RC21@Delhi Conference - In and Beyond the City

Report by Loraine Kennedy

From September 18th to 21st Delhi hosted the annual conference of the Research Committee on Sociology of Urban and Regional Development (RC21) of the International Sociological Association.

This year’s theme was “In and Beyond the City: Emerging Ontologies, Persistent Challenges and Hopeful Futures”.

The local organizing team was composed of urban scholars from Delhi Contemporary, a collective of sociologists, the Center for Policy Research and Ambedkar University, all based in Delhi.

Hundreds of delegates from around the world participated in over 60 panels and round tables, in addition to a number of side events. India Habitat Centre, located in central Delhi, was the venue.

From the CEIAS, Jules Naudet and Loraine Kennedy each co-organized a panel, entitled respectively: “Embedded Comparisons: Urban Processes at Multiple Scales” and “The Peri-urban Question: Renewing Concepts and Categories”.

Panel: The Peri-urban Question: Renewing Concepts and Categories


Shubhra Gururani (Department of Anthropology, York University)

Loraine Kennedy (CEIAS Centre for South Asian Studies, CNRS)

Ashima Sood (Indian School of Business)

Thomas Cowan (University of Bergen): Subaltern frontiers: imagining periurban land through the agrarian state

Carol Upadhyay (National Institute of Advanced Studies): Becoming Urban: Land and Caste at the City’s Edge

Sebastián Villamizar Santamaría (CUNY): Gentrifying urbanizing spaces: Suburban growth and rural urbanization in Colombia

Pratik Mishra (King's College): The political ecology of soil and labour flows in the peri-urban brick kilns of Delhi NCR

Robbin Jan van Duijne, Chetan Chouthani, and Jan Nijman (University of Amsterdam): India’s hidden urbanization. An alternative look at the rural-urban transition in Bihar and West Bengal

Eric Denis (Géographie-cités, CNRS) & Marie-Hélène Zérah (Centre for Policy Research, CESSMA, IRD): Peripheries of what? Subaltern urbanization, small towns and the periurban in India

M T R Chowdhury (M J G Brussel, A B Grigolon, A Maringanti) (University of Twente): Mapping peri-urbanisation in a datascarce environment: A case study of Hyderabad, India

Karin Pfeffer (Risper Sarah Khanani, Emmanuel Junior Adugbila, Javier Martinez) (University of Twente): The impact of road infrastructure projects in the peri-urban zone of Kisumu, Kenya and Accra, Ghana

Sudeshna Mitra (Indian Institute for Human Settlements): Financialisation of land as peripheral urbanization: Unpacking land based finance

Bérénice Bon (French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD/CESSMA): Politics of land in peri-urban spaces: Interests, practices and struggles of nonstate economic actors in Nairobi

Ratoola Kundu (Tata Institute of Social Sciences): Emerging livelihood narratives of survival and governance challenges in newly incorporated villages in West Bengal

Michael Schwind (University of Kassel): Extending the notion of the urbanagrarian frontier: Hegemony, everyday life, and the making of a town in Bangalore’s periphery


Panel: Embedded Comparisons: Urban Processes at Multiple Scales

Conveners :

Hilary Silver (George Washington University)

Yuri Kazepov (University of Vienna)

Jules Naudet (CEIAS Centre for South Asian Studies, CNRS)

Xuefei Ren (Michigan State University) : From a Comparative Gesture to Structured Comparisons

Sukriti Issar (Sciences Po): The political economy of urban regulations: theory,politics, mechanisms

Ayse Caglar (University of Vienna): Migrants and City-Making: a multi-scalar comparative perspective

Urszula Wozniak
(Humboldt University): The neighbourhood as political scale: Learning from an intra-urban comparison

Manoj K. Teotia (C.R.R.I.D): Understanding Emerging Patterns of Inequality and Marginalization of the Urban Poor in India