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Migrants and the Neoliberal City
Ranabir Samaddar
Price : ₹ 1150.00  
ISBN : 9789352872909
Language : English
Pages : 376
Binding : Hardback
Book Size : 140 x 216 mm
Year : 2018
Series :
Territorial Rights : World
Imprint : No Image
About the Book

India nurtures a contradiction between two images of its cities—they are the engines of economic growth and, at the same time, an inadequate and contested space for its various residents and subjects. Migrants and the Neoliberal City, a culmination of the research conducted by the Calcutta Research Group on rural migrants as the core of the urban poor in India, shows us why and how this contradiction plays out in the lives of migrants, on whose labour the city thrives.

This collection of twelve essays, based on extensive research and fieldwork, investigates the experience of migrating to three of India’s populous metropolitan cities: Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. They focus on the interrelations between urban policy, governance, forms of labour, migration, and neoliberalism as the political ideology motivating increasing urbanisation of India. It also shows how cities are increasingly turning into sites of conflict, fragmentation and gentrification, fragmentation and acute class conflict.

Since the migrant is central to neoliberal urban development and migrant labour is critical to the transformation of the city, their position in the informal, unorganised sector and their vulnerability to violence makes migrant labour and life precarious. This book documents and examines the coping strategies of such migrants, new forms of urban struggles, and resistances to legal and policy regimes. Focusing on the connections between the material conditions of labour and specific issues such as old age, rent, wage forms, etc., this book also shows how the recruitment and dispersal of this migrant labour in turn restructures urban spaces.

An important addition to the growing literature on Indian urbanism and urbanisation, this book will interest policy analysts and students and scholars of sociology, migration studies, development studies, urban studies and geography.

Table of Contents

List of Tables, Figures and Box
List of Abbreviations
Publisher’s Acknowledgements

Introduction by Ranabir Samaddar


  • Taking Refuge in the City: Migrant Population and Urban Management in Post-Partition Calcutta by Kaustubh Mani Sengupta
  • Urban Planning, Settlement Practices and Issues of Justice in Contemporary Kolkata by Iman Mitra
  • Migration, Street-dwelling and City Space: Women Waste-pickers in Calcutta by Debarati Bagchi
  • Migration and Care-giving in Kolkata in the Age of Globalisation by Madhurilata Basu


  • Homeless Migrants in Mumbai: Life and Labour in an Urban Space by Manish K. Jha and Pushpendra Kumar
  • The Emergence of the Migrant as a Problem Figure in Contemporary Mumbai: Chronicles of Violence and Issues of Justice by Simpreet Singh
  • The Cutting Edge: Death and Life of Safai Karmacharis and Elderly Security Guards in Mumbai by Mouleshri Vyas
  • Migrants, Vigilantes and Violence: The Making of New Urban Spaces in Mumbai by Ritambhara Hebbar and Mahuya Bandyopadhyay


  • The Capital City: Discursive Dissonance of Law and Policy by Amit Prakash
  • The Terra Firma of Sovereignty: Land, Acquisition and the Making of Migrant Labour by Mithilesh Kumar
  • Intimacy, Domesticity and Migrant Labour by Ishita Dey
  • From Kosi to Delhi: Life and Labour of the Migrants by Pushpendra Kumar and Manish K. Jha

Notes on Contributors

Contributors (Author(s), Editor(s), Translator(s), Illustrator(s) etc.)

Ranabir Samaddar is the Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies, Calcutta Research Group.