Use the "back" button of your browser to return to the list of abstracts.
[PANEL] 0702 "JUSTICE FROM BELOW" PANEL 1: SEARCHING FOR A RIGHT TO THE CITY IN A TRANSITIONAL URBAN ETHIOPIA.
Marie BRIDONNEAU, University of Paris 10- LAVUE, France
Sabine PLANEL, IRD-IMAF, France
WOLDEAB Teshome, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Clélie NALLET; DAWIT Gorems; Marie BRIDONNEAU; Sabine PLANEL; Mario MARASCO; HONE Mandefro;
Following analyses in political philosophy (see. Rawls or Sen), the notion of justice has recently resurfaced in social sciences. Freed from its ethical and normative dimension, the notion now allows stimulating works addressing the questions of common goods, public spaces, the redistribution to resources, and equal access to services. Spatial justice, social justice, environmental justice or gendered perspectives on justice restore and value the political dimension of social organization and consider with great depth the silenced claims of subaltern citizens not in capacity to frame their requests within the legal path of a formal/judicial process.
In contemporary Ethiopia, the extent and rapidity of socio-spatial transformations multiplies the opportunities for people to claim for justice as well as the ways to convey demands. These two panels intend to raise perceptions of justice, to observe their surge in public space and their consideration by authorities. Both present critical analyses grounded in social materiality.
“’Justice from below’ Panel 1: Searching for a Right to the City in a transitional urban Ethiopia” will address the socio-political transition in Ethiopia, through its urban dimension. We assume that the transitional urban Ethiopia, offers unprecedented opportunities to implement or to observe a potential reinvention – or reproduction - of a public ordering.
This panel then aims at contributing to the emerging debate over the Right to the City in Ethiopia in a dynamic way by articulating the analytical fit between political experiments and city dwelling, which are apparent in the Ethiopian context in a triangle of political and social emancipation, urban relocation and access to private property. It will question the capacity of urban dwellers to produce and to access the urban spaces that are highly affected by urban renewals and redevelopment projects.
We offer to analyse the possible conditions for redefining new patterns of urban development and citizenship around various themes: current redevelopment initiatives including massive involuntary displacement and access to private housing, especially through the allocation of condominiums in the major cities ; internal mobilities, the growth of a spatial mismatch and its outputs on employment ; or the evolving position of specific sub-groups (youth, migrants, daily wage workers, or middle classes) in urban society and their claims of justice in cities.
We expect proposals to consist in empirical cases studies and to detail local spaces and every day practices and welcome contributions that will consider small and medium urban centres as well as majors cities, or Addis-Ababa.
ADDIS ABABA MIDDLE CLASSES AND URBAN RENEWALS: STRATEGIC AND CONSTRAINED COMPOSITIONS [Abstract ID: 0702-04]
Addis Ababa has been undergoing rapid demographic and spatial transformations in the recent years, with an important growth in the number of inhabitants combined with urban expansion. At the same time, the government is leading a proactive urban modernisation policy (modernizing infrastructure, destruction–regeneration of city centres and reclassification of rural-peripheral areas, implementation of condominium programmes). The objective of turning Addis Ababa into a “showcase-city” involves radical changes in the urban landscape, and has a strong impact on the way urban dwellers are living in the city and access it. For many among them, urban renewals and redevelopment projects implies a move, including massive involuntary displacement or mobilities motivated by the access to private housing. Here we will focus on how urban renewals are affecting the position of Addis Abeba “middle classes” in the city and in urban society, and how they produce strategies to deal with the city reconfigurations and to access urban spaces. These aspects are part of more global social upward mobility strategies middle class members attempt to develop at different levels. This presentation is based on a qualitative study of 150 “neither rich nor poor” households conducted between 2011 and 2013 in Addis Ababa. The survey reveals that Addis Abeba intermediate social space is principally characterized by the social diversity of its members. The study focused on social trajectories and practices, and by doing so highlights three coherent intermediate social subgroups. Exploring these different groups demonstrates that even though the middle class category does not make sense as a coherent social group, it is a particularly useful tool to understand social transformations ongoing in the capital. The presentation will develop the multiple and complex relations these intermediate social groups have with their capacity to compose with urban renewals, to produce and access the urban spaces – which is a stake at the core of their upward social mobility ambitions.
