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OGLM 2025 - South Asian Metropolis

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

South Asia is experiencing a rapid process of urbanization - which is accelerating since the turn of the XXIst century. It harbors some of the largest cities in the world. Karachi, Delhi, Bombay are amongst the largest metropolises of today and the “5 million plus” as well as the “1 million plus” cities are more and more numerous because of organic growth as well migration from the village. Besides, smaller towns develop too, so much so that it has become difficult to distinguish urban peripheries from rural areas – hence the increasingly used notion of “rurbanisation”. This semester course is intended to offer a comparative approach to these issues on the basis of empirical case studies. Taught by two specialists of South Asia, this interdisciplinary course is conceived at the crossroads of history, sociology, geography, economics political science and international relations in order to offer an anthropology of the South Asian city.


  • JAFFRELOT, Christophe (Research Director, CERI - Sciences Po)
  • TAWA LAMA-REWAL, Stéphanie (Research Fellow, CNRS)

Pedagogical format

12 sessions of 2 hours.

Course validation

1. One final paper, about 4000 words long (excluding tables and the bibliography) on a topic related to the subject of the course and approved by the instructors. The topics have to be submitted by early March. 2. Group presentations about one of the topics mentioned in the syllabus. The presentations, based on power points should not last more than 45 mn and should involve all the group members. Grading: a. 60% term paper. b. 20% participation. c. 20% group presentations.

Required reading

  • Urvi Mukhopadhyay, « Defining ‘Islamic' Urbanity: Through A Trans - Regional Frame », Asian Review of World Histories 3:1 (January 2015), 113-135
  • Sunil Khilnani (1997) “Cities” in S. Khilnani, The Idea of India, London: Hamish Hamilto
  • Patel, Sujata (2006) “City conflict and communal politics: Ahmedabad 1985-86” in S. Patel and Kushal Deb (eds), Urban Studies, Delhi: Oxford University Press
  • Arup Mitra, Urbanisation, slums, informal sector employment, and poverty : an exploratory study, London, BR Publishing Corporation,1994
  • Dupont, V. (2004), “Socio-spatial differentiation and residential segregation in Delhi: a question of scale?” Geoforum, 35: 157-175

Additional required reading

  • Baud, I.S.A. & de Wit, J. (2009) “Shifts in Urban Governance: Raising the Questions”, in Baud, I., de Wit, J. (eds.) New Forms of Urban Governance in India. Shifts, Models, Networks and Contestations. New Delhi: Sage
  • Dubash, Navroz K. et Sudhir Chella Rajan. 2001. « Power Politics: Process of Power Sector Reform in India ». Economic and Political Weekly 36(35):3367‑90
  • Segbers, Klaus (ed.) (2007) The Making of Global City Regions: Johannesburg, Mumbai/Bombay, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai, Baltimore MD: John Hopkins University Press
  • Baviskar, Amita. 2011. « Cows, cars and cycle-rickshaws: Bourgeois environmentalists and the battle for Delhi's streets ». in Elite and everyman: The cultural politics of the Indian middle classes, édité par A. Baviskar et R. Ray. New Delhi: Routledge
  • Anjaria, J.S. & McFarlane, C. (eds) (2010), Urban Navigations, Delhi: Oxford University Press (the two chapters on Karachi)