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Displacement and Infrastructure Development at the European Union's Eastern Border


November 4, 2015
1:15pm - 2:45pm
Hoffmann Room, Busch Hall
November 4, 2015
1:15pm - 2:45pm
Hoffmann Room, Busch Hall

Regional development programs in new European Union (EU) member states have increased the absorption rates of Structural Funds, but have failed routinely to advance inter-regional redistribution. In a bid to secure EU funding, resource-strained local governments have fast-tracked demolitions and evictions to clear land for infrastructure development. Focusing on Romania, this project examines the unintended outcomes of EU-funded programs, which have transformed local regulations by expanding the scope of eminent domain and zoning variances, while bypassing national regulatory frameworks. This process has limited the avenues through which constituencies access the government and the courts, therefore eliminating legal barriers to large-scale demolitions, evictions, and discretionary spending. This project revisits common views of infrastructure provision as a redistribution mechanism, by highlighting its role in state-mediated dispossession.

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