Accepted Paper:

Securitisation of urban landscape in Dhaka: precarity, elitisation, and the emergence of graded sovereignty  
Mohammad Tareq Hasan (University of Dhaka)

Paper short abstract:

Through a process of securitisation the spectrum of rights and opportunities to sustain life and to access public/state infrastructures and facilities are continually being skewed in Dhaka. It reflects that the state is being graded into sovereign entities.

Paper long abstract:

In Dhaka, just opposite to the Embassies of the USA and China, G4S security services - the world's largest security company has its local head office, the building is covered with a huge sticker announcing 'securing your world'. The emphasis of 'security' has been a major concern for the urban middle and upper classes as the city is growing since 1990s. The process of securitisation got a rapid momentum due to the Holey Artisan attack in early 2016. The increased security arrangements of urban pockets led towards reconfiguration of the urban landscape that could be termed as 'elitisation' of certain locale as well as of private and public infrastructures. While Bangladesh has been going through reconfiguration of urban landscape; amidst rapid growth of GDP, urbanisation and increased informal jobs were the salient features of the ever growing cityscapes. The securitisation and the resultant elitisation is thus creating uncertainty and inequality, plunging the semi-formal/informal workers into precariousness in Dhaka. I, therefore, argue that the securitisation of the city has important implications for how we understand sovereignty and state in relation to the citizens of the country. The spectrum of rights and opportunities to sustain life and to access public/state infrastructures and facilities are continually being skewed while having a promise of inclusive citizenship. On the other hand, this means that the state is being graded into smaller sovereign entities.

Panel P20
Gradated citizenship, degraded humanity and the cultural specificity of rights practice