Article

Un-civil society: The politics of the 'informal people'

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... Some studies such as Harvey's (1985) and Madden's (2010) have explored how resistance takes the form of social movements and local activism in accessing public space. However, very few studies (Bayat 1997a(Bayat , 1997b directly address how the poor resist the hegemonic appropriation of urban public space. ...
... Due to their visible encroachments on the streets and other open and accessible city spaces, the urban poor often directly encounter formal modes of urban governance (Bayat 1997b). Consequently, they experience two types of legal issues while operating informal business using public space. ...
... Any kind of collective movement requires 'some degree of organisation, communication and networking among actors'. In many cities of the Global South, marginalised groups establish formal or informal institutions with constant communications among actors (Bayat 1997b). Bayat (1997aBayat ( , 1997b shows the possibility of forming 'passive networks' among the people who use public space. ...
... La etnografía de Anand (2017), por ejemplo, documentó el trabajo diario realizado por los ingenieros para lograr que el agua fluya hacia las viviendas de los asentamientos de Mumbai en India y la articulación permanente de las instalaciones formales con los arreglos informales realizados por los habitantes. Bayat (1997) analizó el crecimiento de Teherán, capital iraní, a través de la autoconstrucción comunitaria de vivienda e infraestructura; mientras que De Boeck (2012) se concentró en Kinshasa, capital de la República Democrática del Congo, una ciudad poscolonial tensionada por la ausencia de infraestructura básica (tendido eléctrico, red de agua, carreteras, edificios públicos) y el avance de reformas urbanas neoliberales. En un libro editado por C. Lemanski (2019), por su parte, se argumenta que la provisión de vivienda pública y la instalación de medidores pagos de servicios en Ciudad del Cabo han exacerbado la precariedad de los pobres urbanos en la Sudáfrica postapartheid. ...
... Entender las infraestructuras urbanas como sustratos materiales espacialmente localizados, imbricados, enraizados e incrustados en ámbitos específicos constituye una aproximación pertinente para dar cuenta de los procesos organizativos y participativos, de las relaciones, prácticas y saberes que se construyen en relación con estas. Retomando los interesantes planteos de A. Bayat (1997) sobre las iniciativas de los pobres urbanos del Tercer Mundo por hacerse de una vida digna (iniciativas individuales y colectivas, sigilosas y prolongadas), podríamos decir que las luchas en torno a las infraestructuras metropolitanas representan un locus pertinente para reflexionar sobre lo común y lo ordinario invadiendo la vida. ...
Article
Full-text available
El objetivo de este artículo es contribuir al estudio antropológico de las infraestructuras urbanas a través de la sistematización teórica y la indagación empírica. Ambas actividades se encuentran en curso y aquí presentamos las primeras reflexiones resultantes de tal experiencia. Por un lado, recuperamos antecedentes de investigación mayormente recientes que nos llevarán a conceptualizar la infraestructura como ensamblaje sociotécnico en el cual convergen materialidades, temporalidades, sujetos y saberes ‒entre otras facetas relevantes‒. Por otro lado, avanzamos en un análisis de prácticas vinculadas a la gestión de la infraestructura urbana de saneamiento de un barrio situado en la periferia del Área Metropolitana de Buenos Aires. Este segundo aspecto se sustenta en un trabajo de campo etnográfico que las autoras llevamos adelante en el barrio Roberto Arlt del Municipio de La Matanza. Dicha labor se realiza en el marco de proyectos colectivos e interdisciplinarios de investigación, extensión y transferencia institucionalmente acreditados.
... The study aims at reflecting on the historical processes of gray spacing the street vendors in the Global South, especially India and Kolkata, and to show how gray spacing is subverted through quiet encroachment as a mode of 'silent, protracted but pervasive advancement of the ordinary' (Bayat, 1997). Such an endeavour is realized through three concepts. ...
... It is a form of existence that engenders the ways that the subalterns expand their life and livelihood options without getting in a confrontation with the state or any other hegemonic being. It is 'the silent, protracted but pervasive advancement of the ordinary people on the propertied and powerful in order to survive and improve their lives' (Bayat, 1997). Such social non-movements, as 'collective action of non-collective actors', are more concerned with the practice of securing sustenance than with fullon protest (Bayat 2010(Bayat , 2012. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter discusses the hawkers and their modes in the South Asian city of Kolkata. When read through subalternity optics and the broader postcolonial literature, the hidden and explicit nuances are ruptured open. It takes Oren Yiftachel’s work on gray space to understand how things work to suspend hawkers between the legal white and the non-legal black. It is through this that the hawkers sustain. However, the resistance to such gray spacing is materialized through quiet encroachment, which has metamorphosed into bold encroachment in the last couple of decades. Emulating Asef Bayat’s work on this, the study charts three ways in which the encroachment is visible and comprehensible upon Kolkata’s urban geography. The chapter ends at a margin that discusses the hawker union’s politics of inclusion and ways in which their politics animate different urban subjectivity.
... In 1997, Bayat argued that the 1950s witnessed the beginning of the mass migration of low-income families into urban centers all around the Middle East and the Third World. The impact of the migration had not come into being until the early days of the 1980s and 1990s when the second generation of those migrants, which are poor and disenfranchised, step in to challenge the current power relationship that exists in the structure of their society (Bayat, 1997). ...
