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Why won't urban informality disappear?

Prague and online (Zoom)

Informal public transport in Tbilisi, Georgia (centre of the picture). Photo: Lela Rekhviashvili

Lecture given by the IfL researcher Dr Lela Rekhviashvili at the CESCAME mini-series 2022: Urban practices and social change

  • 12 October 2022, 15:30 CET
  • Centre for the Study of Social Change and the Material Environment (CESCAME), Prague, Czech Republic / online via Zoom

Drawing on long-term ethnographic study of informal transport workers and parking guards in Tbilisi Lela Rekhviashvili illustrates in her talk "Why won't urban informality disappear? Marketisation, social embeddedness and shifting spaces of informality in urban mobility" challenges of seeing urban informality as yet another, albeit inferior, manifestation of capitalist relations. She points out that informal economic practices, especially those pursued by urban subaltern groups,  often subvert rather than resemble capitalist relations, are socially embedded and have their own reciprocal and redistributive logics.

Lela Rekhviashvili is a member of the IfL's research area "Multiple Geographies of Regional and Local Development". Her research interests include informal economic practices in post-socialist Eastern Europe and Eurasia, especially the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Learn more

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