The politics of infrastructure in inner-city communities in Kingston, Jamaica, from 1962 to 2020

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The ‘politics of infrastructure’ reproduces inequality, leaving many urban residents without access to water, sanitation, and other basic services. Inner-city residents in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, have long coped with poor drainage and waste collection that increases flood and health risks. Drawing upon a wide range of sources, this study examines how a system of patronage and partisan politics in Jamaica has helped to (re)produce this infrastructural deficit that has harmful effects on many inner-city residents, from independence in 1962 to the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, the busiest on record. In doing so, it will enhance understanding of the nature of Jamaican politics at the local level, highlighting that politics of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) – the municipal council – was marked by a continuous interaction between citizens, councillors, MPs and civil servants, and that short-term jobs and contracts were the most important avenues of patronage

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Urban History
Early online date25 Jan 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022, The Author


  • jamaica
  • politics
  • flooding
  • crime
  • corruption
  • infrastructure
  • Caribbean

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