Dr Raghav Kishore’s new book The (Un)governable city: Productive Failure in the making of Colonial Delhi, 1858-1911 (Orient BlackSwan, 2020) explores the radical transformation of urban governance in Delhi between 1858 and 1911 as bureaucracy expanded and new modes of governance reshaped the city—spatially, politically and culturally.
Dr Kishore contests the orthodox view that the aftermath of the 1857 rebellion was a period of political stability and instead, demonstrates how urban policy was blighted by tensions, contradictions and failures throughout. The book argues that this process sowed the seeds for the unintended development of state capacity and also provided opportunities for Delhi’s residents and social groups to assert their claims to city spaces. Ultimately, this book asserts that ‘failure’ should not be seen as the endpoint in understanding the trials and tribulations of colonial urban renewal but as productive in the transformation of urban power relations.
Meet our speakers and chair
Dr Raghav Kishore, LSE Teaching Fellow in International History (LSE). Dr Kishore is a historian of Modern South Asia and his research has primarily focused on the transformation of urban governance under colonial rule in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Dr Prashant Kidambi, Associate Professor in Colonial Urban History (University of Leicester). Dr Kidambi’s research explores the interface between British imperialism and the history of modern South Asia. He is particularly interested in the imbrication of the global and the local in the making of South Asian cities.
Dr Sheetal Chhabria, Associate Professor of History (Connecticut College). Dr Chhabria is a historian of South Asia with interests in the global histories of capitalism, urban studies, and the production of poverty and inequality. Her research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, and the American Historical Association.
Dr Taylor Sherman, Associate Professor of International History (LSE). Dr Sherman's research concerns the cultural and political history of India in the transition from colonial rule to independence in the middle decades of the twentieth century.
More about this event
The Department of International History (@lsehistory) teaches and conducts research on the international history of Britain, Europe and the world from the early modern era up to the present day.
Sponsored by the department's Modern World History research cluster.