Véron René

Véron René
University of Lausanne | UNIL · Institute of Geography and Sustainability

Professor

About

40
Publications
18,502
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1,551
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Introduction
René Véron works at the University of Lausanne. His current research interests are in the fields of urban political ecology and geographies of waste (see https://igd.unil.ch/rene.veron/en/presentation/). An upcoming publication in Water Alternatives looks at ponds, environmental imaginaries and the urban commons in Gujarat. His full publication list (including access to full texts) is found at: https://igd.unil.ch/rene.veron/en/publications/.

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
In the growing field of urban political ecology, so far not much attention has been paid to air-quality and related policies. In this paper I examine the recent far-reaching air-pollution policies in India’s capital, as well as the role of environmental nongovernmental organizations and judicial activism, in view of their implications for different...
Article
The “Kerala model of development” has won wide international attention for its achievements in regard to social development and, to a certain extent, environmental sustainability. The “old” Kerala model, preoccupied with redistributive policies, failed, however, to induce economic development. As a result, attention is now being given to a “new” Ke...
Article
Urban political ecology (UPE) has mainly evolved within the discipline of geography to examine the power relations that produce uneven urban spaces (infrastructures and natures) and unequal access to resources in cities. Its increasingly poststructuralist orientation demands the questioning of received categories and concepts, including those of (n...
Article
Full-text available
Public-private partnerships are often depicted as an effective institutional arrangement to improve urban services towards sustainable development. In sub-Saharan Africa, the involvement of private parties in municipal solid waste management is believed to bring in technical, managerial and financial capabilities, which municipalities generally lac...
Article
Democratic decentralization and community participation often stand at the center of an agenda of “good governance” that aims to reduce corruption and increase the state’s accountability to its citizens. However, this paper suggests based on empirical studies on the Employment Assurance Scheme in rural West Bengal that the strength of upward accoun...
Research
Full-text available
In the metropolitan area of Colombo, Sri Lanka, the issue of municipal solid waste management (MSWM) moved to the center of political attention in April 2016 when the accumulated waste mountain of a centralized dumpsite in Meethotamulla, situated at the periphery of the city region, suddenly collapsed. The ensuing landslide-like event killed 28 peo...
Research
Full-text available
This paper focuses on the issues that are pre-dominant in the institutional architecture of municipal solid waste management (MSWM) in Kathmandu. The paper also gives a brief history of solid waste management (SWM) in Kathmandu. It provides an overview of the generation and disposal methods of wastes and the challenges associated in the management...
Article
Full-text available
Urban ponds in India have for a long time been used for multiple purposes and have been accessible to a wide range of social groups; they thus often represent an urban commons. However, recent transformations of urban ponds into infrastructure that serves more limited uses have been accompanied by enclosure and social exclusion. Using an urban poli...
Preprint
The 74th Constitutional Amendment obliges state governments to devolve responsibilities related to urban environmental resources and services, such as water supply, drainage and sewerage, solid waste management, green spaces and environmental protection, to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). However, the literature, largely based on macro-level analyse...
Research
Full-text available
This literature review focuses on exploring solid waste management in Sri Lanka in relation to three key thematic areas namely; (1) the institutional architecture of waste governance (2) the waste chain and related socially differentiated labor practices, and (3) accompanying discourses on waste and waste-work in Sri Lanka. The World Bank (WB) poin...
Article
Full-text available
Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) has become one of the most pressing environmental issues in South Asian cities, the more so as it is closely linked to drinking water quality, sanitation and human health affecting mostly the urban poor, as well as to global climate change. Looking at recent governance initiatives in three South Asian cities...
Article
This paper attempts to understand the production of the city through informality. In particular, informal practices related to the momo (dumpling) industry, concentrated in the ‘urban village’ of Chirag Dilli, are analysed in their dialectic relationship with formal planning and legislation in Delhi. We use a Lefebvrian framework that views city-ma...
Article
Urban parks in India are often discussed as positive environmental projects, and their creation appears as unproblematic in public discourse. This paper presents the creation of a municipal park in a small city in Gujarat, India. Using insights from history and architecture, we stress the importance of reading parks as political and to some extent...
Article
In the framework of the research network on integrated control of zoonoses in Africa (ICONZ) a dog rabies mass vaccination campaign was carried out in two communes of Bamako (Mali) in September 2014. A mixed method approach, combining quantitative and qualitative tools, was developed to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention towards optimiz...
Article
India’s oilseeds sector, which includes its coconut economy, experienced drastic changes in the wake of agricultural liberalization in the mid-1990s. A persistent coconut crisis ‘narrative’ emerged after sharp price declines between 2000 and 2002 in which small farmers in the state of Kerala, India’s main coconut producer, were identified as victim...
Article
While researchers in the growing field of urban political ecology have given significant attention to the fragmented hydroscape that characterizes access to drinking water in the global South, so far the (re)production of other urban waters and its related power relations have been underexplored. This article seeks to contribute to filling this gap...
Article
Thirty years after the death of Michel Foucault, notwithstanding the fact that his thought has profoundly shaped the contemporary reflection and contributed to move beyond structuralism, the Urban Political Ecology in general and the Urban Political Ecology of water in particular are still dominated by Marxist-inspired theoretical frameworks. This...
Article
Full-text available
Switzerland appears to be a privileged place to investigate the urban political ecology of tap water because of the specificities of its political culture and organization and the relative abundance of drinking water in the country. In this paper, we refer to a Foucauldian theorization of power that is increasingly employed in the social sciences,...
Article
Full-text available
Urban geography in the era of globalization: the cities of the future. Emerging knowledge and urban regulations Urban geography is the main focus of the research agenda of the Institute of Geography at the University of Lausanne. The emphasis is on globalization-driven changes within urbanization regimes. This article presents the emerging understa...
Article
The traditionally coercive and state-controlled governance of protected areas for nature conservation in developing countries has in many cases undergone change in the context of widespread decentralization and liberalization. This article examines an emerging “mixed” (coercive, community- and market-oriented) conservation approach in managed-resou...
Article
Full-text available
This Practical Note examines the nascent micro-insurance sector in West Bengal, paying particular attention to the corporate-NGO partnership model for micro-insurance distribution, which has been enabled by India's unique regulatory framework. We challenge the popular construction of this model as a 'win-win' for all parties by analysing conflictin...
Article
Full-text available
Development and environmental issues of small cities in developing countries have largely been overlooked although these settlements are of global demographic importance and often face a “triple challenge”; that is, they have limited financial and human resources to address growing environmental problems that are related to both development (e.g.,...
Article
Full-text available
Poor people confront the state on an everyday basis all over the world. But how do they see the state? This book considers the Indian example where people's accounts, in particular in the countryside, are shaped by encounters staged at the local level, and are also informed by ideas circulated by the government and the broader development community...
Article
Der mit Landwirtschaftsressourcen gut ausgestattete südindische Bundesstaat Kerala ist seit Jahrhunderten in den Weltmarkt eingebunden. Aber selbst in der heutigen Phase der Globalisierung und Liberalisierung weisen die Märkte für Keralas Agrarprodukte Merkmale auf, die nicht nur internationale Verhältnisse zwischen Angebot und Nachfrage widerspieg...
Article
Kerala accounts 40 per cent of India's production of plantation crops. This article discusses two case studies, cashew and natural rubber, and describes the decision-making of small-holders (who are the main producers of plantation crops here), as well as the functioning of "real markets" at various spatial scales. Recent village studies by the aut...
Article
Abstract This paper considers some practical problems associated with organising large-scale comparative field research in eastern India. The focus of the paper is on the use of brainstorming and “modified logframes” as two means by which hypotheses about the working of the local state from the point of view of the rural poor could be turned into c...
Article
The state in its efforts to meet the needs of the poor has four major functions of governance - developmental, empowermental, protective and disciplinary. This paper, based on fieldwork across the rural areas in three states, probes the Employment Assurance Scheme to understand the state's performance on these parameters as well as aspects of parti...
Article
Part I of this paper, which appeared last week, described the patterns of participation of the rural poor in state-sponsored schemes and the characteristics of political society in each of the blocks and districts studied. It also provided evidence on the scale and significane of rent-seeking behaviour, and a preliminary mapping of what has been ca...
Article
The positive roles that political parties might play in development have recently been downplayed in favour of accounts of the virtues of civil society and participatory development. This article challenges some assumptions inherent in this shift in emphasis. It considers how political society has mediated the agency of the rural poor in three loca...
Article
This paper uses the experience of a recent programme of action research in Eastern India to reflect on the use of participatory ideals within governance reform. In a situation where there are profound difficulties in local governance, it assesses the potential for participatory forms of stakeholder engagement to begin a process of reform. It critic...
Article
‘Participation’ has become an essential part of good developmental practice for Southern governments, NGOs and international agencies alike. In this article we reflect critically on this shift by investigating how a ‘participatory’ development programme — India's Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS) — intersects with poor people's existing social netw...
Article
This paper opens a window on the local state in eastern India. It studies the ways in which government officers in five districts of Bihar and West Bengal re-shaped one of India's major poverty alleviation programmes, the Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS). District and Block-level officials in Bihar converted a participatory programme of employment...