... PMII and HMI are supporters of liberal democracy even though, to some extent, the two have different opinions about how such liberal democracy works in the context of Indonesia. On the other hand, KAMMI resembles what most scholars call the post-Islamist strategy of securing political power (Bayat, 1997). However, KAMMI is not very well known for its transparency in propagating such a strategy. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aims to explain the role of KAMMI (Kesatuan Aksi Mahasiswa Muslim Indonesia/ the Indonesian Muslim University Students Action Union) in Universities in East Kalimantan in shaping the political dynamics among students in university settings. Utilizing a qualitative approach to analyze data collected through interviews with members of KAMMI in Samarinda, findings reveal that KAMMI’s main strategy to maintain its’ Islamist ideology consists of three distinctive steps: 1) introducing KAMMI to potential members in high schools via vacation trip program (rihlah); 2) recruiting members during admission time via personal approaches; and 3) maintaining solidarity by utilizing small circle study groups. In the first two steps, KAMMI would introduce potential new members with personal holiness, which aims to guard the students' morality. In the third phase, members would be familiarized with the concept of “Muslim Negarawan,” in which they are asked to view their campus as a political arena of competition for power.
... A través de ellos, y en medio de ese paisaje urbano en constante transformación, marcado por el ruido y el polvo, supe de esas formas de construcción y reparación, objeto de pesquisa de este artículo. Las historias que fui consignando en mi diario de campo en la mesa de la ferretería se relacionaban con esa silenciosa intromisión de lo ordinario propuesta por Asef Bayat (1997): las sutiles políticas cotidianas de imaginación y resistencia que pretenden forjar y mantener sustentos y formas de vida para los marginados. ...
... Estas formas de reproducir, mimetizar y oponerse al Estado son, a fin de cuentas, una estrategia para habitar los espacios urbanos marcados por el desabastecimiento y la pobreza. Son acciones políticas, siguiendo el argumento de la silenciosa intromisión de lo ordinario propuesto por Asef Bayat (1997). Un activista social me dijo en una caminata por Ciudad Blanca que él no quisiera fomentar las acometidas irregulares del acueducto en la ciudad, pero que, frente a tal situación de desabastecimiento, la gente tendría que acceder de alguna u otra forma al recurso. ...
Article
Full-text available
Este artículo estudia la construcción y reparación de obras de infraestructura doméstica para el almacenamiento del agua en un barrio continental de la ciudad-puerto de Buenaventura, Colombia. De esta forma, indaga acerca de estas prácticas sociomateriales de los pobladores en cuanto formas de articulación entre los sujetos y el Estado en el marco de un desabastecimiento parcial de este recurso público. Argumento que estas construcciones coproducen el aparato estatal y, al mismo tiempo, redefinen sus límites. El fundamento empírico del artículo consiste en un material etnográfico recogido en diferentes estadías de campo entre noviembre de 2018 y febrero de 2020, y representa una contribución a los estudios antropológicos del Estado y la infraestructura.
... Bayat's term 'politics of the informal people' points to changes people aim to afford in their everyday lives without necessarily aiming to undermine political authority or having articulated a political discourse. One of the main goals of this silent politics is to ensure the distribution of social goods and opportunities, such as land, shelter, piped water, electricity, etc. (Bayat 1997). The context of hardship in Buenaventura (violence, poverty, uncertainty, and structural unemployment) leads to the development of forms of resistance that oscillate between 'submergent politics' and the 'politics of the informal people.' ...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, I explore the coping mechanisms deployed by shopkeepers in the face of extortion in the port city of Buenaventura, in southwestern Colombia. Relying on six months of fieldwork experience in a hardware shop of Ciudad Blanca, an impoverished neighborhood, I examine the everyday violence and the responses of the population. Due to the deficient infrastructure in the city, people are forced to build small infrastructural arrangements, such as water storage systems, to access public services. Therefore, the circulation and availability of infrastructural devices such as pipes, hoses, and tanks are vital for the reproduction of life in the city. In this article, I argue that extortion (locally calledvacuna(‘vaccine’)) interferes in the circulation of these vital material commodities, making coping mechanisms crucial in the face of vulnerability and uncertainty. Recent scholarly literature has pointed to the influence of illegal economies in urban planning and organization. Going beyond that, I argue that organized crime interferes in the material practices of the urban poor, turning to the term ‘parasite’ posed by French philosopher Michel Serres to conceptualize this form of interference in the circulation of commodities.
... , მეორე მხრივ კი, პატრა ჩატერჯეს პოლიტიკური საზოგა დოების კონცეპტზე დაყრდნობით (Chatterjee, 2004) პოსტსოციალისტური სამოქალაქო საზოგადოების ჩემეულ ანალიზს ეყრდნობა (Rekhviashvili, 2018). გრამშის ცენტრალუ რი კონტრიბუცია -რომელიც, ფაქტობრივად, წინააღმდეგობის პოლიტიკის შესწა ვლისთვის ყველა კრიტიკული სკოლის, მათ შორის, პოსტკოლონიური და სუბალტერნუ ლი კვლევების საფუძველი ხდება (Chandra, 2015) -ადრეული მარქსისტული დაშვებების კრიტიკა და ალტერნატიული, თუმცა ასევე მარქსისტული წინააღმდეგობის თეორიის ჩამოყალიბებაა (Gramsci et al., 2008;Katz, 2006 (Scott, 1989), "ჩუმი მიტაცება~ (Bayat, 1997), "აჯანყებული მოქალაქე ობრიობა~ (Holston, 2009) (Bernhard, 1996;Foa and Ekiert, 2017;Howard, 2012 ...
