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Developing Durable Infrastructures: Politics, Social Skill, and Sanitation Partnerships in Urban India

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Abstract

Accelerated national and international efforts to redress the acute lack of infrastructures in the developing world have focused on forging partnerships to spur infrastructure development. This article finds a sore lack in attempts to grasp how infrastructures implemented through multiactor partnerships within entrenched, often volatile, political environments, become durable. Durability is understood here through field analysis, an approach common within the “new institutional” literature. Two case studies of sanitation infrastructure-making from cities in India are presented as empirical evidence. Failure of the first case and the success of the second in acquisition of durability clearly illustrate the vital role political strategy plays in making infrastructures durable.

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