Irregular or illegal housing constitutes the ordinary condition of popular urban housing in the Middle East. Considering the conditions of daily practices related to land and tenure mobilization and of housing, neighborhood shaping, transactions, and conflict resolution, this book offers a new reading of government action in the cities of Amman, Beirut, Damascus, Istanbul, and Cairo, focussing on the participation of ordinary citizens and their interactions with state apparatus specifically located within the urban space. The book adopts a praxeological approach to law that describes how inhabitants define and exercise their legality in practice and daily routines. The ambition of the volume is to restore the continuum in the consolidation, building after building, of the popular neighborhoods of the cities under study, while demonstrating the closely-knit social relationships and other forms of community bonding.
Myriam Ababsa is a research fellow in social geography at the French Institute for the Near East in Amman. Her work focuses on the impact of public policies on regional and urban development in Jordan and Syria. Baudouin Dupret is a research fellow at the French National Center for Scientific Research, based in Paris, and a lecturer in Islamic law and socio-legal sciences at the University of Louvain. He has published extensively in the fields of the sociology and anthropology of law, legistlation, and media, especially in the Middle East. Eric Dennis is a senior research fellow affiliated with the French National Center for Scientific Research, and is based at the French Institute in Pondicherry, India. He has published widely in the field of urban studies and geography of the Middle East.