Book
Full-text available
Who can resist capitalism today and how? Who can resist capitalism in Georgia or in other peripheral countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia, where the supposed central agent of the resistance – civil society – according to mainstream/liberal or critical evaluators, is weak, divided, and alienated from local social concerns (Foa and Ekiert, 2017; Howard, 2012)? In this book I tell a story of the struggle over Rioni river valley in western Georgia, in particular the detailed history of the anti-dam movement that took place between November 2020 and July 2021. In doing so, I engage with this broad, yet continuously politically relevant question: who resists capitalism and how do they resist it? Based on the study of this unique struggle in the history of post-independence Georgia, and drawing on the concepts of subalternity, civil and political society by Antonio Gramsci and Parta Chatterjee, I discuss how hegemonic developmental politics are produced and contested. On the one hand, this research details the strategies of political-economic elites to legitimise the existing developmental politics and exclude resistances to it from the public sphere. On the other hand, it observes the possibilities to resist (even if temporarily or partially) the irreversible destruction or severe exploitation of humans and nature, local cultures and heritages and living environments. It explores existing attempts at identifying and fighting for alternative developmental paths countering the hegemonic developmental order. Drawing on observations about the struggle for the Rioni valley, my main point is as follows: larger share of the resistances against existing development politics in Georgia, as well as probably in many other corners of Eastern Europe and Eurasia, takes place beyond civil society, on what Patra Chatterjee calls a political society terrain. Civil society, this alleged central avatar of the politics of resistance, is a kind of a battlefield in itself. Struggle over becoming a part of civil society, part of rights-bearing legitimate citizenry, or being excluded from it, is the central characteristic of the battlefield. This observation has a crucial importance for the existing literature, as well as, and more importantly, for ongoing political struggles in the post-socialist space and beyond. To this date, there is an ongoing debate about the reasons why civil society is so weak, elitist, and detached from the concerns of respective societies (Gagyi and Ivancheva, 2019). According to some authors working on the region, the concept of civil society should be set aside altogether. Others would rather broaden the concept of civil society so that it can include not only the actors that are recognized as civil society actors in the post-socialist public spaces – as NGOs or formal associations – but also the marginalised struggles and the forms of everyday resistance (Jacobsson, 2016; Jacobsson and Korolczuk, 2019). I argue that both approaches are theoretically and politically problematic. Drawing on the experience of the Rioni valley struggle, I demonstrate that the exclusion of various groups from the civil society terrain, and the denial of the legitimacy of their struggle, are the main tools for the existing political and economic elites to maintain their hegemony. In other words, the subalternity of certain groups, their epistemic displacement, emphasising their non-compliance with the existing legal-institutional order, and suppressing their voices in the public space is carried out precisely by excluding them from the civil society terrain. Subalternity therefore, is not simply related to material deprivation, but is shaped in a specific historical context through material and discursive displacement of certain groups from the legal and moral parameters set by the hegemonic order, disconnection from knowledge production, and deliberate deprivation from the opportunity to articulate one’s political voice and interests in the public space. Those kinds of excluded groups, that are denied access to conventional channels of democratic engagement and are stripped of civil rights, are left to organise on the terrain of political society, that is, on the terrain of alternative values, torn from the existing institutions and structures. Overcoming the delegitimization becomes the main challenge for subaltern groups and determines the strength of the resistance. In other words, political society is a terrain of mobilisation for subaltern groups that are actively removed from the possibility to fight on civil society terrain. Moving beyond the political society terrain, getting under the skin of civil society, and doing so, destabilising the very concept of civil society, instead of “strengthening” civil society or simply attaching this label to oneself, appears to be the way to confront the hegemonic order today. The two dominant academic approaches to the ‘weak’ civil society problem in post-socialist East, one rejecting the concept altogether, and the other one trying to stretch the concept to include marginalised, subaltern struggles, seem detached from current political realities. Both approaches ignore how the exclusion from civil society, or overcoming such exclusion, in itself becomes the decisive object of a struggle for many subaltern groups.
... Secondly, this article is located within a discourse that considers alternative conceptions of civil society. Scholarship on civil society has tended to focus on institutionalised forms of civil society and neglect the diversity of informal civil society activities, which dominate urban politics in much of the Global South (Bayat, 1997). This focus reflects the evolution of the concept of civil society in liberal democracies of the Global North where freedom of association exists and formal forms of civil society are not restricted or co-opted by the state (Anjum, 2012;Kumar, 1993). ...
Article
The emergence of the gig economy has generated a new class of workers who are categorised as independent “partners” instead of employees with rights to labour protection. Triggered by observations of a protest movement by platform-based delivery riders in Thailand, we engaged in seven months of digital ethnographic research of riders’ interactions online to understand the emergence of informal groups facilitating mutual aid and collective action. Civil society research has neglected to analyse such groups within the gig economy. The study finds that social media is a site for the development and contestation of identity narratives. We observed a “Hero” narrative that glorifies delivery riders' independent status and a “Worker” narrative that challenges riders' conditions. We argue that these collective identity narratives crucially facilitate or inhibit the emergence of labour-oriented civil society organisations, thus contributing to third sector research that examines civil society in the Global South.
