Author

Hatem Zayed

Abstract

Rapid and uneven urban growth across the globe has been accompanied by increasing informality. In Egypt, as the state attempts to address urban housing informality, its urban development plans have been accused of being economically driven, unrepresentative of the demands of residents of informal areas, and threatening to their livelihoods and wellbeing, thus prompting many acts of resistance and dissent by those who dwell in informal areas. This thesis aims to explore reasons behind mobilization of residents of informal areas and their subsequent resistance to state urban plans by addressing a) the role played by the state in framing and identifying the present housing crisis, b) the role played by non-state actors in providing support to the state, and c) the avenues of participation available to residents of informal settlements through which they can partake in the decision-making process. It is hypothesized that resistance occurs within informal settlements in response to the inability of the state to play the role it set out for itself, reflecting a misdiagnosis of the nature of informality and an incomprehensive understanding of the housing crisis. Moreover, while non-state actors have been unable to compensate for the state's shortcomings, and as there are no formal channels of participation available for the residents of informal settlements, communities have found no other way but to resist through informal means. Additionally, this thesis explores the main drivers of social mobilization by examining two case studies, Bab El-Nasr and Ramlet Boulaq. In the latter, residents had been able to successfully mobilize resources and mount strong resistance against state housing policy; while in the former, efforts at resisting state policies were short-lived, scattered, and failed to bring about real change. In these case studies, perception of threat and deprivation, access to moral, cultural, human, material, and socio-organizational resources, along with the presence of networks of trust were found to be determining factors in explaining the transformation of granular acts of protest into structured and patterned collective action.

Department

Political Science Department

Degree Name

MA in Political Science

Date of Award

6-1-2014

Online Submission Date

May 2014

First Advisor

Albrecht, Holger

Committee Member 1

El-Nur, Ibrahim

Committee Member 2

Soltan, Gamal

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

122 P.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Housing -- Egypt -- Mobilization.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Community organization -- Egypt.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

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