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Popular Housing and Urban Land Tenure in the Middle EastCase Studies from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey$
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Myriam Ababsa, Baudouin Dupret, and Eric Dennis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9789774165405

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774165405.001.0001

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Introduction Forms and Norms: Questioning Illegal Urban Housing in the Middle East

Introduction Forms and Norms: Questioning Illegal Urban Housing in the Middle East

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction Forms and Norms: Questioning Illegal Urban Housing in the Middle East
Source:
Popular Housing and Urban Land Tenure in the Middle East
Author(s):

Myriam Ababsa

Baudouin Dupret

Eric Denis

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774165405.003.0001

The ambition of this book is to upgrade the knowledge of urban land tenure dynamics, eventually underscoring the banality of current trends. Instead of looking for the Middle East's specificities in politics, we suggest adopting a research policy that scrutinizes the ‘proximate’: denying the holistic and culturalist exception for the sake of the study of daily routines and practices. Nothing contributes more to the understanding of how urban societies are produced than the detailed, not-too-interpretive description of the ways in which e.g. housing deemed a priori illegal is secured, a transaction concluded, a conflict resolved, the breadth or the use of a street in construction determined and enforced. Add to that the description of how a land-titling policy is conceived of, formerly recognized equipments are claimed, a neighborhood is equipped with electric wires, sewerage systems, school facilities, and asphalted roads.

Keywords:   Urban land tenure, ordinary practices, land-titling policy, housing, urban governance, legal practices, ordinary life, popular neighborhoods, irregular settlements, Middle East

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