in Accra, Ghana2016In: Urban Forum, ISSN 1015-3802, E-ISSN 1874-6330, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 465-486Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent studies indicate that market-driven logics increasingly inform the governing of African cities. This paper explores this claim by analysing the spatial rationalities at work in the struggle over urban space in Accra, Ghana. Based on an in-depth case study of a state-led displacement of a marginalised informal settlement in central Accra that took place in September 2014, the paper demonstrates that the on-going urban transformation of this city must be understood as an outcome of multiple spatial rationalities rooted in the local urban history but also influenced by globally circulating urban ideals. While a market-driven rationality is clearly present in the state’s justification of the eviction, also ‘generative’ and ‘dispositional’ rationalities are used to legitimise this urban intervention. The paper further illustrates the conflicting rationalities between the state and the urban poor, emphasising how the former residents of the displaced settlement perceive of their former home as a place of opportunities in terms of livelihood strategies, sociability and affordable housing in contrast to the state’s problematisation of the area.

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  • 2.
    Jennische, Ulrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Traders, Drivers and the National Health Insurance Scheme in Small Town Ghana2012In: Urban Forum, ISSN 1015-3802, E-ISSN 1874-6330, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 467-481Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on anthropological fieldwork in the central market and taxi station of Koforidua, Ghana, this paper aims to improve our understanding of the social dynamics in the informal economy of a Ghanaian small town in relation to state policies. It strives to describe the way processes of formalization and informalization may coexist and interact during the implementation of the recent National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The ethnographic approach helps us to better understand how attitudes on NHIS are formed and the way information and values are disseminated.

    Closely examining the social infrastructure of this setting contributes further to this understanding. In the marketplace, it is important to develop networks of personal relations with fellow traders, customers, and suppliers. At the taxi station, on the other hand, the most important strategy is to join the powerful local union. These strategies are ways for actors to gain security and protection against economic vulnerability in a competitive liberalized economy. In this regard, the NHIS has also provided opportunities for actors. While the NHIS is a way for the state to increase control over the informal economy, and gradually formalizing it, it simultaneously indirectly reinforces and confirms the existing informal strategies of networking.

  • 3.
    Lindell, Ilda
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
    Utas, Mats
    Networked City Life in Africa: Introduction2012In: Urban Forum, ISSN 1015-3802, E-ISSN 1874-6330, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 409-414Article in journal (Refereed)
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