Rethinking South-South Cooperation

Wed, March 28, 2018 8:00 AM at University of Pittsburgh

Rethinking South-South Cooperation:
India and Brazil in the 21st Century

Wednesday March 28, 2018 University of Pittsburgh

Presentations by GUSP facility

Eva Kassens-Noor
Associate Professor of Urban and Transport Planning and Global Urban Studies
Michigan State University

“Feeling the pain of others to rethink our roles as participants in the mega-event circus: Homeless in Rio de Janeiro during the FIFA World Cup”

Stories of social exclusion, violence, and power abuse taint the history of mega-events, such as the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup. The latest host city of both, Rio de Janeiro, has focused the international spot-light on homelessness in the Global South. We observed the treatment of the homeless during the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil and reflected on our role conflicts experienced as planners, academics, tourists, and spectators in global mega-events. We felt powerless against global political and economic forces inflicting grave injustices on the homeless. Confronting our experienced paralysis in Rio, we used Susan Sontag’s work on understanding the pain of others to suggest ways of thinking about professional and personal choices within a spectrum of probity, morality and justice. We encourage readers to rethink their positionalities in the mega-event circus and urge planners to rely on emotions, experiences, and reflection as ethical guides beyond globally- or locally-recognized codes of conduct.

Xuefei Ren
Associate Professor of Sociology
Michigan State University

“Governing the Informal: Housing Polices over Informal Settlements in China, India, and Brazil”

Informal settlements in cities in the global South have been increasingly targeted for redevelopment led by public-private coalitions, especially if they are in central locations. Previous scholarship often characterizes housing policies targeting infor-mal settlements as examples of entrepreneurial governance geared toward recapturing land value by private and public elites. This understanding, however, glosses over the disparate policy choices that local governments use to address informal settlements. This article proposes an analytical framework to explain the variations in policy responses to informal settlements, and it argues that the various policy initiatives are largely shaped by four factors—inter-governmental relations, electoral politics, municipal finance, and the capacity of the civil society. With examples from China, India, and Brazil, this study comparatively examines how these forces have produced distinct informal housing policies, such as urban village removal in Guangzhou, slum rehabilitation in Mumbai, favela upgrading in Rio de Janeiro.