Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Sangeeta Banerji — Fixing Mumbai: Broker-life, Expertise, and Technology in the Urban Bureaucracy

Friday, February 18, 2022

2:00pm – 4:00pm

McKinney Conference Room, 111 Thayer St

Sangeeta Banerji's research investigates 'fixers' who have been for years, instrumental in 'fixing' the city of Mumbai by mobilizing varying politics at different positions with one of the largest bureaucratic state apparatuses—the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. Rejecting normative black and white accounts of state action in India, she claims that it is the 'fixers' operating in the space of the local state who are key makers of the Indian city. Her ethnographic research is motivated the by two broad questions of: How do these key fixers mold state space to settle and unsettle the city of Mumbai? How does the changing space of the state in Mumbai in which these local fixers reside influence ways in which the city of Mumbai is produced? To conduct a multiscalar and multisited ethnography of informal brokerage in Mumbai, she follows the translation of the spatial plan called the 'development plan' as it moves through the levels of bureaucracy and interacts with these key 'fixers' that she identified during her research.

South Asia Seminar