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Projects

Projects (10)
Project
The overall aim of this project is to identify, analyse and promote the political and sociocultural processes that are necessary to enable sustainable MSWM systems that are based on participation and collaborations between local stakeholders and on shortened, circular waste chains. Endogenous MSWM governance initiatives in Thiruvananthapuram/India, Kathmandu/Nepal and Colombo/Sri Lanka that have emerged in the wake of natural or human-induced crises will be examined and evaluated in terms of their potential for extension to different geographical contexts and for scaling-up. Focus will be placed on South-South knowledge exchange as a potential alternative to externally promoted MSWM systems. In this way, the project aims to contribute to global sustainable development, with a focus on its social and environmental dimensions.
Archived project
The research set out to examine how political reform and liberalization policies since the 1980s and especially the 1990s have restructured socioeconomic, political, cultural and environmental spaces in India, and how this has impacted the livelihoods and vulnerabilities of poor and marginalized groups. Field research is conducted in the states of Kerala, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.
Archived project
The research aims to understand the ways in which policy reforms at national and state levels have affected small farm and non-farm activities in the States of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It does so by comparing areas with commercial agriculture and strong market linkages with peripheral areas, in which rain-fed agriculture and forestry are the basis of the local economy. The research aims to understand the extent to which governments at national, provincial, district and local levels can mediate the impacts of globalization through public policy.