Right to Sell: Politics of Informal Retail in the Neoliberal Era.
Degree: PhD, Political Science, 2018, Syracuse University
This is a study on the puzzling case of neoliberal pro-market states enacting policies
that attempt to curb the competitive and profitable businesses of urban street vendors.
Accordingly, this project asks a simple question: if neoliberal governance of the
economy prescribes a positive disposition towards the market system driven by selfish
pecuniary gain, then why are informal street vendors regularly evicted and harassed by
neoliberal states in cities around the world? To answer this, I analyze the literature
on neoliberalism and the informal economy and provide new theoretical insight into the
internal contradiction of neoliberal principles in the context of the informal economy
of selling. I argue that the conflict with informal street vendors and the states is a
manifestation of this contradiction. Through my field research on informal street
vendors (or hawkers) of Kolkata I demonstrate this contradiction by analyzing the
political economy of street vending. Specifically, I study the social movement of
hawkers and show how the right to sell in the city of Kolkata is negotiated and
configured in the neoliberal era. I argue that this case of Kolkata hawkers is a symptom
of a larger struggle over spaces of selling in the neoliberal era which has been
overlooked in my discipline. Thus, I hope this project will provide fresh avenues of
future research on the political economy of selling through studies of the struggle
between the forces of formalization and informalization of retail spaces.
Advisors/Committee Members: Mehrzad Boroujerdi.
Subjects/Keywords: Informal Economy; International Political Economy; Neoliberalism; South Asia; Street Vendors; Urban Politics; Social and Behavioral Sciences
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Acharya, A. (2018). Right to Sell: Politics of Informal Retail in the Neoliberal Era. (Doctoral Dissertation). Syracuse University. Retrieved from https://surface.syr.edu/etd/908
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Acharya, Anirban. “Right to Sell: Politics of Informal Retail in the Neoliberal Era.” 2018. Doctoral Dissertation, Syracuse University. Accessed October 19, 2018.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Acharya, Anirban. “Right to Sell: Politics of Informal Retail in the Neoliberal Era.” 2018. Web. 19 Oct 2018.
Acharya A. Right to Sell: Politics of Informal Retail in the Neoliberal Era. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Syracuse University; 2018. [cited 2018 Oct 19].
Available from: https://surface.syr.edu/etd/908.
Council of Science Editors:
Acharya A. Right to Sell: Politics of Informal Retail in the Neoliberal Era. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Syracuse University; 2018. Available from: https://surface.syr.edu/etd/908