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Effects of Civil Society on Urban Planning and
Governance in Mysore, India






A Dissertation Submitted
to the
Faculty of Spatial Planning
Technical University of Dortmund



by


Manjunath Sadashiva
December 2007

in fulfilment of the requirements
for the degree of a
Doctor rerum politicarum (Dr. rer. pol.)















ii
Effects of Civil Society on Urban Planning and
Governance in Mysore, India






A Dissertation Submitted to the
Faculty of Spatial Planning of the Technical University of Dortmund

by

Manjunath Sadashiva
in December 2007

in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of a
Doctor rerum politicarum (Dr. rer. pol.)






Doctoral Committee

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. em. Volker Kreibich
TU Dortmund

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Raghavendra Lakshmanrao Mutalik Patil
Bangalore University

Examine r: Prof. Dr. Hans Heinrich Blotevogel
TU Dortmund

Date of defense: 31st January 2008

iii
Declaration

I hereby declare that this doctoral dissertation is the result of an independent
investigation. Where it is indebted to the work of others, acknowledgements
have duly been made.


Manjunath Sadashiva
Dortmund, February 2008 iv
Acknowledgements

I wish to place on record my sincere gratitude to my supervisors Prof. Volker Kreibich and Prof. R.L.M.Patil for
their valuable guidance and encouragement throughout the doctoral journey. I am greatly indebted to
Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst (EED Bonn) for sponsoring my doctoral research for a period of three and a
half years. I am grateful to Mrs. Susanne Werner, my academic supervisor at EED for her advise and support all
through these years. My sincere gratitude also to Prof. Samuel Paul, Chairman of Public Affairs Centre,
Bangalore, for his constant support and grant of study leave that enabled me pursue this academic endeavor.

A special note of thanks to all those individuals and associations who partook in my field work in Mysore as key
informants, survey respondents and participants of focus group discussions. I would like to express my thankful
appreciation to the following persons and organizations for their kind cooperation and support during the field
research in Mysore and for helping me to access data resources: Dr. S. A. Prasad, Dr. Bhamy V. Shenoy and
Maj. Gen. S.G. Vombatkere of Mysore Grahakara Parishat; Mr. U. N. Ravikumar of Centre for Appropriate
Rural Technology; Mr. Manu of Mysore Amatueur Naturalists; Mr. A.S. Shivaprakash; Mr. K. B. Sadananda of
Vrukshamitra; Dr. M. B. Krishna of Bird Watchers Field Club of Bangalore; Mrs. Philomena Joy, Mr.
Venkatesh and Mr. Nagendra of Rural Literacy and Health Programme; office bearers and members of Mysore
Slum Dwellers Federation (MSDF), Dhwani Mahila Okkoota, Kirana Federation, Organization for Development
of People (ODP), Group for Rural and Urban Development (GUARD), Residents Welfare Associations,
Federation of Rate Payers Associations, Mysore Zilla Saaksharatha Samithi, Mysore City Corporation-SJSRY
Project Unit and Prasthuthi; Mr. R. Krishnakumar, Mysore correspondent of The Hindu; members and leaders
of Vasanthnagar and P.K. Sanitorium communities; and officials of agencies and departments of the Government
of Karnataka namely, the Mysore Division of the Forest Department, Mysore Urban Development Authority,
Mysore Sub-division of the Karnataka Slum Clearance Board, Mysore City Corporation, Mysore Regional
Office of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and
Finance Corporation, and Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Mysore District.

I wish to gratefully appreciate Prof. Vivekananda and Dr. Venugopal Reddy of Public Affairs Foundation for
their guidance and assistance in data management and statistical analysis; Mrs. Poornima of Public Affairs
Centre for her timely support in translating survey instruments; Ms. Kalyani, Mr. Datta Narayana, Ms. Vasantha,
Ms. Sowbhagya and Ms. Mamatha for their able assistance during field research in Mysore; Dr. Umapathy,
former Head of the Department of Political Science, Mysore University for his hospitality, guidance and
valuable insights; staff of the Mysore University Guesthouse for accommodating me during the field research;
and Prof. Einhard Schmidt-Kallart and his colleagues at SPRING, Dortmund University for providing me an
enabling space to work during one of the most difficult phases of my thesis work.

I would not have endured my doctoral venture successfully without the moral and emotional support of my dear
friends Arun and Marianne, Lore and Gert, Alonso, Vrunda, Archana (Chimpu), Sunita, Marijk, Anne, Johan,
Gopi, Lalitha and Priya. I express my heartfelt gratitude to all my friends for their steadfast love and generosity.
v
Abstract

The current global policy on urban governance in the cities of the third world seeks to harness
associational forms of civil society as an interface for civic engagement and an instrument to achieve
efficiency in service delivery. This normative and undifferentiated treatment of civil society has not
only led to a wide spread scholarly debate on the very concept of civil society but also to the
emergence of alternative radical and transformatory paradigms about state-civil society relations.

