Urban Informality: An International Workshop

Linking informal working practices and the governance of everyday life

Thursday 27 June | HU2.37, Hugh Aston Building, De Montfort University, Leicester

This workshop will seek to trace the possible relationships between dynamics of informality that cut across  governance, work and ordinary life. It will explore relations between longstanding community practices of survival beyond (but without excluding) the formal institutions of the state, the persistence and transformation of informal economies and their impact on work, class formation and collective organisation, and the modes of local governance that continually (re)emerge to manage and respond to these features of urban informality. The aim is to understand possible configurations of hybrid practices in informal modes of work and life and the informal practices and institutions that emerge in interactions between ordinary citizens, local authorities and grassroots forms of entrepreneurship, exploring the various means by which individuals and communities navigate these complex formations of urban informality. Please register a place by 21 June, see details below.

Contributions will address these themes by asking:

(1) How do individuals and communities organise their daily lives to survive (or to thrive) in these settings?
(2) To what extent do they construct alternative modes of social, political, and economic organisation to fill gaps left by the withdrawal and/or non-existence of formal institutions?
(3) How far are these intentionally, or not, supported by state institutions and actors?
(4) What connections can be made between these distinctive areas of urban informality at work, in everyday life and in the associated forms by which these are governed?
(5) To what extent does urban informality, developed through the intersections of work, community and life, create identities that help overcome economic, political or social crises?

 

Programme

 Welcome and introduction (9:30-10:15am)

Adam Fishwick and Valeria Guarneros-Meza (DMU)

 Session 1: Living through the boundaries of urban informality (10:15am-12:00pm)

Colin Marx (UCL): ‘Getting between informal working practices and the governance of everyday life’

Jacob Nielsen (Liverpool): ‘Navigating formalisation: migrant hostel dwellers and the banking system’

Begoña Aramayona (Autonomous University of Madrid) ‘Let’s kick out the trash: (In)formal securitisation and Morality by ‘civilised’ residents in a working-class area of Madrid’

Lunch

 Session 2: Urban informality and politics beyond waste (1:00-2:45pm)

Maurizio Atzeni (CEIL, Argentina): ‘Local politics and workers’ organisational practices in the waste collection and recycle chain in Argentina and Chile’

Precious Akponah (Leicester): ‘The social life of rubbish: an ethnography in Lagos, Nigeria’

Louise Guibrunet (UNAM, Mexico): ‘Is there a place for informal workers in the urban sustainability project?’

Coffee break

Session 3: Rule-making and breaking under urban informality (3:00pm-4:45pm)

Ismael Blanco (UAB)*, Vivien Lowndes (Birmingham) and Yunailis Salazar(UAB)*: ‘What is the relationship between formal rules and informal practices within participatory governance, and how has this been impacted by austerity? A case study of Barcelona, 2008-19’

Raphael Bischof (DMU): ‘Secure tenure in a world heritage site: alternatives for housing and protection of landscape in central Salvador, Brazil’

Theodor Born (QMUL): ‘Blurring state prosaics: precarity, bureaucracy, and urban informalities among Latin American migrants in London’

Closing (4:45-5:00pm)

Registration is now open, send your interest in attending by 21 June 2019 to: adam.fishwick@dmu.ac.uk

Only a limited number of participants will be able to register for the full-day workshop.

The workshop is hosted by De Montfort University, Leicester. Co-sponsored by the Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA), People Organisation and Work Institute (POWI) and Local Governance Research Centre (LGRC).

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