Urban Politics in the Global South

October 26-27, 2023

We are pleased to announce the 2023 Urban Politics in the Global South conference on October 26-27, 2023. The conference will be fully virtual. Sponsored by the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA and the APSA Urban and Local Politics section, this second annual conference brings together the growing community of social scientists conducting research on urban politics in low- and middle-income countries in different world regions. We seek to facilitate exchange among scholars within political science, related disciplines, and practitioners. 

The conference will feature an opening panel with invited speakers titled “Environment and Inequality,” which will discuss the role of climate vulnerability and environmental problems in shaping inequality and urban politics in the Global South in recent decades.

To capture the array of exciting work currently being conducted in the field, the conference will also include two types of research discussion, namely lightning talks (5-minute presentations) and discussions of full-length papers. Participants will be expected to read the papers in advance of the workshop and come prepared to discuss them. 

Please register to attend or be placed on a mailing list for future conferences below.



*All times are in Eastern Standard Time*




12:00 – 1:00pm: Opening Panel: Environment and Inequality


What does environmental degradation and inequality have to do with policy sectors such as transportation, solid waste, urban basic services, and housing? Join us for a discussion of how complex urban policy problems are shaped by climate change and pollution, and how urban public policy can be altered to promote more inclusive and equitable cities in the Americas, Asia, and Africa.  



Dr. Sonia Dias, WIEGO

Dr. Robin King, World Resources Institute 

Dr. Diana Mitlin, University of Manchester


Moderator: Dr. Veronica Herrera, UCLA



1:00-1:50pm: Lighting Talks 1

Emma Willoughby (University of Michigan), "Free to Associate?: Explaining Marketplace Governance and Food Safety in Vietnam and Thailand."

Binazir Yusupova (Dublin City University), "Navigating the Bazaar: Women’s Experiences of Informal Work in Tashkent."

Irene Farah (UC Berkeley), "Street Vending Intermediation and Political Transformations in Mexico City: Exploring Urban Governance Dynamics."

Chair: Alicia Cooperman



1:50-2:00pm: Break


2:00pm-3:00 pm: Paper Discussions 1

Monica Unda Gutierrez (Marquette University), "Democratization and Local Finances: Fiscal Populism in Mexico." Discussant: Jessica Zarkin

Noah Schouela (University of Chicago), "Nested Urban Democracy: Coalescing Class-Based and Local Voting in Lima, Peru." Discussant: Shiqi Ma

Tugba Bozcaga (King's College London), "The Effect of Incumbency on the Formation of Local Political Dynasties." Discussant: Erum Haider

Chair: Alicia Cooperman




12:00-1:40pm: Paper Discussions 2

Natalia Bueno (Emory University), "Revolving Doors: Explaining the Interdependence of Government and Nongovernmental Organizations in Brazil." Discussant: Alison Post

Maria Carreri (UC Berkeley), "Fiscal Rules, Austerity in Public Administration, and Political Accountability: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Colombia."Discussant: Alice Xu

Praveen Priyadarshi (IIT Delhi), "Space and the Everyday Politics of Chronic Paranoia: Political Practices in Gated Neighbourhoods, Noida, India." Discussant: Katrin Hofer

Sarah Khan (Yale University), "The Empty Promise of Urbanization: Gendered Patterns of Political Participation in Pakistan." Discussant: Emily Rains

Ayehu Bacha (Ghent University), "Addis Ababa’s Peri-urbanisation: A Microcosm of Contestations over State Formation of Ethiopia?" Discussant: Jeff Paller

Chair: Alison Post

1:40-1:50pm: Break


1:50-3:10pm: Lightning Talks 2

Mojgan Taheri Tafti (University of Tehran), "Urban Activism in Tehran: Invented Spaces of Opposition Against Planning Decisions."

Agnes Cornell (University of Gothenburg), "Institutional Determinants of Citizens’ Demand-Making: Experimental Evidence from Peru."

Aurora Echavarria (UCLA), "The Fiscal Contract of Urban Property Taxes: Measuring Determinants of Support for Property Taxes in Mexico."

Priyadarshi Amar (University of Wisconsin), "Socioeconomic History, Ethnic Fractionalization, and Legislative Activities: Evidence from India's Urban Councils."

Joaquin Benitez (University of Buenos Aires), "The Paradoxical Effects of Grassroots Politics in a Slum Upgrading Program: Institutional Participation and the Politics of Informality in the City of Buenos Aires."

Shiran Victoria Shen (Stanford University), "Regularized Campaigns as a New Institution for Effective Governance."

Chair: Adam Auerbach

2023 Conference Co-Chairs: Adam Auerbach, Alicia Cooperman, and Veronica Herrera 

Conference Steering Committee:

Adam Auerbach

Alicia Cooperman

Veronica Herrera

Tanu Kumar

Jeffrey Paller

Alison Post

Header photo: Adam Auerbach