Informal street vending has historically been a recurring phenomenon in various cities around the world, which has attracted the attention of academic research in the social sciences. Initially addressed from theoretical debates on political economy (Chen, 2006), in recent decades considerable attention has been given to studies on urban planning and governance (Devlin, 2011; Le Galès & Vitale, 2014; Roy & Roy, 2016; Yiftachel, 2009). In particular, this thesis aims to widen the existing scholarly knowledge on the governance of informal street vending in cities, by developing an exploratory analysis of the legal and extra-legal governing practices used to control this economic activity, with special emphasis on the power relations that govern public spaces and their configuration. For this purpose, the case study of the informal street vending in the textile cluster of Gamarra, the city of Lima, Peru, is presented. Several bodies of literature contribute to the conceptual framework of the thesis: regulation as a governing practice; extractive capacity of the state; and theories on urban marginality. I use qualitative methods to analyse the primary data collected through 84 semi-structured interviews in Spanish with state and non-state actors, plus participant observation and documentary analysis. The thesis is composed of three academic papers investigating separate issues of the governance of informal street vending. In Paper 1, the research questions the role of regulation as a tool for governing informality. A fact that tends to be controversial due to the antithesis involved in regulating an economic activity that by definition operates outside the law. When delving into such relationship between regulation and informality, it was noted that both its development and its enforcement by local authorities were used on various occasions to maintain and strengthen the presence of informal street vendors in the area. The paper emphasizes then how regulation can also be used to create a system of deregulation through legal means. Paper 2 focuses on the analysis of the state's fiscal capacity to understand the governance of informal economic activities. This paper highlights the role of two governance mechanisms employed by the local government to expand its extractive capacity towards informal street vendors: governance arrangements and extra-legal practices. Findings suggest that both were customized to the needs of the social structure over which the coercive power of the state is exercised. Finally, Paper 3 seeks to address the management of informal street vending based on its configuration as a form of marginalization. Specifically, the analysis presented in this paper addresses the effects of the condition of marginality in the livelihoods of informal street vendors under particular circumstances like the one of the COVID-19 outbreak. Through the analysis carried out, it was possible to notice the shortcomings of both market self-regulation and social control mechanisms oriented to deal with urban marginality. The importance of doing so lies in exposing the policy implications of choosing between livelihood and health when governing those at the urban margins.

The governance of informal street vending: Regulation, extortion and marginality in Gamarra, Lima - Peru / Ginocchio Linares, Francesco. - (2021 Jun 30).

The governance of informal street vending: Regulation, extortion and marginality in Gamarra, Lima - Peru

GINOCCHIO LINARES, FRANCESCO
2021-06-30

Abstract

Informal street vending has historically been a recurring phenomenon in various cities around the world, which has attracted the attention of academic research in the social sciences. Initially addressed from theoretical debates on political economy (Chen, 2006), in recent decades considerable attention has been given to studies on urban planning and governance (Devlin, 2011; Le Galès & Vitale, 2014; Roy & Roy, 2016; Yiftachel, 2009). In particular, this thesis aims to widen the existing scholarly knowledge on the governance of informal street vending in cities, by developing an exploratory analysis of the legal and extra-legal governing practices used to control this economic activity, with special emphasis on the power relations that govern public spaces and their configuration. For this purpose, the case study of the informal street vending in the textile cluster of Gamarra, the city of Lima, Peru, is presented. Several bodies of literature contribute to the conceptual framework of the thesis: regulation as a governing practice; extractive capacity of the state; and theories on urban marginality. I use qualitative methods to analyse the primary data collected through 84 semi-structured interviews in Spanish with state and non-state actors, plus participant observation and documentary analysis. The thesis is composed of three academic papers investigating separate issues of the governance of informal street vending. In Paper 1, the research questions the role of regulation as a tool for governing informality. A fact that tends to be controversial due to the antithesis involved in regulating an economic activity that by definition operates outside the law. When delving into such relationship between regulation and informality, it was noted that both its development and its enforcement by local authorities were used on various occasions to maintain and strengthen the presence of informal street vendors in the area. The paper emphasizes then how regulation can also be used to create a system of deregulation through legal means. Paper 2 focuses on the analysis of the state's fiscal capacity to understand the governance of informal economic activities. This paper highlights the role of two governance mechanisms employed by the local government to expand its extractive capacity towards informal street vendors: governance arrangements and extra-legal practices. Findings suggest that both were customized to the needs of the social structure over which the coercive power of the state is exercised. Finally, Paper 3 seeks to address the management of informal street vending based on its configuration as a form of marginalization. Specifically, the analysis presented in this paper addresses the effects of the condition of marginality in the livelihoods of informal street vendors under particular circumstances like the one of the COVID-19 outbreak. Through the analysis carried out, it was possible to notice the shortcomings of both market self-regulation and social control mechanisms oriented to deal with urban marginality. The importance of doing so lies in exposing the policy implications of choosing between livelihood and health when governing those at the urban margins.
informal labor markets; street trade; urban marginality; urban governance; extra-legality
The governance of informal street vending: Regulation, extortion and marginality in Gamarra, Lima - Peru / Ginocchio Linares, Francesco. - (2021 Jun 30).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/22882
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