Set in this backdrop, the thesis evolves a conceptual framework, develops research tools, and applies
them in Mysore, a South Indian city, in pursuit of empirical evidence on the nature of civil society and
the effects they induce on various spheres of urban planning and governance. In this regard, collective
empowerment of individuals, changes in the institutional arrangements, and the outcomes of decision
making processes are identified as the possible effects of associational civil society and are, therefore,
used as dependent variables. On the other hand, the organizational attributes of civil society, the
political opportunity structures, mobilization of social structures and the struggle over symbolic capital
(for e.g. shaping public opinion) in the public sphere are conceptualized as determinants of the effects
of civil society.

The study reveals that the associational terrain of urban governance in Mysore is highly differentiated
in terms of organizational attributes, ethnic composition, the degree of political orientation, functional
domains and spatial levels. The state and the civil society are shown as sharing a mutually influential
and inseparable relationship.

The study generates ample empirical evidence to conclude that associational forms of civil society do
induce effects on the level of collective empowerment of individuals, the public sphere and the
institutions of urban planning and governance in the city of Mysore. These effects are depicted as
outcomes of the complex interplay between various factors such as the differential organizational
features of associations; socio-economic attributes of their constituents; their ability to organize and
mobilize social structures; the strategies they use to influence public opinion in the public sphere; and
finally the state’s response to their actions. The study also uncovers the potential of associational civil
society to enhance rationality of urban planning in Mysore.

vi
Table of Contents
Abstract v
List of tables xii
List of figures xiv
List of abbreviations xv
1. Background and Objectives………………………………………. 1
st1.1 Urbanization: The challenge of the 21 century ……………………………….. 1
1.2 Paradox of cities: A crisis of urban governance………………………………... 1
1.3 Global Good Urban Governance Campaign……………………………………. 1
1.4 Good urban governance campaigns in the developing world: Focus on 2
civil society associations………………………………………………………...
1.5 Minimalist notions of state and civil society: The return of civil society 3
to political theory………………………………………………………………..
1.6 Civil society: A contested theoretical and ideological terrain …………………. 3
1.7 Broad questions and objectives of the dissertation …………………………….. 4
1.8 An overview of the report………………………………………………………. 4
2. The Concept of Democratic Governance………………………… 5
2.1 State, democracy and civil society ……………………………………………... 5
2.2 Democracy and human development…………………………………………… 5
2.3 Concept of governance ………………………………………………………… 6
2.4 The notion of good governance………………………………………………. 7
2.5 Key attributes of good governance 8
2.6 The concept of decentralized governance………………………………………. 9
3. Urban Planning and Governance: Tracing Civil Society in 12
Planning Theory……………………………………………………
3.1 Concept of urban governance: Actors and their power relations………………… 12
3.2 Functions of urban governance: Planning and management…………………… 13
3.3 Planning as a function of urban governance: Definitional issues………………. 14
3.4 Locating civil society in planning theory: The politics of rationalities………… 15
Meaning of rationality / The comprehensive rational approach: Dominance of instrumental
rationality / Advocacy planning approach: Bottom-up technocratic rationality / Incremental
planning theory / Critical planning theory: Emergence of communicative rationality / Concept of
communicative rationality / Applications of the concept of communicative rationality / Critique
of communicative rationality: Criticality of politics and power / The continued search for new
rationalities: The concept of transverse reason
3.5 Planning culture, political culture and civil society…………………………….. 23
4. The Concept of Civil society in Theory and Practice…………… 24
4.1. The return of ‘civil society’ to theory and practice…………………………... 24 vii
4.2. Historical antecedents of the concept of civil society…………………………... 25
State of nature vs. civil state: Hobbes and Locke / Preconceptions of the role of independent
intermediary associations: Montesquieu / Civil society as market and individualism: Advent of
classical political economists / Civil society as a distinct societal domain: The Hegelian notion /
Revolutionary transformation of civil society: Marxian thoughts / Associational life as the third
realm of society: De Tocqueville’s conceptions of civil society / Transformation of civil society
through counter hegemonic revolution: Gramsci / Civil society as a public sphere: Critical
theory and Habermas / Western civil society conceptualizations: A summary
4.3 The contemporary context: Civil society and democratization………………… 34
4.4. Civil society in development practice: Promoting associational life. ………….. 36

