‘Actually-existing’ Neoliberalism in Nairobi, Kenya: Examining Informal Traders’ Negotiations Over Access to the Entrepreneurial City

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Egan, Glennys




This thesis explores the outcomes of entrepreneurial urban governance in Nairobi, Kenya, through the ethnographic purview of informal traders negotiating access to space. While I demonstrate that the urban renewal process in Nairobi reflects the ongoing shift to entrepreneurialism and subsequent securitization occurring in many cities around the globe, I examine how features of the local context – in particular, the presence of powerful informal authorities and informal political structures – have complicated the implementation of its national development plan, Vision 2030. I argue that the
outcomes of neoliberal urban renewal are at odds with the stated aims of creating a more secure and democratic city. I proffer that these dynamics are both produced by and reproductive of differentiated forms of citizenship that have been enforced in Nairobi since the colonial era, and have long contributed to urban stratification and, by extension, urban insecurity.


Urban and Regional Planning
Cultural Anthropology




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Economy

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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