• Author / Editor: Ghertner, Asher
  • Publish Date: 2015-01-01
  • Abstract:

    Rule by Aesthetics: World-Class CIty Making in Delhi (Oxford University Press, 2015) is based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork on mass slum demolitions in Delhi, India. It uses aspirational efforts to transform Delhi into a world-class city to show how aesthetic norms can replace the procedures of mapping and surveying typically considered necessary to govern space. The practice of evaluating territory based on its adherence to aesthetic norms – what I call "rule by aesthetics" – allowed the state to intervene in the once ungovernable space of slums, declaring slums illegal because they looked illegal, shopping malls “planned” because they looked planned.