Local Activism in Urban Neighborhood Governance: The case of Cairo, Egypt

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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This study investigates local activism in politically challenging contexts, focusing on Cairo. In such contexts, active resident groups strive for urban improvement, while governance arrangements often disregard citizen involvement in urban and public affairs. Cairo presents an exemplary case of local activism in a politically challenging and under-researched context. The study explores the characteristics, roles, and interrelations of active resident groups with local governance arrangements and their deviations from existing literature. It employs a qualitative methodology with observations and semi-structured interviews with local officials and active residents from nine different districts. The study uses Facebook to select, observe, and analyze the activities of multiple active resident groups and contributes to theoretical frameworks for analyzing local activism in complex contexts. It reveals the dominant and absent roles and the governance dimensions (un)attainable by active residents. It also traces the sources of limited local activism in the existing governance arrangements in Cairo, highlighting the importance and difficulty of changing governance arrangements in Egypt. The study broadens our understanding of local activism in the Global South beyond dominant forms of activism.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • van Ham, M., Supervisor
  • Kleinhans, R.J., Supervisor
Award date6 Jul 2023
Electronic ISBNs978-94-6366-709-8
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

A+BE | Architecture and the Built Environment No 12 (2023)


The researcher Aya Mossad Ali Elwageeh is funded by a full scholarship [305873]
from the Ministry of Higher Education of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

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