Current facets (Pre-Master)

(Raffael) R. Beier

(Raffael) R. Beier
PhD Researcher International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Location
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Room
2016-04-15T00:00:00+01:00
Telephone
Email
beier@iss.nl

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Doctoral Project: 

"From the City to the Desert": Analysing Shantytown Resettlement in Casablanca, Morocco, from Residents’ Perspective

Since the mid-1990s, the majority of the Moroccan population is living in cities – many of them in informal, self-built shantytowns, called bidonvilles. After the suicide bombings in the city centre of Casablanca, conducted by bidonville dwellers in 2003, the Moroccan government has re-enhanced its efforts to tackle the ‘problem’ of shantytowns by announcing the ambitious programme Villes Sans Bidonvilles (VSB, cities without shantytowns). The VSB programme aims at eradicating all Moroccan shantytowns by relocating the dwellers to mostly peripheral, but serviced plots for…

Doctoral Project: 

"From the City to the Desert": Analysing Shantytown Resettlement in Casablanca, Morocco, from Residents’ Perspective

Since the mid-1990s, the majority of the Moroccan population is living in cities – many of them in informal, self-built shantytowns, called bidonvilles. After the suicide bombings in the city centre of Casablanca, conducted by bidonville dwellers in 2003, the Moroccan government has re-enhanced its efforts to tackle the ‘problem’ of shantytowns by announcing the ambitious programme Villes Sans Bidonvilles (VSB, cities without shantytowns). The VSB programme aims at eradicating all Moroccan shantytowns by relocating the dwellers to mostly peripheral, but serviced plots for auto-construction. Following the dominant modus operandi two households from the bidonville receive together one plot in the new town. In more than 90 % of the cases, they are unable to build the house themselves and transfer this duty to a private third party. The third-party investor builds a four-storey house on the plot and receives in return the two lower floors, while the two resettled households move respectively into one of the upper flats. This allows even poor residents to become homeowners of a new flat.

This PhD project looks at both process and outcome of resettlement from the perspective of affected people, analysing the specific resettlement project of the 90-year-old bidonville Karyan Central in Casablanca. Regarding the process, it asked how social dynamics, local actor constellations and power structures shape the resettlement implementation. Concerning the outcome, it analysed in how far the welfare of people affected by the VSB programme change because of the resettlement. Methodologically, the PhD thesis compares in an analytical way current living situations in a nonaffected bidonville and in a resettlement town. The empirical analysis is based on both quantitative and qualitative methods, largely building on a household survey (n > 800) as well as on informal conversations, participant observations, and interviews with different relevant stakeholder. The household survey includes former inhabitants of Karyan Central that were resettled mostly five to six years ago to the new town Nouvelle Lahraouiyine and residents of the bidonville Er-Rhamna, which has a similar size, structure, and functions compared to the demolished Karyan Central.

The results show that satisfaction with the new housing situation depends on various factors beyond housing comfort and is largely shaped by individual needs and former housing pathways. Thus, some residents stressed they were pushed from the city to the desert, referring to the loss of social networks, urbanity, and centrality. Other residents were appreciating the move into new houses, hoping that the government will further invest in the development of the new town, which is already marked by multiple forms of neglect. The thesis emphasises that the VSB programme, although formally part of anti-poverty and urban inclusion policies, puts primary focus on the clearance of the bidonville. Following a rather narrow interpretation of the right to adequate housing, the VSB programme overemphasises physical housing standards, while ignoring aspects of socio-spatial integration. Moreover, various injustices, corruption, and opaque implementation practices have led to homelessness and psychological distress for a considerable number of people – even though affordability was not an issue.

        • R. Beier (2018). Zwischen Rebellion und Global City: Stadtentwicklung in Marokko. Welt-Sichten, Dossier (9), 16-17.
        • R. Beier & J. Fritzsche-El Shewy (2018). UN-Habitat, the New Urban Agenda and Urban Refugees – A State of the Art. Z'Flucht : The German Journal for Refugee Studies, 2 (1), 128-142. doi: 10.5771/2509-9485-2018-1-128
        • R. Beier (2018). Towards a New Perspective on the Role of the City in Social Movements. Urban Policy after the 'Arab Spring'. City : analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 22 (2), 220-235. doi: 10.1080/13604813.2018.1451135
        • R. Beier (2017). Tunis und Casablanca - Stadtentwicklungspolitiken zwischen "Worlding" und Sozialverträglichkeit. INAMO - Informationsprojekt Naher und Mittlerer Osten, 23 (89), 24-28.
        • R. Beier & J. Fritzsche (2017). Refugees and the City: UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda. Forced Migration Review, 55 (June), 29-30. doi: http://www.fmreview.org/shelter/beier-fritzsche.html[go to publisher's site]
        • R. Beier (2016). Workshop Report. First Workshop of the Working Group Stadt / Raum of the Institute for Social Movement Studies: What is the "Urban" in Urban Social Movements? Moving the Social, 56, 149-154. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.13154/mts.56.2016.149-153
        • R. Beier & M.A. Vilmondes Alves (2015). Die Dominanz des Quantitativen - Das Dilemma des Rechts auf angemessenen Wohnraum in Brasilien, Marokko und Südafrika. TRIALOG, 120/121, 40-45.
      • R. Beier (2016). Shifting Urban Policies in North Africa after the "Arab Spring" - Urgent Reaction or Real Changes? (Diskussionspapiere des Fachbereichs Volkswirtschaft des Vorderen Orients, 113). Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag
      • R. Beier (2018). Social Movements as Drivers of Urban Policy: The Case of the Arab Uprisings in North Africa. In A. Schoch & R. Bürgin (Eds.), Urbane Widerstände – Urban Resistance (Social Strategies, 52) (pp. 63-78). Bern: Peter Lang
  • PhD Researcher

    University
    Erasmus University Rotterdam
    School
    International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
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    Research Fellow and PhD Candidate

    University
    Ruhr-University Bochum
    School
    Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE)
    Country
    Deutschland
    Telephone
    Url
    http://development-research.org/index.php/component/contact/contact/4-people/46-raffael-beier.html