The following book review first appeared in ASIEN / The German Journal on Contemporary Asia 131 (see entry in my publication list) and is reprinted here with permission. The book itself is here.
K. Hackenbroch: The Spatiality of Livelihoods. Negotiations of Access to Public Space in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2013, 396 S., EUR 56,00
Through a mixed-method study of spatial claim-making in two low-income neighbourhoods in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Kirsten Hackenbroch unveils the thoroughly political nature of everyday life. The key contribution of her ethnography is to highlight "informality from above", that is the deep implication of the state in what many geographers and urban planners continue to discuss as a depoliticized, "informal" process of urban growth. This insight gains considerable weight from painstaking and thorough long-term fieldwork; "The spatiality of livelihoods" thus also stands as an example of what can be gained from this increasingly unpopular endeavour.