Exposing Necroburbia: Suburban Relocation, Necropolitics, and Violent Geographies in Manila

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16 Scopus citations


When accumulation in southern cities entails the dispossession of informal settlers, where do they go and what spatialities emerge out of their dispossession? In Manila, this occurs through a violent form of suburbanisation. To make way for modern and investment-friendly spaces, informal settlers are exiled to relocation sites in the suburban fringe. This process of accumulation by suburban relocation engenders necroburbia, a dystopic suburban periphery constituted by distant relocation sites where evicted settlers are subjected into violent and asphyxiating everyday geographies. It serves as a spatial fix to enable metropolitan accumulation. Drawing on Achilles Mbembe’s notion of necropolitics, I expose necroburbia as a deceptive and violent space, produced through three spatialities: (1) demolition; (2) relocation; (3) necro-suburbanisms, or everyday ways of necropolitical living. These processes illustrate how urban fantasies of growth in cities like Manila are predicated upon necropolitical realities rendering informal settlers as expendable populations, deserving of everyday brutalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1175-1195
Number of pages21
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Manila
  • Philippines
  • global South
  • necropolitics
  • relocation
  • suburbs
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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