'Analysing shantytown resettlement in Casablanca, Morocco, from residents’ perspectives'

Raffael Beier

On 5 April 2019, Raffael Beier successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled 'From the City to the Desert: Analysing shantytown resettlement in Casablanca, Morocco, from residents’ perspectives'.

Since the mid-1990s, the majority of the Moroccan population are living in cities – many of them in informal, self-built shantytowns called bidonvilles. After the suicide bombings in the city centre of Casablanca, carried out by bidonville dwellers in 2003, the Moroccan government re-enhanced its efforts to tackle the ‘problem’ of shantytowns by announcing the ambitious programme Villes Sans Bidonvilles (VSB, Cities Without Shantytowns). 

On his thesis, Raffael Beier emphasised that the VSB programme, which, although formally part of anti-poverty and urban inclusion policies, put a primary focus on the clearance of the bidonville. Following a rather narrow interpretation of the right to adequate housing, the VSB programme over-emphasised physical housing standards while ignoring aspects of socio-spatial integration.

Beier's thesis and this Public Defence was part of a joint PhD with Ruhr University, BochumOpens external.

PhD student
International Institute of Social Studies
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