Seeing and Governing Street Hawkers Like a Fragmented Metropolitan State

  • Seth SchindlerEmail author
Part of the Exploring Urban Change in South Asia book series (EUCS)


This chapter examines the governance of street hawking, and demonstrates that the state is fragmented and power is disbursed among a range of officials and interest groups. This explains how it can simultaneously be the primary threat to street hawkers and a potential benefactor. I show that the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill represents a new way of “seeing” and acting upon hawkers, and could encourage hawkers to make lawful claims to urban space.


Street hawkers Discipline Governance Informal sector Livelihoods 


  1. Abrams, P. (1988). Notes on the difficulty of studying the state. Journal of Historical Sociology, 1(1), 60–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anjaria, J. S. (2011). Ordinary states: Everyday corruption and the politics of space in Mumbai. American Ethnologist, 38(1), 58–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bandyopadhyay, R. (2011). Politics of archiving: Hawkers and pavement dwellers in Calcutta. Dialectical Anthropology, 35(3), 295–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bhowmik, S. (2013). Legal recognition of street vendors. Yojana, 57(December), 31–33.Google Scholar
  5. Hansen, T. B. (2009). Governance and the myths of state in Mumbai. In C. J. Fuller, & V. Benei (Eds.), The everyday state and society in modern India (pp. 31–67). New Delhi: Social Science Press.Google Scholar
  6. Chatterjee, P. (2004). The politics of the governed: Reflections on popular politics in most of the world. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Chatterjee, P. (2011). Lineages of political society: Studies in postcolonial democracy. Ranikhet: Permanent Black.Google Scholar
  8. Corbridge, S., & Harriss, J. (2000). Reinventing India: Liberalization, Hindu nationalism and popular democracy (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Datta, A. (2013). Illegal city: Space, law and gender in a Delhi squatter settlement. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  10. Gidwani, V., & Reddy, R. N. (2011). The afterlives of “waste”: Notes from India for a minor history of capitalist surplus. Antipode, 43(5), 1625–1658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gupta, A. (2012). Red tape: Bureaucracy, structural violence, and poverty in India. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kaviraj, S. (2010). The trajectories of the Indian State. Ranikhet: Permanent Black.Google Scholar
  13. NASVI. (2014). Road to Central Act. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from
  14. New Delhi Municipal Council. (2006). Scheme for Street Vendors in N.D.M.C. Area: On Direction of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. New Delhi: Enforcement Department.Google Scholar
  15. Rajagopal, A. (2001). The violence of commodity aesthetics: Hawkers, demolition raids, and a new regime of consumption. Social Text, 19(3), 91–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rao, U. (2010). Making the global city: Urban citizenship at the margins of Delhi. Ethnos, 75(4), 402–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sanyal, K. (2007). Rethinking capitalist development: Primitive accumulation, governmentality and post-colonial capitalism. New Delhi: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Schindler, S. (2014a). Producing and contesting the formal/informal divide: Regulating street hawking in Delhi, India. Urban Studies, 51(12), 2596–2612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schindler, S. (2014b). A New Delhi every day: Multiplicities of governance regimes in a transforming metropolis. Urban Geography, 35(3), 402–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Schindler, S. (2014c). The making of “world-class” Delhi: Relations between street hawkers and the new middle class. Antipode, 46(2), 557–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association). (2012). Street Vendors’ Campaign. Retrieved April 9, 2014 from
  22. Te Lintelo, D. (2009). The spatial politics of food hygiene: Regulating small-scale retail in Delhi. European Journal of Development Research, 21, 63–80.Google Scholar
  23. The Hindu. (2014). Street vendors on hunger strike. Retrieved April 9, 2014 from

Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of Sheffield, Firth CourtSheffield, South YorkshireUK

Personalised recommendations