Spaces of Colonialism. Delhi's Urban Governmentalities. RGS-IBG Book Series

  • ID: 2249574
  • Book
  • 272 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Drawing upon the theories and methodologies of governmentality as presented in Michel Foucault’s translated lecture courses,Spaces of Colonialism provides an analysis of the attempts made by the Government of India to secure and order Delhi, the capital of the Raj from 1911 to 1947. Following the path from New Delhi to Old Delhi, this book contains a mass of new empirical data that illustrates how these seemingly separate cities were united by shared political rationalities and landscapes of control.

Beginning with a critical analysis of the colonial governmentality literature and a situation of Delhi in the history of India, this text examines the residential landscape of New Delhi, the policing of the new and old cities, and the biopolitical needs and improvements that arose in the urban landscape. The formative role of problematizations and resistance in driving these changes is stressed throughout and provides a historic basis for a contemporary critique of colonial governmentality. This ground–breaking text is the first comparative history of New and Old Delhi, making it an essential resource for scholars looking to stay ahead in a number of fields, including cultural theory, colonial history, urbanism, and post–colonial studies.

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Archival references.

1. Imperial Delhi.

1.1 New Delhi: Showcase of Sovereignty.

1.2 Colonial Governmentality.

2. Residential and Racial Segregation: a Spatial Archaeology.

2.1 The Spatial Administration of Precedence.

2.2 The Spatial Dissolution of Order.

3. Disciplining Delhi.

3.1 New Delhi: Policing the Heart of Empire.

3.2 Anti–colonial nationalism and urban order.

3.3 “Religious Nationalism” and Urban Diagrams.

4. Biopolitics and the Urban Environment.

4.1 Population expansion and urban disorder.

4.2 Congestion relief, calculation, and the “intensity map”.

4.3 The Western Extension, protest, and failed relief.

4.4 Slum clearance and the strictures of imperial finance.

5. Conclusions: within and beyond the city.

5.1 Interlinked landscapes of ordering.

5.2 Beyond colonial Delhi.




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rofound." (Progress in Human Geography, February 2010)

“The breadth of scholarship is impressive, and anyone wishing to learn about colonial Delhi will find this book a valuable source. What Legg ultimately delivers is a critique of liberal government, showing how colonial power works in illiberal ways to assert the domination of the British over the native population.” (American Journal of Sociology, July 2009)

"The main strength of this book is its conceptual rigour. Legg draws on Foucault’s recently translated 1978 lecture series ... The book provides a detailed, theoretically informed analysis of three landscapes of ordering in Delhi, Old and New ... Spaces of colonialism rewards persistence, and will be required reading for scholars of urban governmentality, and of considerable interest to post–colonial and urban geographers more generally." (Area, March 2009)

"Legg has mined and marshaled his written sources superbly and his extrapolations of Foucault are lucid and provocative." (Planning Perspectives, January 2009)

"Legg uses these (Foucault′s) well–tried concepts to extremely good effect in interpreting some fascinating archival material ... .[The book] also has new things to say about New Delhi and colonial urbanism generally." (Comparative Studies in Society and History, December 2008)

"Writers have long recognised that social rules are at a premium in urban areas, and many discussions of governmentality have taken cities as their subject. Spaces of Colonialism, a case study of Delhi in the first half of the twentieth century that is published in the RGS–IBG book series, makes a significant contribution to such debates." (Journal of Historical Geography)

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