Associations, social capital and democratic governance / Social capital and civil society in
development practice / Criticism of Putnam’s social capital and its applications in development
practice / Emergence of alternative paradigm: Civil society as citizenship, rights, empowerment
and political participation
4.5 Civil society and governance in India…………………………………………... 40
Society in India: Stratification and hierarchy / Governance and human development in India /
Origins of civil society in India : Social reform movements and the nationalist struggle / Civil
society in post-independent India: Disenchantment with the state
4.6 Associational civil society in India …………………………………………….. 47
Size of the non-profit sector and typology of voluntary associations and organizations /
Associational boom in India: Disenchantment with the state or enchantment with civil society?
4.7 Civil society and democratic governance in India: Empirical research ………... 50
Civil society and governance in India: A study by PRIA / Social capital driven empirical
research: Mixed results / Civil society strategies for better public governance / Associational
civil society and urban governance in India / Trends and gaps in empirical research of
associational impacts on governance
5. Institutional Setting for Urban Governance in Karnataka ….. 55
5.1 Urbanization in India and Karnataka …………………………………………... 55
5.2. Multilevel framework for urban governance and planning in India…………… 56
5.3. Urban local governance in Karnataka…………………………………………... 57

Legal instruments and institutions for urban governance in Karnataka / Anatomy of municipal
governments / Other boards, corporations, and departments in urban local governance
5.4. Problems with the existing institutional arrangements in Karnataka…………… 60
Lack of Integrated and coordinated urban planning / Fragmentation of functional domain / Lack
of direct citizen participation in urban planning and governance / Hierarchical political party
structure / Fragmentation and discriminatory political circuits of decision making / Fragmented
urban governance arena: Implications for civil society and collective action
6. Conceptual Framework and Empirical Design……… 63
6.1 Associational civil society and urban governance: Towards a conceptual
framework for empirical investigation…………………………………………..
Marc Warren’s theory on associational civil society and their effects on governance / Types of
associations and their relevance for democratic governance: Propositions by Marc Warren and
Sussane Rudolph / Sources of political capacity for collective action / Bourdieu’s concepts: Political
field and the struggle over symbolic capital / Political opportunity structures, mobilization structures
and symbolic capital / Public sphere -rationality vs. political field - symbolic capital: Conceptual
congruence? / Combining associational types with sources of political capacity for effects on urban
governance / Completing the conceptual loop viii
6.2 Empirical design and methodology ……………………………………………. 71
Formulation of hypotheses / Selecting the locale for empirical research / Articulation of
research questions / An overview of research methods / Multiphase research process
7. Urban Governance and Local Political Openness to Civil Society 74
in Mysore: An Overview…………………………………………...
7.1 Urbanization in Mysore: Demographic, social and economic attributes ………. 74
7.2 Mysore: The heritage city ……………………………………………………… 75
7.3 Institutional arrangements for urban governance in Mysore…………………… 75
Mysore City Corporation: The urban local government / Mysore Urban Development Authority:
Urban planning / Karnataka Slum Clearance Board: Slu m improvement / Other agencies,
providers and regulators / The role of political bigwigs
7.4 How open is the local political culture to civil society associations? ………….. 77
Methodology / Profile of the interviewed councilors / Key inferences from the councilors’
interviews
Conclusions……………………………………………………………………………... 7.5 81
8. Exploring the Civil Society Arena in Mysore……………………. 82
Objectives of the exploratory field research……………………………………………. 8.1. 82
Conceptualization of urban government for empirical analysis of civil society in 8.2. 82
Mysore…………………………………………………………………………………...
Conceptualization of civil society in the urban governance arena for exploratory 8.3. 82
field research …………………………………………………………………………...
Methodology for exploratory field research …………………………………………… 8.4. 83
Key informants for the exploratory research 8.5. 84
Key informant interview format and process…………………………………………... 8.6. 85
Collation and analysis of secondary data ………………………………………………. 8.7. 85
Formal status of voluntary associations in Karnataka…………………………………... 8.8. 86
Key findings of the exploratory field research …………………………………………. 8.9. 86
Associations and initiatives with significant recall rate / Salient features of civil society
associations in Mysore: An evolutionary perspective / Towards a typology of associations in
Mysore / The general profile of associations
Selection of associations and initiatives for empirical phase…………………………… 8.10. 93
Conclusions……………………………………………………………………………... 8.11 94
9. Civil Society Associations and Collective Empowerment……….. 95
9.1 The meaning and definition of empowerment…………………………………... 95
9.2 The empowerment approach to development…………………………………… 96
9.3 Measuring empowerment as a process /outcome: Degrees, domains and levels… 97
9.4. Subjective measures of human agency or individual empowerment…………… 99
9.5. Political action and collective empowerment 101
9.6. Civil society and collective empowerment in urban governance: Conceptual 103
inputs for an empirical framework……………………………………………... ix
9.7. Formulation of hypotheses and elucidation of measurable variables…………... 105
9.8. Methodology…………………………………………………………………….. 106
9.9. Sampling of survey respondents………………………………………………… 107
Stratified multistage random sampling of member respondents / Sampling steps, tasks and
constraints / Sampling of non members
9.10. Survey implementation………………………………………………………….. 112
9.11. Organizational attributes of the surveyed organizations………………………... 113
9.12. Analysis of survey data and findings……………………………………………. 117
General demographic profile of respondents / Availability of household services and community
facilities / Computation of collective empowerment score / Correlation between the individual
variables and the composite variable / Formulation of null hypotheses / Null hypotheses testing /
Predictor variables of collective empowerment / Multiple regression analysis / Multiple
regression analysis for the dependent variable collective empowerment / Multiple regression for
the overall sample / Multiple Regression analysis for members only sample: Age of
membership, a significant predictor
9.13. Conclusions……………………………………………………………………... 137
10. Civil Society and Inclusive Governance for Slum Dwellers in 139
Mysore…………………………………………………………….
10.1. Empirical analysis of the second hypothesis……………………………………. 139
10.2. The meaning of inclusive urban governance…………………………………
Basic elements and outcomes of inclusive governance for the urban poor / Civil society 139
organizations and politics of inclusive urban governance
10.3. Slums and the urban poor: Definitional issues………………………………….. 141
10.4. Slums and slum dwellers in India ………………………………………... 142
Origin and spatial distribution of slums in Mysore / Demographic features of slums in Mysore /
Inclusive urban governance in Mysore: An operational definition for empirical analysis
10.5. Institutional arrangements for slum improvement in Karnataka………………... 145

