Ananya Roy, director of UCLA Luskin’s new Institute on Inequality and Democracy, is concerned about the ubiquitous presence of inequality discourse within and beyond the academy. As one mechanism for the “repoliticization” of inequality, Roy calls for revived and critical attention to the concept of poverty. In particular, Roy focuses on impoverishment (and responses to it) as an active social process, how poverty comes to be defined as a social problem, and, at a global level, how conventional notions of North and South need to be reimagined in order to grasp the transnational dimensions of poverty and inequality.
Ananya Roy is professor of urban planning and social welfare and inaugural director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin. She holds the Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy. Ananya’s scholarship has focused on urban transformations in the global South, with particular attention to the making of “world-class” cities and the dispossessions and displacements that are thus wrought. A separate line of inquiry has been concerned with new regimes of international development, especially those that seek to convert poverty into entrepreneurial capitalism and the economies of the poor into new markets for global finance. Ananya’s current research examines what she calls the “urban land question,” in India, as well as in globally interconnected nodes across North and South. Her emphasis is on how poor people’s movements challenge evictions and foreclosures, thereby creating political openings for new legal and policy frameworks for the use and management of urban land. Please visit Ananya’s website for more information about her work.