Slum-upgrading in the academic and World Bank discourse : a thematic analysis of academic articles and World Bank publications on slum-upgrading

  • Robert Brune

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis (MPhil)


    The World Bank’s Open Knowledge Repository and the academic discourse provide two major sources of knowledge on slum-upgrading. As they have thus far remained separate entities, this project sets out to contrast and compare both discourses and to figure out what opportunities their synthesis would provide for policy, research, and practice. Using a thematic- network approach to analysis, this project examines focal themes in both discourses and compares themes across them. It finds that while academic and World Bank discourse share a significant number of themes, the perspective from which they investigate these themes differs strongly. The World Bank’s discourse, thus, often focuses on the policy level and only looks toward slum communities top-down. The academic discourse on the other hand focuses predominantly on the grassroots level and is focally concerned with what impact slum- upgrading projects create for their beneficiaries. It concludes that while both discourses would offer significant opportunities for research, policy and practice to explore slum-upgrading from a holistic perspective, in practice, significant tensions between both discourses make a synthesis of academic and World Bank literature often difficult. It suggests that both discourses must expand their perspective toward each other to make synthesis more feasible.
    Date of Award30 Nov 2022
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of St Andrews
    SupervisorTobias Jung (Supervisor) & Shona Louise Russell (Supervisor)

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