Karnataka Slum Clearance Board / Role of Mysore City Corporation in slum rehabilitation/
Slums in city plan documents / Other laws, agencies and schemes for slum rehabilitation and
improvement in Mysore / Slum improvement arena: A multi institutional and schematic terrain
10.6. Civil society associations and slum improvement and rehabilitation in Mysore 150

Rationale for selecting case study organizations
10.7. Questions and methodology for empirical analysis…………………………… 150
Case study methodology: Exploring actors, variables and indicators for analysis of empirical
questions /
10.8. Description of case study associations ……………………………………. 152

Rural Literacy and Health Programme / Mysore Slum Dwellers Federation / Dhwani Mahila
Okkoota
Elucidation of variables and indicators of institutional effects on inclusive urban 10.9 155
governance …………………………
Indicators and influential factors of community Solidarity / Actors and their structural
relationship in slum improvement arena
x

10.10. City-level analysis of institutional effects of the RLHP Combine……………… 161
Effects on human development / Factors influencing the slum declaration process / Analysis of
effects on slum declaration / Analysis of effects on slum improvement and rehabilitation /
Analysis of the effects on slum improvement policy / Analysis of effects on institutional
arrangements: The practice of quarterly co-ordination meetings
10.11. Analysis of community level variables…………………………………………. 169
Profile and developmental history of Vasanthnagar resettlement slum / Profile and
developmental history of P.K. Sanitorium slum / Chronology of developmental events/ 2004-
2007:Eventful years: Complex interplay of political, civil society and caste forces
10.12. Key inferences on community solidarity 181
10.13. Conclusions 183
11. Civil Society and Urban Planning: The Case of Lingambudhi

Lake, Mysore………………………………………………………. 185
11.1. Civil society-institutional effects hypotheses…………………………………… 185
Rationale for selection of the second main case study / Case study research questions / Case
study methodology
11.2. Lakes and tanks as wetland ecosystems in India………………………………... 187
The lake system / Lake ecology: A dynamic and complex food chain
11.3. Tanks and lakes in Karnataka …………………………………………………... 189

Importance of lakes in urban areas / Status of urban lakes in Karnataka
11.4. Policy framework for urban lake conservation in India and Karnataka………… 190
11.5. Legal provisions for urban lake conservation in Karnataka…………………….. 191
11.6. Institutional arrangements for conservation of urban lakes in Karnataka………. 192
11.7. An overview of lakes in the city of Mysore…………………………………….. 193
11.8. Institutional Arrangements for Lingambudhi lake ……………………………... 194
11.9. Civil society in the context of lake conservation in Mysore……………………. 194
11.10. A profile of Lingambudhi lake………………………………………………….. 196
Current land use in the lake and its environs
11.11. Conservation history of Lingambudhi lake: The effects of civil society in a
multi institutional terrain ……………………………………………………….. 200
11.12. Phase one: Origin of civil society activities (late 70s to late 80s)………………. 200
11.13 Phase two: Community mobilization and focused interventions (1989 to 1997) 201
Documentation of flora in the lake and its environs: Towards informed advocacy / Mobilization
of local community and public opinion: The first Save Lingambudhi Lake Campaign / Forest
Department enters the lake conservation arena: A significant institutional effect / Emergence of
a plan for integrated development of Lingambudhi lake and its environs / Constraints of the
Integrated Lake Development Plan / Proposed alignment of Outer Ring Road along the
foreshore area of the lake / Institutional effects during phase two: Empirical feedback on
theoretical constructs

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