The Multiple Sites of Urban Governance: Insights from an African City

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Marijn Meijering

Authors: L. Lindell

Publication Year: 2008


Journal: Urban Studies

Volume: 45

Issue: 9

Categories: Resilience


Contemporary modes of urban governance involve a wide variety of actors. The present paper combines insights from several debates into a framework that considers the multiple sites where practices of governance are exercised and contested, various and entangled layers of relations and a broad range of practices of governance that may involve various modes of power, as well as different scales. The paper illustrates some of these complexities with an empirical study of the governance of marketplaces in Maputo, Mozambique. It shows how urban governance in a context of extensive informalisation and `democratic transition' can be highly fragmented and fluid, contesting some of the assumptions underlying Western debates on urban governance. It also questions notions of the hollowed-out state and an excessive focus on public policy.


Marijn Meijering