Symbolic politics, legalism and implementation: the case of street vendors in India

Philip Amis


This paper is concerned with attempts to manage street vendors in India. Firstly it traces the evolution of attempts at management, through guidelines introduced in 2002, to the 2014 Act which is legally enforceable. The act has not yet been implemented but the State of Madhya Pradesh has implemented its own act which is almost identical. This has been successfully implemented at an administrative level but on the ground nothing has changed. It is suggested that this reflects the importance of symbolic politics and problems of implementation. 

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