... Due to the reason behind the necessity to survive in a dignified manner (Bayat, 1997), the camp became out of control, houses made out of metal sheets, canvas bags, Styrofoam, wooden pieces, metal nets, and water tanks (Dalal, 2020). This is mainly due to the fact that UNHCR provides these refugees with only one-space shelter unit for several members of family, which has broken the respect, and results in a discomfort expression amongst members of the family that is eminent. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Conflicts in the Arab world have produced multiple waves of refugees in the past decades. Jordan amongst has received a massive number of refugees located in different camps and considered to be the heaven of refugees. The new state of the camp became negatively impacting the host country and the environment in different layers. This research identified these various layers of impact; water, waste, electricity, soil, medical waste and social, which may not meet the sustainability requirements, disregarding their use as temporary panacea. This study aims at tracing the various environmental layers of impact in Al Zaatari camp. The paper then moves to focus on suggesting sustainable development tactics for each of these identified layers of impact. The methodology that has been used, to identify the various layers of impact and recommending their sustainable solutions or approaches, through tracing the literature and looking at other case studies related to our case. Finally, the paper concludes through generating some reflections about the identified layers and their solutions, recommending what is needed to be done to enhance the current camp status quo as well as future instant cities.KeywordsZaatariEnvironmental impactSustainable development
... Asef Bayat has argued that the silent mobilization tactic of the ordinary people, often driven by their survival instinct rather than an ideology, is primarily successful due to their invisibility. 33 Informal practices that obscure the many strategies and tactics of the poor also raise ethical dilemmas for scholars because many informal workers thrive on learned habits that evade the state's watchful gaze. 34,35 Although this poses challenges to urban scholars who want to lend voice to marginalized groups, academic work can be a potent way to represent and articulate issues that are often muted in the government's cost-beneft calculations. ...
Chapter
In this chapter, we examine the planning documents of four Asian cities and explain how urban planning facilitates 'administered invisibility' of marginalised groups, leading to “spatial amnesia” where (unseen) communities are erased & uncoupled from the dominant urban future and memory.
... They staged up to 100 organized protests between 2010 and 2012, and they worked on alternative proposals of street-trade regulations, managed to have City Hall discuss their legislative initiatives and even founded a short-lived formal association called the 'Street Vendors League' (Polese, Rekhviashvili, and Morris 2016;Rekhviashvili 2016). When such conventional channels of political participation and claim-making failed, when public authorities made it abundantly clear that they would not treat vendors as rights-bearing citizens nor tolerate their civil society-like contention repertoires, the traders started pursuing more invisible forms of resistance, what James Scott would call 'infrapolitics' (Scott 1985) and Asef Bayat would call 'the quiet encroachment of the ordinary' (Bayat 1997). The temporary supporter of the vendors, the Sircʻxvilia movement, is not a formalized and institutionalized group either. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article points out the need to talk about the political society, or the politics and resistances, of subaltern groups in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Existing literature frames diversity marginalized struggles as civil society struggles or decries the weakness of donor-driven, disembedded civil societies, reproducing the understanding of political life in the region in terms of absences, voids and deficiencies. Challenging this subsumption or dismissal of subaltern struggles, I advance two arguments. First, I argue against broadening the civil society concept to include various subaltern struggles as this approach risks overwriting differences between those groups that mobilize as rights-bearing citizens and the ones that are not recognized or treated as civil society. Instead, I propose acknowledging the historically and spatially contingent character of civil society and the defining role of the state and other actors in shaping which struggles fall within or beyond institutional and discursive frameworks of legality and legitimacy. Second, I argue that Patra Chatterjee’s concept of ‘political society’ can serve better as a meta-vocabulary to account for a diversity of struggles shunted as backwards, premodern and uncivilized, and to refocus research from what is absent to what is present, towards understanding counterhegemonic discourses and practices.
... This means that collective action can be mobilized without the intermediation of active networks, such as trade unions and organized social movements. Instead, passive networks, such as kin, neighborhood, or ethnic relations, can support the mobilizations of the urban poor (Bayat, 1997) and be used to make claims regarding who has and has not the right to access waste as a commons (Sseviiri et al., 2022). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the everyday, collective, and identity resistance mobilized by the urban poor to (re)gain their right to the commons and contest urban exclusion. Informed by the community of waste pickers at La Chureca, the city dump of Managua, Nicaragua, the paper, builds on theories of discard studies, urban commons, and Bayat's everyday resistance. It shows, first, how deprived communities can create their own commons through quietly encroaching on public space and using such resources as waste. Second, it reveals how activating passive networks (e.g. spatial and professional solidarity, kinship) can be fundamental in commoning, by triggering intermittent collective resistance, giving rise to more permanent active networks (cooperatives and trade unions). Third, it shows how simultaneous strategies of collaboration with the state can be mobilized when necessary. Finally, it demonstrates how constructing a resistance identity becomes an important sociocultural mechanism for claiming access to the commons, on the basis of a heterogeneous configuration of territorial, environmental, professional, family, and spiritual identities. Resistance identity stems from and supports individual and collective resistance, to maintain access to the commons. We conclude that all forms of everyday, collective, and identity resistance are essential, and none alone is sufficient to (re)gain the commons. ARTICLE HISTORY
... The case presented in this paper seeks to expand our understanding of property by discussing Indigenous groups' claims for concrete physical spaces. These claims are made as "quiet encroachments" (Bayat 1997). Informality for Bayat quietly encroaches and takes spaces and only reacts "loudly" to protect spaces it is in danger of losing. ...
Article
https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1fLNE3pILaAUW (50 day free view and download link) This paper discusses the understudied topic of Indigenous claim-making in urban space. It looks at these mar-ginalised Indigenous property expressions in a Latin American city as the encounter of different spatio-legal world-making processes. Official actors reiteratively perform absolute property as a marketable object whereas marginalised Indigenous groups seek to re-entangle property in social, cultural, and political relations. The paper analyses the example of Mapuche associations that secure temporary access to urban land in Santiago de Chile to build rukas (traditional straw-roofed houses). Semi-structured interviews at 10 rukas reveal the way official precarium contracts bracket property and thus serve as a form of governance. Simultaneously Indigenous associations re-entangle property relations to provide a place of gathering for the local urban Mapuche population and contribute to territorial struggles in rural areas in the South of the country. The findings of the paper show how marginalised groups' spatial and legal work re-entangling property increases its resilience.
