Growth Infrastructures and Contestation in Goa

Authors: Kenneth Nielsen*, University of Oslo
Topics: Land Use, Asia, Development
Keywords: Infrastructures, India, aviation, resistance
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Virginia C, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The construction of best-in-class infrastructure is now increasingly being promoted by the government of India as the most efficient way of taking the Indian economy to new heights. Indeed, in terms of investment opportunities, the development of so-called growth infrastructures is one of the cornerstones of the much talked-about ‘Make in India’ programme launched in 2014, with ‘top visionary projects’ worth a whopping USD 34 billion to be developed by 2019. To us, however, the infrastructural components of the Make in India programme are not just about getting companies to ‘make their products’ in India; they are about materializing the infrastructural underpinnings that will ‘remake India’ into a globally recognized, innovative, world-class nation in tune with the aspirations of the countries new middle classes. Yet while growth infrastructures thus conjure up new aesthetic and affective desires, they also carry threats of unwelcome change, destabilization and outright dispossession. In this paper we analyse the case of airport development in Goa, India, as an instantiation of conflicting infrastructural imaginaries that have led to a prolonged conflict over land dispossession and marginalisation associated with infrastructure development. While attentive to the attendant discursive and material forms of power that underpin these different imaginaries, we are particularly concerned with understanding the constitution of these conflicting imaginaries and their modes of articulation.

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