Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Neoliberalism, urban development and Accra's (Ghana) shopping malls as new spaces of urban consumption
Author: Eduful, Alexander Kofi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 4167
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This study is focused on urban transformation of Accra, the capital city of Ghana, under neoliberalism. Situated within the field of urban geography, and drawing from Harvey's (1989b) urban entrepreneurialism thesis and consumption theorists, such as Bourdieu (1984), as well as attention to the literature on the middle class, the study investigates how urban governance transformation in the neoliberal era have led to the proliferation of western-style shopping malls and their consequent impact on the city's urban development, in particular, coalition building, consumption and local economic development impacts. This is done through a case study of two of the city's shopping malls, which have been the product of increasing foreign direct investments (FDI). The two case studies are the Accra Mall, the first fully enclosed mall in the city opened in 2008, and the West Hills Mall, West Africa's biggest mall, opened in 2014. The study uses a mixed methods approach involving both qualitative and quantitative methods in the relevant areas of the study. Thirty-three semi-structured interviews were conducted with key/expert informants, city authorities, mall developers and operators as well as customers. Additionally, 409 semi-structured questionnaires were administered to mall shop staff (343) and shop managers/owners (66). In particular, three key findings are outlined: first, that contrary to the urban entrepreneurialism thesis derived from the experiences of global North cities, Accra's malls have largely been led by the private sector who tend to ally more with national political actors rather than those in local government. I argue that shopping mall development may have been delayed due to the subservient role of the local government and other challenges, including institutional and procedural bureaucracy, that tend to constrain local governments. As such, I indicate a need for reframing the idea of private-public partnerships (PPP) as a fulcrum in urban entrepreneurial policies to local (private)-global partnership as pertains to Accra's malls. Second, in framing mall projects as local economic development process, the results suggest that though they may be helping in poverty reduction, they may be low on local wealth creation. Finally, I argue that, as pertains to malls as spaces of consumption and projectors of modernity, in Accra, and other global South cities, malls need to be viewed more as 'nodes of global convergence'.
Supervisor: Daley, Patricia Sponsor: Ghana Education Trust Fund ; St. Antonys College
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Urban studies ; Urban geography ; Urban development