PUBLIC HOUSING PROVISION AND HOUSING CONDITION OF CONDOMINIUM APPLICANTS IN ADDIS ABABA [Abstract ID: 0702-05]
One of the primary requirements of human beings is to have a shelter in order to shield from natural and social phenomena. The problem of housing is a worldwide phenomenon and it is more severe in less developing than developed countries. This study has examined the provision of public housing, current housing condition of applicants, affects of the existing housing conditions i.e., public houses on quality of life (social and health) of resident. In connection with this, the study has investigated the demand for adequate housing and government response to meet that demand.Both descriptive and explanatory research designs were employed for this study. They are suitable to describe and explain the degree and nature of the housing problem, provision of affordable public housing and social and health impacts encountered by residents in the study area. Both qualitative and quantitative research approaches were used to collect data. Primary data were collected from the study area using survey, structured and semi structured interviews Secondary data was collected through extensive survey of theoretical and empirical literature from documents and reports of different governmental institutions. Both quantitative and qualitative techniques are used to analyse the data collected. Critical housing shortages, depletion of quality and overcrowding are the significant problems which characterise Addis Ababa. Housing project which is formulated by government and intended for the poorer sections of Addis Ababa city is becoming less affordable due to several reasons particularly- prepayment system becoming very expensive;payable monthly amount becoming high. Most importantly, total price of condominium housing is very expensive and is expecting to increase further. Therefore, the study reveals that the housing program is a burden for lower income residents of Addis Ababa.
RESHAPING URBAN POWERS AND SOCIETY IN HOMEOWNERS COMMITTEE [Abstract ID: 0702-02]
This presentation exploits a fieldwork’s material collected in various condominiums, mainly in Jemo site, within an international collaborative programme, DALVAA. Based on empirical research, it aims to unravel the politics of every day life and offers a political ‘grassroots’ analysis of urban change, from the standpoint of materiality of space – rather than from the ability of dwellers to resort to a language of rights against authoritarian practices or neoliberal agendas. Ever since the 2000’s, policies that promote access to housing are a key tool to the Ethiopian government’s economic planning strategy and it’s political project. This politicisation of urban renewal intertwines a top-down and state-led management of access to public housing and the variety of individual/entrepreneurial strategies or bricolages that dwellers daily implement to answer or bypass state’s requirements. Considered as key experimental spaces for the construction of developmental agendas, condominium spaces- once appropriated by dwellers - reveal to be social and potentially political laboratories. Do they crystallise new political aspirations or reproduce – albeit with slight differences – a long-standing socio-political order characterised by an owner-tenant hierarchy, bureaucratic procedures and sanctions based around social control? This presentation observes this potential socio-political shift on the basis of a fine-grained analysis of homeowners associations (committee) recently promoted inside condominiums sites.
RIGHTS FROM THE STREET CORNER IN MEKELLE. AN ETHNOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF AN UNRULY YOUTH GROUP IN THE MUTABLE URBAN SCENARIO. [Abstract ID: 0702-01]
The paper aims to offer an analysis, starting from an empirical case study of the urban transitional social context of Mekelle city.The study adopts an ethnographic approach, based on qualitative inquiry and participant observation. The research focuses on the debates on a slice of urban life, where a group of young people from Da Gabriel block as protagonists. These youths are a kind of “corner boys society”, spending all their time at their block street corners, apparently without any purpose or motivation. Their block was originally a rural area, then it became a sub-urban area and now it is turning into a new inner city. Everything is changing around them, who define themselves as brothers and as a gang-a sub-group named “third world”. They are often accused legitimately or not of not having a working attitude and of being violent small criminals or cheaters. They have a way of perceiving the city and the social justice, based primarily on the solidarity among themselves, like brothers of the block (deki sefer). This is a form of resistance to the rapid socio-political transformation processes. The analysis will start from an audiovisual document – provided by Tigray Television - in which a recent mediation process is reported between Da Gabriel guys and young people from another block, "enemies" during a period of street fights. The traditional mediation process is called Erki, which here becomes an interesting scene in which various social parts - street guys groups, administrators, elders, religious leaders, neighbours try to express the ideology of their subgroup and their claims of "justice" in the city.
THE CONDOMINIUM HOUSING PROGRAMME IN ETHIOPIA: A RESEARCH RECONNAISSANCE TO ITS NEIGHBORHOOD SOCIAL CAPITAL IMPLICATIONS [Abstract ID: 0702-03]
New low-cost condominium neighborhoods have flourished in Addis Ababa and other major cities of Ethiopia in the last decade as a strategy to address the severe housing shortage. Because these neighborhoods are very densely populated, high story, and gated, compared to typical neighborhoods in Ethiopia, there is a perception that residents alike in these condominium neighborhoods possess low social capital. However, theoretical and empirical evidence elsewhere shows that there is variation among demographic and socioeconomic groups of residents’ interims of their stock of social capital in their neighborhood. To test if this indeed is true in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, we compared the social capital of different socio-demographic and socioeconomic groups. We found that among the seven variables considered (gender, marital status and having children, level of education and level of income. tenure status and length of stay in the neighborhood) only three (having children, being house owner and length of stay) were found to be significantly correlated each with one dimension of neighborhood social capital. Policy implications of the findings in terms of enhancing social capital in condominium neighborhoods are discussed.