Working Paper No. 71. Urban Segregation from Below: drugs, consumption and primitive accumulation in Managua, Nicaragua.

Abstract

This paper explores the emergence of new forms of urban segregation in contemporary Managua, Nicaragua. Although the country has historically always been characterised by high levels of socio-economic inequality - with the notable exception of the Sandinista revolutionary period (1979-1990), when disparities declined markedly - the past decade in particular has seen the development of new processes of exclusion and differentiation, especially in urban areas. In many ways, these are part of a broader regional trend; as several recent studies have noted, many other Latin American cities are undergoing similar mutations. The seminal investigation in this regard is undoubtedly Teresa Caldeira's City of Walls, which traces the way in which rising crime and insecurity have changed the cityscape of Sao Paolo, Brazil, transforming it from a space of open circulation to a fragmented archipelago of isolated \"fortified enclaves\". This new urban morphology is most visible in the proliferation of self-sufficient gated communities and closed condominiums for the affluent, which have significantly altered the character of urban space, as those on the 'inside' of the enclaves no longer relate to notions of spatial cohabitation with those on the 'outside', but rather to an ideal of separation from them.

This paper examines urban Nicaragua where this phenomenon has arguably gone further than enclaves and has led to the emergence of a 'fortified network' for the elites which excludes the poor and has profoundly altered the cityscape.

Citation

Rodgers, D. Working Paper No. 71. Urban Segregation from Below: drugs, consumption and primitive accumulation in Managua, Nicaragua. (2005) 17 pp.

Working Paper No. 71. Urban Segregation from Below: drugs, consumption and primitive accumulation in Managua, Nicaragua.

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