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Mumbai's Development Mafias: Globalization, Organized Crime and Land Development

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  • LIZA WEINSTEIN

Abstract

For over a decade, researchers have analyzed the effects of liberalization and globalization on urban development, considering the local political implications of shifts at the national and global scales. Taking the case of Mumbai, this article examines how the past 15 years of political reforms in India have reshaped property markets and the politics of land development. Among the newly empowered actors, local criminal syndicates, often with global connections, have seized political opportunities created by these shifts to gain influence over land development. The rise of Mumbai's organized criminal activity in the 1950s was closely linked to India's macroeconomic policies, with strict regulation of imports fuelling the growth of black market smuggling. Liberalization and deregulation since the early 1990s have diminished demand for smuggled consumer goods and criminal syndicates have since diversified their operations. With skyrocketing real estate prices in the 1990s, bolstered by global land speculation, the mafia began investing in property development. Supported by an illicit nexus of politicians, bureaucrats and the police, the mafia has emerged as a central figure in Mumbai's land development politics. The article examines the structural shifts that facilitated the criminalization of land development and the implications of mafia involvement in local politics. Copyright (c) 2008 The Author.

Suggested Citation

  • Liza Weinstein, 2008. "Mumbai's Development Mafias: Globalization, Organized Crime and Land Development," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 22-39, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:32:y:2008:i:1:p:22-39
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    1. Stergios Skaperdas, 2001. "The political economy of organized crime: providing protection when the state does not," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 173-202, November.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:66:y:1972:i:01:p:91-113_13 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Anguelovski, Isabelle & Martínez Alier, Joan, 2014. "The ‘Environmentalism of the Poor’ revisited: Territory and place in disconnected glocal struggles," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 167-176.
    2. COLIN McFARLANE, 2008. "Governing the Contaminated City: Infrastructure and Sanitation in Colonial and Post-Colonial Bombay," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 415-435, June.
    3. Llerena Guiu Searle, 2014. "Conflict and Commensuration: Contested Market Making in India's Private Real Estate Development Sector," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1), pages 60-78, January.
    4. Zhidkova Tatiana, 2015. "Globalization and the Emergence of Violent Non-state Actors: The Case of Human Trafficking," New Global Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-25, April.
    5. Liza Weinstein, 2014. "‘One-Man Handled’: Fragmented Power and Political Entrepreneurship in Globalizing Mumbai," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1), pages 14-35, January.

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