Full Circle or Spiralling Out of Control?: State Violence and the Control of Urbanisation in Papua New Guinea
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There is an administrative reluctance to recognise the permanency of urban settlement in Papua New Guinea. This reluctance, evident since the 1960s, has been characteristic of both the colonial and post-colonial administrations. Opposition to some facets of urbanisation continues today, despite growing population and land pressures in most rural areas and real problems of landlessness emerging in particular rural areas. Colonial control of urban populations has been replicated in contemporary times, often in more draconian form. Eviction of urban settlers has been tied to issues of crime and urban respectability, and lingering perceptions that Melanesians should be rural residents. The growth of informal settlements and urbanisation are not seen as issues of urban planning, nor is the context of urban migration linked to socioeconomic inequality, hence other forms of urban policy are largely absent. Strengthening alliances between land-owners and the state (especially police and provincial administrations) have thus emphasised intraurban inequality and hampered national development.
Originally published as Koczberski,G., Curry, G., Connell,J. Full Circle or Spiralling Out of Control?: State Violence and the Control of Urbanisation in Papua New Guinea. Urban Studies. (2001). 38 (11): pp. 2017-2036. Copyright Carfax Publishing.
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