Growth and Citizenship in Indian Cities: A Comparative Perspective

Workshop No: 
Patrick Heller
Tue, 27/11/2012 - 15:45 - 17:30

As part of our Urban Workshop Series, the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), Delhi are organizing a Workshop on  Growth and Citizenship in Indian Cities: A Comparative Perspective  by  Patrick Heller of Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, India and Brown University, Providence, USA.


Are growth and inclusion compatible in the mega-cities of the Global South? Can democratic urban governance make the difference?  Under what conditions can cities be effectively coordinated?  This talk develops a preliminary view of growth and citizenship in India by exploring Indian cities through Brazilian and South African lenses.  Extending insights from urban regime theory, Prof. Heller argues that the South African city has become a quintessential “growth machine”; that the Brazilian city can be usefully categorized as a “social city” in which participatory structures have secured a basic “right to the city”; and that viewed through these lenses the Indian city appears as a “growth cabal”.  The difference, he argues, can only be understood by examining the relationship between political power and civil society in each country.

Patrick Heller is a professor of sociology and international studies at Brown University.  His main area of research is the comparative study of social inequality and democratic deepening. He is the author of The Labor of Development: Workers in the Transformation of Capitalism in Kerala, India (Cornell University Press, 1999) and co-author of Social Democracy and the Global Periphery (Cambridge University Press, 2006). He has published articles inPolitics and Society, World Politics, World Development, Theory and Society, Social Forces, the Journal of African and Asian Studies, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Studies and the Journal of Development Studies. His most recent book – Bootstrapping Democracy (Stanford University Press) with Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Marcelo Silva – explores politics and institutional reform in Brazilian municipalities.  Heller has also done research on urban inequality in South Africa, including GIS work on spatial patterns of service delivery ( He is currently visiting the Centre for Policy Research, conducting research on urban governance and transformation in India. Prof. Heller received his PhD in sociology from the University of California in Berkeley. He can be reached at:


This is the thirty fourth in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society, and politics. For further information, please contact: Marie-Hélène Zerah at or Partha Mukhopadhyay at

Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research, Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021