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Dr. Adam Abdullah

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Dr. Adam Abdullah

IBA faculty co-authored a paper on the dynamic and mutable nature of urban politics

Dr. Adam Abdullah, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, School of Economics and Social Sciences, co-authored a research paper, titled 'Re-arranging the urban: Forms, rhythms, politics', published in the Journal of Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.

This intervention is by a collective of scholars working on various facets of urbanisation in Asia. Focusing on the notion of arrangements/re-arrangements, it seeks to extend the consideration of urban politics as a matter of surges, a provisional consolidation of intensities, inhabitants and their practices, affiliations and orientations that give rise to continuously mutating forms of sense, care, and collective action. Whereas the work and effects of institutions, with their genealogies, remits, and competencies, are to a large extent specifiable according to their operating norms and the various regulatory frameworks that govern their operations, the dispositions of arrangements – what they do, what they actually bring about – are not readily definable or clear, enacting a form of performative ambiguity. Involving workarounds, collaborations, exchanges, and agreements that exceed the familiar protocols of interaction among households, local authorities, markets, civil institutions, brokers, and service providers, arrangements entail the enactment of caring, provisioning, regulating, mapping, and steering as the purview of more provisional, incessantly mutating forms that fold in bits and pieces of discernible institutions. In this heuristic intervention we seek to further the 'urbanisation' of urban geography itself, in the sense of complexifying both the terrain and the methodological practices brought to bear. It attempts to open a way of speaking about urbanisation processes that exceed binary formulations, countervailing scales, or structural absences to encompass a broader range of processes at work in shaping dispositions that are materialised or simply potentiated. It proceeds from a process of collective composition whose objective is to diversify the working tools of urban analysis rather than simply offering new conceptual formulations.

The article can be accessed here.