The Role and Goals of the State in Urban Development in Niger

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Niger, Colonial urban planning, Land use control, Rural/urban inequalities, Colonialism

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The role and goal of the state in urban development policy in Niger are examined. It is revealed that while the state occasionally assumes the role of a fair-minded arbiter of change, it mostly functions as an entity in its own right, with interests it seeks to jealously guard. The state's policies and other actions in the urban development policy domain are thus seen as geared mainly towards accomplishing one objective or another of the state. This was true of the colonial period as it is today. The following were identified as specific goals constituting the object of urban development policies in colonial and post-colonial Niger: consolidation of state power, advertisement of Europe's grandeur, domination and control of the population, protection of the interests of preferred societal groups, reinforcement of the government's revenue-earning ability, and incorporation of Niger into the global capitalist system.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Habitat International, v. 30, issue 3, p. 540-557