... Outlining multi-scalar responses to climate change and informality Informal settlement residents have resisted brutalities and abandonment by city authorities -often through violent confrontation and sometimes through various alliances, and the formation of neighbourhood groups and collective political agencies (Bayat, 1997;Laquian, 2005). In fact, in cases of city authorities' abandonment, civil society organisations have emerged to mediate these complex processes in shaping the dynamics and structure of informal settlements and their economic activities (Grant, 2009;Lindell, 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
Africa contributes the least to global greenhouse gas emissions, yet it faces climate change's harshest consequences. Ramifications of climate change pose daunting multi-scalar urban challenges, specifically because urbanisation across most African countries is embedded in, linked to and defined by various notions of informality. However, there is limited theoretical attention to the confluence of African urbanisation, informality and climate change. This article addresses this issue by laying out three fundamental matters of this relationship. First, it analyses urban informality in the context of three domains: the informal economy, informal settlements and the state. Second, it highlights the significance of climate change to theoretical and empirical studies of informality. We propose that climate change poses challenges to the practice of informality and its contemporary theorisation, prompting new questions about how African informality is understood and framed. Finally, it discusses new perspectives on planning for climate change and urban informality that do not frame 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' approaches as necessarily mutually exclusive. Climate change fundamentally challenges life within informal economies and settlements, and its synthesis within debates on African urbanisation is urgently required. Notably, and in turn, the global discourse on climate change also requires specific attention to the theories and practices of informality.
... As observed by Agyei-Mensah & Owusu (2009, 503), "pockets of old and dilapidated houses (what one may even describe as slums) exist within [East Legon]." As the state takes more land to redistribute for luxury and market-rate real estate development, the urban poor (see, push back through the appropriation and redistribution of urban space from the rich through acts of quiet encroachment (see, Bayat, 1997). This accounts for the juxtaposition of makeshift structures and large gated houses in many Accra neighborhoods. ...
Article
Urban poverty in both the developed and developing world is often spatially organized with deprivation highly concentrated in segregated areas of cities. With the rapid urbanization and lack of effective urban planning in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, segregation, economic deprivation and social exclusion are particularly severe challenges. In the United States, almost 30 years of poverty deconcentration policy has had mixed results and offers cautions to other countries looking to confront urban segregation. Accra, the capital city of Ghana, offers an intriguing example of a city with substantial clusters of poverty and slum areas, but also some neighborhoods with high existing levels of economic integration. Drawing on the theoretical and empirical context of poverty deconcentration efforts in the United States, this paper presents a conceptual framework with two alternative pathways for urban development: an inclusionary pathway and an exclusionary pathway. We use this framework to review and critique Ghana’s existing urban policy and offer implications for inclusionary urban policy in Accra and other similar cities in developing countries.
... In addition, the findings reveal that street vendors quickly learn about the mandatory security payment system and rules of the street from their kin and social networks and use these methods to appropriate available public space. Bayat (1997) has described such practices as 'street politics'. By learning these rules of the street and entering into an informal pact with powerful state and non-state actors, vendors break the planned, legal order of the city to produce a 'counter-space' (Lefebvre, 1991) which they use for their livelihood. ...
Article
Access to public space for earning livelihoods is important for street vendors in global south cities. However, due to continuous population growth and the demand for lands by the real estate development sector, pressure on land is very high in the global south. Consequently, global south cities such as Dhaka provide ‘no place’ for its poor migrant citizens. Yet, the urban poor are able to appropriate public space for livelihoods. Drawing on a case study of Sattola slum in Dhaka, this article investigates how the urban poor access to public space for livelihoods and construct counter-spaces by breaking the planned order of the city. This article argues that the urban poor are able to construct counter-spaces with the tacit support of translocal social networks as well as with the support of a range of state and non-state powerful actors who are compromised by the benefits and profits they extract from vendors. This article draws on qualitative data generated through in-depth interviews with 94 informal workers and 37 key informants. This article contributes to urban sociology literature demonstrating that the urban poor are able to construct counter-spaces drawing on a range of everyday tactics and appropriating public space by quietly breaking the planned order of the city.
... Indeed, as both Bayat (1997) and Scott (1989), have shown, even everyday acts of resistance by individuals who are not necessarily consciously or intentionally resisting, can have "cumulative" (Bayat, 1997, p.58) or "aggregate" (Scott, 1989, p. 34) consequences. Indeed, these cumulative effects seem to have become apparent to some Salafi leaders who, as we will see in the next chapter, have noticed women's disenchantment in Salafi communities and tried to pay even more attention to women. ...
Thesis
The rise of Salafism in various localities around the world has captured the attention of many researchers. Existing approaches to Salafism do not, however, give enough attention to the cultural dimensions of the movement. This thesis thus proposes the adoption of a Gramscian lens in the study of contemporary Salafism—one that takes seriously power and politics as well as culture and religion. Taking London’s Muslim community as a case study, it examines the attempts of Saudi Arabia (and other members of the transnational Salafi historical bloc) to introduce Salafism as an alternative hegemonic conception within London’s Muslim community. It explores the Salafi movement through all its “molecular phases” between 1980-2020, focusing on how the movement has impacted the common sense (or taken for granted heterogenous ideas) of British Muslims through the years. Based on more than 150 interviews and 20 months of participant observation in Salafi and non-Salafi spaces in London, it argues that Salafism is no longer confined to Salafi shaykhs (scholars), leaders, or members of the movement, but that elements of it have become ingrained in the common sense of a much wider segment of London’s Muslim community. At the same time, however, it finds that this has been a far from straightforward, complete, or irreversible process. In fact, it finds that even British Muslims who adopted Salafism during the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, have experienced several contradictions as they attempted to live their lives according to a Salafi conception of the world, and many have gone on to rethink Salafism. This thesis also pays particular attention to the lives of Salafi women, challenging accounts that present them as fully compliant with Salafism, and shedding light on their conscious and unconscious departures from Salafi gender norms.
