The author explores the dynamic roles and linkages of public sector institutions and civil society actors in housing provision for the urban poor in South Africa. Based on actor-centred and network theories, two cases of civil society alliances are analysed.
This book reveals that existing civil society structures are hybrids that can oscillate between networks and organisations. Moreover, they establish informal governance spaces with state actors outside the institutional channels provided by government.
The emergence of oscillating structures and the informalisation of horizontal governance represent new challenges for local decision-making processes. Co-operation and action-oriented approaches in housing seemingly need to be based on a more detailed understanding of the complex interfaces, which go far beyond the conventional ideal of partnerships and participation between sectors.
Astrid Ley is postdoctoral fellow at the Habitat Unit and lecturer at the Urban Management Studies, Berlin University of Technology. Her research focus is on urban governance, actor networks, informal settlement development and housing policy.