Infrastructure and Logistics

Infrastructural disorder: The politics of disruption, contingency, and normalcy in waste infrastructures in Athens

This paper considers infrastructure from the point of view of disorder. During the last few years, waste management controversies have proliferated in Greece, reflecting a generalized feeling of mistrust towards the authorities. In this context, and in relation to the socio-economic crisis that erupted there in 2010, a set of diverse and even antithetic practices, imaginations, and circulations of flows have (re)emerged around waste treatment processes. By looking at the intermingling of formal and informal practices around waste flows and landfill processes in Athens, the paper asks how uncertainty, contingency and instability shape the governance and everyday experience of waste infrastructures. Examining the ways in which the normalization of regular disruption and instability plays out in waste treatment in Athens, it makes the case for understanding disorder as inherent to infrastructure.

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Volume 36 Issue 4