... Isin (2009Isin ( , 2012 rightfully argues that conceptualizing citizenship as a legal status or in terms of routine practices of participation, such as voting, overlooks how those who are socially and legally marginalized 'act politically' and thereby constitute themselves as citizens. As the articles in this special issue demonstrate, those whose status excludes them legally are acting politically in unexpected ways and places, disrupting the status quo, and re-constituting themselves as political actors through these acts or 'ruptures' (Bayat 1997;Isin, 2009Isin, , 2012Kiwan, 2015). ...
Article
While it is true that authoritarian rule has reasserted itself across the MENA and that democracy is no longer as appealing to the public as it was in 2011 and 2012, this should not lead to the conclusion that MENA societies have simply returned to pre-2011 situation. Thus, while the authors of this special issue acknowledge important elements of continuity with the pre-2011 period, the articles in this special issue focus on the social and political mobilizations that the uprisings have brought to the fore despite the resilience of authoritarian, patriarchal, sectarian and class structures.
... Algunos autores abordan la informalidad como un emprendimiento e iniciativa de los habitantes, que surge de la lucha, exclusión y supervivencia al sistema político y económico neoliberal (Bayat, 1997;Fernandes, 2011;Gouverneur, 2016). En este sentido, se mira de manera optimista a la ciudad autoconstruida como oportunidad de solución al déficit habitacional. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
https://edipuce.edu.ec/gestion-territorial-en-ecuador-2/ La informalidad urbana ha sido discutida desde hace aproximadamente 40 años, como un fenómeno relacionado con la expansión y consolidación de asentamientos precarios en las ciudades. Durante este tiempo, dicho fenómeno ha asumido varias definiciones en la literatura relativos a distintos hechos coyunturales. Habitualmente, la informalidad es atribuida a la pobreza y la escasez, y definida como todo lo que no es formal; sin embargo, esta aproximación resulta deficiente para comprender el fenómeno. En los últimos 20 años, algunas investigaciones empíricas han revelado importantes enfoques que permiten intuir que el mercado de suelos juega un papel importante en la comprensión de este fenómeno. Aunque la pobreza sigue relacionada con el sector informal (que abarca tanto la informalidad urbana como laboral), las condiciones de acceso al suelo urbano servido y los precios de suelo relativamente elevados parecen ser el común denominador que está detrás de los estudios sobre las distintas manifestaciones de informalidad urbana, especialmente para la región latinoamericana. En el presente estudio explora las principales hipótesis que sostienen las distintas acepciones sobre la informalidad y profundizar en su definición desde los enfoques más relevantes de la literatura. La revisión del estado del arte arroja que la tierra urbana (formal e informal) en América Latina tiene precios similares al suelo urbano en EEUU o Europa. Algunas de las razones que explican esta similitud se refieren al impacto de las regulaciones y el alto valor del suelo que no solo hace atractivo el negocio para lotización sino también favorecen la retención de la tierra, como suelo de engorde.
... Due to the reason behind the necessity to survive in a dignified manner (Bayat, 1997), the camp became out of control, houses made out of metal sheets, canvas bags, Styrofoam, wooden pieces, metal nets, and water tanks (Dalal, 2020). This is mainly due to the fact that UNHCR provides these refugees with only one-space shelter unit for several members of family, which has broken the respect, and results in a discomfort expression amongst members of the family that is eminent. ...
Conference Paper
Conflicts in the Arab world have produced multiple waves of refugees in the past decades. Jordan among has received a massive number of refugees located in different camps and considered to be the heaven of refugees. The new state of the camp became negatively impacting the host country and the environment in different layers. This research identified these various layers of impact; water, waste, electricity, soil, medical waste and social, which may not meet the sustainability requirements, disregarding their use as temporary panacea. This study aims at tracing the various environmental layers of impact in Al Zaatari camp. The paper then moves to focus on suggesting sustainable development tactics for each of these identified layers of impact. The methodology that has been used, to identify the various layers of impact and recommending their sustainable solutions or approaches, through tracing the literature and looking at other case studies related to our case. Finally, the paper concludes through generating some reflections about the identified layers and their solutions, recommending what is needed to be done to enhance the current camp status quo. Keywords Zaatari; Environmental impact; Sustainable development
Article
This article examines the Vietnamese state’s ambivalence towards insurgent assertions of urban citizenship in and around Hanoi. In the 1980s and 1990s, it tolerated the lawbreaking construction of self-built housing in the city centre and eventually extended self-builders land use rights for their extralegal claims. In the 2000s and 2010s, however, the state violently cracked down on periurban villagers using insurgent strategies to resist the expropriation of their agricultural land for master-planned real estate developments. I suggest that the insurgency of self-builders precipitated a regime of graduated land use rights wherein the informal, extralegal claims of self-builders have been more respected than the formal, legal claims of periurban villagers. I ultimately argue that the state’s ambivalent responses to insurgency result from its pursuit of a materially shifting ideology of developmentalism. I also find that the success of insurgency derives from how the interests of citizens, the local state and the national state align and realign with one another.
Article
Se examina el proceso en el cual el Estado colombiano busca su incorporación al mercado mundial, utilizando dos estrategias complementarias: la competitividad y la militarización. El caso colombiano se presenta como un ejemplo idóneo para mostrar que el Estado militarizado de competencia produce mayor grado de inequidad y agudización del conflicto social.
