David Recondo (Dir.)

Amérique latine. L’Année politique 2023 est une publication de l’Observatoire politique de l’Amérique latine et des Caraïbes (Opalc) du CERI-Sciences Po. Il prolonge la démarche du site www.sciencespo.fr/opalc en offrant des clés de compréhension d’un continent en proie à des transformations profondes. Des informations complémentaires sont disponibles sur le site.

Gayatri Jai Singh Rathore

In recent years, the Indian e-waste sector has undergone a process of formalisation through the implementation of E-waste Management Rules (2016), leading to the creation of what I call recycling regime. The upper and middle classes, along with NGOs and industry actors, are frontrunners in thinking about e-waste policies. They were prompted by a twofold motive: the desire for a “world-class”, clean, and pollution-free city; and seizing business opportunities by extracting value from e-waste. Rather than replacing the State, they co-opted the State so that it would legislate to safeguard the environment, and address toxicity and health problems associated with e-waste. Recycling regime relies on formalisation processes embedded in multiple technologies – technicity, capital-intensive facilities, certifications, authorisations, and licences – that work together to exclude the “informal” sector from the e-waste governance system. Recycling technologies act as “technologies of domination” that further contribute to sidelining the “informal” labour of scrap workers or e-kabadis, who as Muslims already find themselves on the margins of society. However, the recycling regime fails to safeguard the environment in the end as e-waste trickles down back to the informal sector via authorised actors.

The history of industrial capitalism and its modes of domination is intimately linked to that of violent entrepreneurs deploying their coercive resources at the service of workplace discipline, the extraction of surplus value and the securitization of the accumulation cycle. The relationship between capital and coercion is always fraught with tensions, though, and sustains new vulnerabilities among security-consuming elites. The manufacturing economy of Karachi is a particularly fertile ground for studying this endogenous production of insecurity by security devices. The relations between Karachi’s factory owners and their guards have generated their own economy of suspicion. Various attempts to conjure this shaky domination have generated new uncertainties, calling for new methods of control to keep the guards themselves under watch.

Chloé Froissart

Hukou is a system for registering and controlling the population set up under Mao to promote the socialist development program. It has created a lasting division between urban and rural areas and has given rise to differences in status that violate the Chinese constitution, which stipulates that all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law. Maintaining the hukou system and cleverly adapting this communist institution in answer to the country’s social and economic changes largely explains how the CCP remains in power. Hukou helps manage development by controlling urban expansion and favoring rapid industrialization at a lesser cost to the state. Despite accelerated reforms to the system in recent years, it has perpetuated inequality among citizens. Hukou thus remains a tool of the party’s divide-and-rule strategy. The reforms, which promote greater social mobility and help ensure that elites remain behind the central power, also curb social unrest, although in a context in which hukou has never been so criticized. The system thus remains the bedrock of an authoritarian regime, serving its two priorities: maintaining social stability and high growth rate.

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