Call for papers: Housing Policy and Governance in India: orthodoxies, challenges and power

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Special Issue: Housing Policy and Governance in India: orthodoxies, challenges and power

Guest Editors: Urmi Sengupta, Annapurna Shaw and Debolina Kundu

The International Journal of Housing Policy, a leading forum for the critical analysis of housing policy, is pleased to announce a call for papers on Housing Policy and Governance in India: orthodoxies, challenges and power.

Over the last three decades, India has become a flashpoint for housing crises and policy experiments. Whilst the country has followed the trodden path of neoliberalism since 1991 by an increasing adoption of the rules and methods of the market, the housing problem has persisted, leading to changes and innovations in housing policy, delivery and governance.

Nationally PMAY-HFA (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Housing for All) was launched in 2015 to provide housing to all by 2022. Concomitantly, National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy (2007) is being revised to accommodate the new perspective. The NITI Aayog, also known as the National Institution for Transforming India, has now replaced the Planning Commission with the aim of achieving Sustainable development goals, enhanced cooperative federalismand most importantly, democratised governance based on a broad-based bottom-up approach. These plans and programmes are articulated within India’s multi-tiered governance system, where housing policy cascades from the Centre to the State and from the State to City governments or municipalities amidst a network of public, private and community-based organisations. As new governance evolves, there are challenges arising from institutional lock-ins, unequal power of stakeholders or individuals, and collective resistance to stakeholder influences. There are subsequent questions concerning housing provision  associated with power relations, organisational inertia, and communication failures across a wide range of actors. Understanding transition requires not only more spatial nuance, but also recognition of divergent political narratives and socio-economic realities. Further, the governance aspect is challenging, with millions of urban poor falling outside the pathologies of institutional governance directing them to become self-governing, self-activating actors.

What does this ‘informal governance’ mean in practice? What are the implications of this shift of emphasis towards the discourse of ‘governance’ as opposed to the more traditional notion of ‘government’, and how is the current state of marketisation influencing housing policy and delivery? What are the “governance gaps” stifling housing delivery historically? Why do housing policies fail in India?

Against this backdrop, we invite empirical and theoretical papers that explore Housing Policy and Governance in India, capturing the inherent complexities and contradictions and regional idiosyncrasies. For the purpose of this Special Issue we suggest key themes relating to, but not limited to, state market relations, neoliberal transformation, decentralisation, stakeholder dynamics, housing market economics, inequality and social justice.


Deadline for abstract submission: 30 September 2018

Notification to Authors: 30 November 2018

First draft due: 30 April 2019

Final version of the papers due for online submission system: 31 July 2019

Abstracts to be submitted (maximum 500 words), indicating research questions, theoretical approaches, methods and main research findings to:; and