Book
Full-text available
In dit 31ste Jaarboek kijken we niet alleen naar de armoedesituatie in België, maar verruimen we onze blik naar mondiale mechanismen die armoede en ongelijkheid creëren en in stand houden. Een duidelijke doorwerking van mondiale armoede en ongelijkheid zien we wanneer we ons focussen op de link tussen migratie en armoede, het themadeel van dit boek. Wat zijn de verwachtingen en percepties van migranten over België? Welke grenzen stelt ons land aan migratie? Hoe gaan migranten, lokale besturen en organisaties met die grenzen om? Het zijn enkele van de vragen waarop dit boek een antwoord zoekt. Ook meer algemene analyses over armoede, sociale uitsluiting en ongelijkheid komen aan bod. Een greep uit de bijdragen: wat kan de filosofie ons vertellen over sociale ongelijkheid? Hoe verandert het beeld van armoede als we rekening houden met vermogens en schulden? Hoe groot is de non-take up van bepaalde uitkeringen? En kunnen ‘zorgzame buurten’ van betekenis zijn voor mensen in armoede? Vanuit het werkveld komt 11.11.11 aan het woord over internationale solidariteit. Tot slot ontbreekt ook dit jaar geen cijfermatig overzicht van armoede en sociale uitsluiting.
Article
Popular arts are not only accessible to most people, but their stylistic features are also a crucial scholarly site of attention. Liz Gunner [1990. “Introduction: Forms of Popular Culture and the Struggle for Space.” Journal of Southern African Studies 16 (2): 199–206] regards African popular art as an empowering agency that can give people a new sense of control over their own lives. Through processes of improvisation, enactment and dialogue, such popular arts create spaces for participants to not only express themselves, but also to exercise power and authority over forces of oppression and repression. In African storytelling the trickster narrative is one of the aesthetic categories and is indeed the trope from which popular theatre in Africa has derived most of its inspiration. Using the illustrative paradigm of a popular theatre performance entitled, Vana Vana (Children are children), this article seeks to demonstrate how symbolic inversion was used to address topical issues associated with child abuse in Zimbabwe. The performance focuses on the violation of children’s rights through child labour, domestic violence, sexual abuse, child soldiers and ‘street children.’ The article examines these forms of child abuse to see how Vana Vana operates as a performative discourse that deploys trickster narrative to critique actual violations of children’s rights. The article also examines the agentive power of the young theatre facilitators and performers who were at the centre of devising the popular theatre performance through symbolic inversion. What the paper demonstrates, then, is a classic example of the performative power of popular youth theatre and its agency to critique and hold accountable a dominant culture that endangers the lives and futures of young people.
Article
Nell'ultimo decennio, l'informale è diventata una categoria ombrello, un caleidoscopio di pratiche diversissime d'uso ed appropriazione non autorizzati del territorio. Per tentare una fenomenologia delle pratiche informali sono possibili ed ugualmente necessari due approcci: il primo, qui definito istituzionale, è focalizzato sull'analisi dei processi di governance per comprendere le dinamiche strutturali che generano l'informale; il secondo, qui definito territoriale, è focalizzato sui soggetti e sulla loro agency per orientare la valutazione delle pratiche. Di seguito, si propone un esercizio di schematizzazione della fenomenologia delle pratiche informali mediante una lettura territoriale. Facendo riferimento al Sud Italia e particolarmente alla città di Napoli, si sono individuate "tre città informali" ciascuna materialmente prodotta e significata da altrettante categorie di soggetti individuali o collettivi, pubblici o no.
Article
Sociological literature on urban poor struggles has produced a rich and vibrant scholarship on the mobilisations of urban poor groups for state welfare and resources. These struggles for basic services and resources essential to survival have been studied as ‘everyday politics’, the ‘politics of life’ and more broadly as ‘the politics of the poor’ or ‘politics of the governed’. Recent ethnographic research has revealed how these engagements are lived and experienced as ‘political work’ and not just as struggles or mobilisations. This discussion piece examines ‘political work’ detailing why these engagements are ‘political’ and why poor women reclaim their engagements with the State as ‘work’. Reviewing the literature on urban poor politics, citizenship and everyday politics, this piece examines how ‘political work’ reveals new forms of gendered work that reinforce the social reproductive roles of women even as women enter the public realm.
Article
Understanding how the planning system is (not) functioning remains a challenge for many urban planners in the developing world. This paper responds by conducting an analysis of the discourse between national and local planners. It seeks to unfold the challenges of informal settlement planning in Accra, Ghana. Through in-depth interviews, this paper suggests that: (I) Grounding sustainability must be conducted by implementing the plans rather than producing the plans. (II) Empowering local planners should be a primary task to incrementally remedy the challenging planning system in countries like Ghana.
Article
Legitimacy has long been perceived through a Westernized lens as a fixed, binary state. In this book, Kathy Dodworth offers an exploration of everyday legitimation practices in coastal Tanzania, which challenges this understanding within postcolonial contexts. She reveals how non-government organizations craft their authority to act, working with, against and through the state, and what these practices tell us about contemporary legitimation. Synthesizing detailed, ethnographic fieldwork with theoretical innovations from across the social sciences, legitimacy is reworked not as a fixed state, but as a collection of constantly renegotiated practices. Critically adopting insights from political theory, sociology and anthropology, this book develops a detailed picture of contemporary governance in Tanzania and beyond in the wake of waning Western dominance.
