Power, politics and policy in the appropriation of urban wetlands: the critical case of Sri Lanka

Hettiarachchi, Missaka, Morrison, Tiffany H., and Mcalpine, Clive (2017) Power, politics and policy in the appropriation of urban wetlands: the critical case of Sri Lanka. Journal of Peasant Studies.

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Little is known about the drivers and governance strategies of appropriation of urban nature in the global south. We compare urban land-grabbing in the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka, with broader understanding of rural land-grabbing in the developing world. We show that the colonial legacy of appropriation and alteration of urban wetlands in Colombo has attained new heights in the neo-liberal period. This cyclical process has caused acute irreversible damage to the wetland ecosystem and a vast majority of the urban poor, with the marginalised continuing to suffer dispossession and environmental hazard. In recognition of the inherent limitations of 'uncontrollable' hybrid ecologies, potent social struggles have emerged to resist the continued appropriation agenda. As this cycle is perpetuated, broader social struggles for democratic urban governance have overtaken the pursuit of narrow political-economic goals and internal policy reform.

Item ID: 54373
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1743-9361
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© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2018 02:57
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440714 Urban policy @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441002 Environmental sociology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960708 Urban Land Policy @ 100%
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