The Right to Remain in the City: How One Community Has Used Legal Rights and Rights Talk to Stay Put in Bangkok


In this exploratory piece, I present a case study of the complex machinations of one community in Bangkok in their 13-year struggle to stay on their land. I ask how legal rights, rights talk, and political maneuvering figure into their strategies, as well as how their involvement with a larger social movement has shaped their efforts. The non-traditional form of the piece allows me to walk step-by-step through the community and the processes at play while considering multiple framings that may help us better understand the community’s situation.

About the Author

Hayden Shelby is a Ph.D. candidate in City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. She has performed ethnographic investigations of low-income housing policies in both the United States and Thailand. Her interests include community development, participatory planning, the political economy of land and housing, and urban social movements.