Integral Theory: a Tool for Mapping and Understanding Conflicting Governmentalities in the Upgrading of Cape Town’s Informal Settlements

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Abstract

Nearly 70 % of sub-Saharan Africa’s urban population live in informal settlements and populations are expected to double by 2030. Based on the constitutional right to adequate housing and growing public pressure and dissent, the South African government has begun a process of large-scale formalisation through the provision of housing and infrastructure to informal areas. A disjuncture has however occurred and conflicts have arisen between what are understood as modernist ideas of how cities should appear and function (formality) and an alternate, organic and flexible mode of thought (the informal). This conflict is seen by some authors as a ‘clash of governmentalities’ which goes deeper than a simple lack of dialogue, inadequate participation and/or a disinclination to see others’ points of view. For a number of years, calls have been made for a way to organise these governmentalities and perspectives, understand what goes on at their interface and unpack the complexity that exists between them. Integral Theory and its AQAL (All Quadrants, All Levels) framework are fast becoming a sought-after arena of academic discourse. It deals specifically with complex interactions and perspectives and offers a methodology that draws together a number of already existing separate paradigms and perspectives into a unified, interrelated framework. This paper uses the AQAL framework and Integral Theory as a tool to map the differing governmentalities (rationalities, techniques and practices) that exist in the upgrading of informal settlements in Cape Town and understand their relationship and interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-319
Number of pages17
JournalUrban Forum
Volume26
Issue number3
Early online date22 Apr 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

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