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Democracy, legitimacy, and mega-project politics: the evolution of Lahore’s first BRT corridor

Sajjad, Fizzah and Javed, Umair (2022) Democracy, legitimacy, and mega-project politics: the evolution of Lahore’s first BRT corridor. Antipode, 54 (5). 1497 - 1518. ISSN 0066-4812

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Identification Number: 10.1111/anti.12829

Abstract

This paper studies the politics surrounding the implementation of Pakistan’s first mass transit project, the Lahore Bus Rapid Transit corridor completed in 2013, to interrogate the role that infrastructure mega-projects hold in highly factional and democratising polities of the global South. Drawing on the Lahore BRT as a case study, this paper posits that infrastructure development is increasingly interwoven with conceptions of political legitimacy and “modernising” governance, especially under conditions of nascent democratic competition. We argue that democratisation-led transformations in the political-institutional context of state power has helped fashion new roles for mega-projects, which partly explains why state power is mobilised for projects that had been ignored for several decades. Finally, this paper cautions that this new role for infrastructure, while marking a departure from previous patterns, can simultaneously constrain the possibilities for sustainable interventions going forward.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14678330
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2022 10:21
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2022 13:06
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/114275

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