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Counter-global cases for place: Contesting displacement in globalising Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan Area

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JournalUrban Studies
DatePublished - 1 Nov 2004
Issue number12
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)2447-2467
Original languageEnglish


The globalisation of greater Kuala Lumpur over the past two decades is manifested in extensive landscape transformation. This paper considers two groups affected by this 'global' landscaping: urban settlers without registered land title (conventionally termed setinggan or 'squatters'); and West Malaysia's minority indigenous Orang Asli. These groups have frequently been displaced as demand for land has risen and as emergent moral and aesthetic evaluations about suitably 'global' land use have rendered them 'out of place'. Yet the paper considers ways in which their land rights have been asserted within and beyond the courts by articulating and demonstrating in-place identities. Significantly, such socio-legal 'cases for place' have been forged through geographically extensive networks of resources and repertoires. Rather than 'local' resistance to global transformation, therefore, the cases here exemplify emergent 'counter-global' spatialities of power.

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