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Title: Transcalar urban governance : planning and development in the "oil-city" of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana
Author: Nguyen, Thien Vinh Dac
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 9853
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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In 2007, Ghana located commercial quantities of oil and gas off its Western coast, near the city of Sekondi-Takoradi. This discovery galvanised different groups wishing to benefit from these natural resources. With a view on Sekondi-Takoradi, this thesis examines how urban governance is exercised in relation to planning and development outcomes where there are multiple actors each with their own motivations, interests and agendas. In the wake of the oil discoveries, this thesis shows how the state, civil society and transnational corporate actors contest, negotiate and converge to shape future possibilities in the city in a transcalar manner across local, national and international scales of power. This research builds on network approaches to urban governance, particularly urban regime theory. Rather than view power as concentrated and held by a dominant force, urban regime theory asserts that multiple actors leverage different resources and skills to forge crosssector governing arrangements which can both enable and disable development. This thesis makes the following contributions: First, it argues for including and localising the role of transnational corporations in urban regimes in an African context. Despite the financial power of corporations (e.g. transnational oil companies), corporations rely on local socialpolitical networks and city resources for their business activities. Second, this thesis brings forward a postcolonial intervention to urban regime theory, by focusing on the agency of the local state and civil society actors to shape urban development outcomes. Far from a weak state, it shows how the local state in Sekondi-Takoradi (i.e. city government and traditional authorities) builds governing capacity by convening local and transnational actors through planning processes and development management. Third, this thesis shows how civil society organisations in Sekondi-Takoradi expand local state capacity by participating in legislative and planning processes to co-produce inclusive development outcomes, while also challenging state and corporate authority. This thesis thus argues that these distinctive actors-the local state, civil society, and transnational corporations-are mutually constitutive of one another through the transcalar governance of urban development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available