Landscapes of AccumulationReal Estate and the Neoliberal Imagination in Contemporary India

Landscapes of AccumulationReal Estate and the Neoliberal Imagination in Contemporary India

Llerena Guiu Searle

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780226384900

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

Mushrooming in size and bristling with new construction, Indian cities are being remade to suit a new post-liberalization society of computer engineers, working women, and savvy consumers. Now, alongside open-air markets and crumbling apartment blocks, spacious air-conditioned malls sell Louis Vuitton luggage and Swarovski crystal, condominium towers offer residents gated security and indoor gyms, and glitzy office buildings house international firms. This book explains the violent, sudden, and spectacular growth of India’s cities by focusing on the people who have moved capital into real estate and the stories of growth that they have used to fuel speculation and capital accumulation. It departs from most scholarship on urban change in India which focuses on slum clearances and the disavowal of the poor that justifies them. Instead, this book examines the movements of capital that have precipitated urban restructuring. Looking beyond the facades of India’s glitzy buildings to provide an ethnographic account of the international networks of speculative finance and the events of communication through which they are produced, this book explains how markets and cities are made.