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This chapter engages the urban studies literature on capitalist transformation by showing the discretionary processes through which settlers have established themselves in Mumbai. Questioning the trope of ‘two cities’ frequently employed in the urban studies literature, it argues for an attention to the dynamic and partial processes through which marginalized residents make political claims. To do this, it provides a brief history of a settlement in the neighborhood of Jogeshwari, in Mumbai, examining how its residents have made critical improvements to their water infrastructure through a series of liberal and illiberal claims. Today, most residents are able to apply for public water connections following incremental and graduated processes of state recognition. These processes of recognition, paradoxically, continue to require and proliferate illiberal technologies of government in the city.

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