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Power Relations in Urban Decision-making: Neo-liberalism, 'Techno-politicians' and Authoritarian Redevelopment in Santiago, Chile

Hugo Marcelo Zunino
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Hugo Marcelo Zunino: Department of Geography, University of Chile, Portugal 84, Torre Chica, piso 3, Santiago, Chile, zuninol@uchile.cl

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 10, 1825-1846

Abstract: Taking as a subject of study an on-going urban development project in Santiago, Chile, the paper interprets how public and private actors came together in an urban decision-making episode which represented a particular power configuration. To consider both the structural forms of constraint and the differential capacity of actors to exert power, an analytical framework is constructed, derived from Giddens' structuration theory and from Foucault's approach to power. The analysis of the specific relationships established between the project's participants shows how individuals from the central state apparatus and private investors were controlling local redevelopment, relegating the local government (the municipality) and the people living near the project to non-influential positions. The concluding section considers the potentials and limitations of the analytical framework deployed and the degree to which its outcome could be generalised to the Chilean situation.

Date: 2006
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