Agency in the Barrio: Exploring the Intersection of Participation, Politics and Urban Development in Guatemala City
Brink-Halloran, Brendan Jon
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Completed as a series of article-length manuscripts, this dissertation reflects four interrelated aspects of my research on the topics of citizen participation, political practices of vote buying and approaches to community development in low-income urban areas, in the collection of neighborhoods known as Ciudad Peronia on the edge of Guatemala City. Together, the four articles in this thesis explore varying aspects of the social and political dynamics present in the interrelated processes of community organization and local development in Ciudad Peronia. The essays survey the complex array of contextual features that influence local outcomes, while also highlighting the important decisions of key actors. I highlight the interplay between context and agency, and in doing so, provide insight into the efforts of individuals and groups to construct meaningful citizenship rights, especially to basic living conditions, by means of a diverse array of self-organization initiatives and a variety of engagement strategies with the state. Despite the many obstacles revealed in this research, numerous individuals made a concerted effort to secure dignity and inclusion for themselves and members of their communities.
- Doctoral Dissertations