Urban property regimes and citizenship in transition: Changing ownership patterns and systems of relatedness in India


Rising rates of urbanisation and informalisation of the labour force have turned property regimes in India into contested battlegrounds over livelihoods, resources and space. The present study seeks to harness the explicatory power of property for understanding the shifting societal systems and their underlying normative frameworks in post-liberalised India. Differential access to property is interlinked with the appropriation and mobilisation of other resources, including marriage alliances, the extraction of monopoly rent as well as the availability of bank accounts and credit cards.

Thus, property relations not only pertain to capital accumulation, but also to the legitimisation of citizenship and democratic rights defined along intersecting caste, class, religion and gender asymmetries.

Project activities

  • ​​​​​​​An internal workshop was organized by the B01 project team during February 1-2, 2023 in Erfurt.
  • A research paper to be presented by S. Jothe at a conference organized by the Indian Institute of Human Development in July 2023. The title of the paper is “Digital Labor Platforms and the Rural-Urban Technological Divide in India: The Impact of the Jajmani System and the Caste System on the Rural Poor”.
  • Paper presented by Varun Patil on panel on Interrogating State capacity on the issue of slum housing at IIPN annual conference at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad IIM (International conference) on December 13th, 2022.
  • Paper presented by Varun Patil at International workshop: City Drafting: Property-making and Bureaucratic Urbanism in South Asia University of Pennsylvania on May 23rd 2022. Paper presented is currently in review with CITY Journal (Taylor and Francis) as part of Special issue on Bureaucratic Urbanism.

Project Staff