The Political Economy of Climate Change and Vulnerability in a Neoliberal City: A Case of Bengaluru's Informal Settlements

Posted: 21 May 2018

See all articles by Kavya Michael

Kavya Michael

TERI

Tanvi Deshpande

Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)

Karthik Bhaskara

Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)

Date Written: May 8, 2018

Abstract

Understanding vulnerability in a city requires due recognition of the political economy that governs the multiple intersections between people and their living environment. This paper uses the case of informal settlements in Bengaluru, India, to examine vulnerability through a political economy lens in order to capture the larger social, political, economic and structural factors that shape vulnerability to climate change. It discusses how the structural nature of vulnerability, in the form of pre-existing socio-economic marginalisation, reinforces itself in the city. Despite the perception of cities as emancipatory spaces, our findings reveal how caste and migration status remain important factors contributing to differential vulnerability among the informal settlement dwellers in Bengaluru. Marginalised castes as well as new migrants in the city lack the necessary political and bargaining power to tap into networks that can ensure supply of basic services. This focus on understanding vulnerability from a political economy perspective is inadequately prioritised in climate change literature.

Keywords: informal settlements, climate change, political economy, vulnerability, Bengaluru

JEL Classification: R11, Q56, J19, J01, P48

Suggested Citation

Michael, Kavya and Deshpande, Tanvi and Bhaskara, Karthik, The Political Economy of Climate Change and Vulnerability in a Neoliberal City: A Case of Bengaluru's Informal Settlements (May 8, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3175132 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3175132

Kavya Michael (Contact Author)

TERI ( email )

DELHI, 11
India

Tanvi Deshpande

Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) ( email )

No. 196/36, 2nd Main
Sadasivanagar
Bangalore, Karnataka 560 080
India

Karthik Bhaskara

Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) ( email )

No. 196/36, 2nd Main
Sadasivanagar
Bangalore, Karnataka 560 080
India

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