Untangling the Knots
: Delhi Metro and The Making of World-Class Delhi

  • Prididome Pipatchukiat

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Neoliberal urbanism has spread over the world. Delhi, one of the fast-growing cities in the world, has affected by the neoliberal urbanism under the project of the world-class city. The existing literature widely studied the urbanism by focusing on the governmentality of the aesthetics: the global visibility. To challenge these literature, Delhi Metro, the key place of the world-class Delhi, is chosen as a case study of this dissertation. Influence by the recent studies of neoliberalism and infrastructure in geography, ranging from recent governmentality studies in the Global South, actually existing neoliberalism, to assemblage-based analysis, this dissertation examine various governing programs and practices of the Delhi Metro through its four aspects: (1) the constitution of the metro organization and its benchmarking practices, (2) urban imagining, landscape of consumerism, and the speculative capitalism, (3) the government of the metro system and (4) the spatial practices of the commuters. From various official documents, publications, newspapers, interviews, internet weblogs, social media, and fieldworks, this dissertation shows the complexity, multiscalar and polycenter characters, mutations, messiness, and contestations of the neoliberal urbanism in Delhi context. Apart from the global visibility, the making of the world-class Delhi involves the urban competitiveness not only on the final product, but also the process to attain it and the urban producer. The thesis tries to propose the significance of the micro-power analysis of the Anglo-governmentality to untangle the complexity and heterogeneity of the object of the study which is complex and diverse, like neoliberalism, over the attempt to identify the single figure mode of government or rationality
Date of Award2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorGareth Hoskins (Supervisor) & Peter Merriman (Supervisor)


  • infrastructure
  • Delhi
  • neoliberal urbanism
  • governmentality
  • assemblage
  • Metro Rail System

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