Article
While being ‘old-established’ is usually seen as a product of the social negotiation of migration, there is little empirical research on how this category evolves and changes over time. To unravel this process, we focus in this article on the group formation processes which contribute to the making and unmaking of being ‘old-established’ as a pattern of interpretation, a we-image and a potential power chance in various figurations. A combination of figurational and biographical approaches with an extended chronological horizon provides a theoretical and methodological framework to focus on when, and in what circumstances, residents distinguish between ‘old-established’ and ‘newcomers’ in their we- and they-images. Attention is paid to the socio-historical transformations which increase or reduce material and immaterial power chances (such as ownership of land, length of association and internal cohesion) within dynamic processes of group formation in migration societies. A multigenerational case study of an extended family in Jordan shows the complex processuality of how long-time residents become ‘old-established’ as a group, which expands their power chances, and under what circumstances this status can become eroded.
Article
Much has been written about the role of waste pickers in the global south. This literature has examined conflicts over waste, particularly in the context of privatization and state initiatives that seek to more systematically and legibly capture waste’s value. These conflicts suggest that, perhaps ironically, there is not enough valuable waste for all those willing to work to reclaim it. In this paper, we argue that there remains ambiguity over fundamental questions around the meaning of ‘rights’ to material resources in conditions of scarcity. Here, we do not seek to determine who ought to have access, but instead look to an empirical case to understand ongoing practices and permissions that enable access to waste. We asked those who work in the informal waste sector about who is ultimately given permission to access this value, and how such permissions are framed, demanded, enacted, infringed upon and contested. We also looked to see how well words mapped onto actions, and what happened when conflicts arose. In this context, we report a series of ‘guidelines’ that the waste pickers in our research used to establish, negotiate and contest claims to access waste among those who work informally in the sector and with others who see its value. We conclude by considering the implications of thinking of waste as a limited resource and of the ongoing construction and negotiation of permissions, rather than rights, to take materials in the city.
Article
Full-text available
Urban managers in sub-Saharan Africa have recently come under intense pressure to prepare for and adapt to the footprints of rapid peri-urbanization and increased climate-related risks. Addressing spatial planning integral with the urban expansion is not only because climate variability is becoming more prominent. Further, within peri-urban zones, people most often live and work in physical areas of hazard that are commensurate with their economic stability. This makes the need for adaptation amidst inadequate resources imperative. These concerns find expression at the local level, where stakeholders’ priorities focus on the gap between adaptation needs and existing adaptation efforts. Drawing insights from our study in Accra, which combines the perspectives and experiences of practitioners, academics, and citizens, we show how decisions constructed around flood vulnerabilities, people’s actions, and planning processes are seldom neutral. We infer how prioritizing efforts to adapt to floods may privilege some residents and compromise others’ support, agency, and capacities to recover. We call for increased attention to how city authorities can creatively move urban planning toward more informed, inclusive, and supportive recovery visions in response to the consolidation of urban peripheries and increased climate exacerbated flooding in the quest for social justice for all.
Article
The presence of street vendors on central city streets often raises questions over the use of these spaces. This paper addresses this issue through studying the practices of government, vendors and a vendors’ association in Kitwe, Zambia. Drawing largely on primary research collected between 2013 and 2018, this paper aims to understand a shift in the governing of street vending, from tolerating vendors on central city streets to banning them from these spaces in 2017. This paper unravels the rationalities of national and local government to understand this shift, and examines why certain spaces and groups of vendors were governed differently. In addition, studying the practices of street vendors and their associations showed that vendors’ individual and collective acts granted some of them renewed access to the studied urban spaces.
Article
Full-text available
In the Global South, urban policies are heavily influenced by colonial heritages, and people often experience citizens-detached urban development initiatives. The environmental movement is seen as a new addition that might contribute to society’s efforts to achieve equal urban environmental opportunities. The geographical focus of this article is the megacity Dhaka, which is the social, political, and economic capital of Bangladesh. Unfortunately, this hyper-urbanised megacity suffers from a large poverty-stricken population, leading to a gap in environmental services between the poor and rich. In recent years, Dhaka has experienced a growing momentum with the environmental movement, demanding environmental rights and justice. Based on long-term empirical research, this article shows that even though local marginalised people were the key agents of environmental protests and demonstrations, the movements are usually initiated by very small and relatively homogenous social and political elites, who share the common social, cultural, economic, and political identities.
Article
Full-text available
Informal workers are a heterogeneous group distinguished by diverse activities and interests, but they have in common that they operate largely outside state regulations. In this article, we analyse the ways in which informal workers in Ghana are organising (themselves) in response to proposed relocations of their workspace. Borrowing from Tsing, we distinguish three layers of friction that can lead to (structural) change, collective action, and an increase in informal workers’ political leverage. Our two case studies in Accra and Kumasi show how striving for inclusive development is a process shaped by diverse agendas and potentially conflicting interests. These relational and political aspects are crucial for understanding the frictions involved, as well as how these may lead to change. Where the tendency is to gloss over these frictions, we argue that they need to be the starting point for effective policies and initiatives for inclusive development.
Article
Full-text available
Marxist geography has been at the forefront of understanding the urban dynamic of advanced capitalism. There is, however, a paradox in much of this work. Whereas Marxist geographers implicitly take workers' experiences under capitalism as their political starting point, ironically, much Marxist work in urban geography has tended to ignore workers' proactive roles in shaping the urban landscape. Rather, Marxist urban geographers have focused largely on how capital and the state shape the built environment. Essentially, they have written urban geographies from the perspective of capital and the state and, in so doing, have failed to make working-class people the subjects of their own historical geographies. In this paper I argue that urban geographers need to pay much greater attention to how workers and their institutions shape the built environment. To illustrate this argument I draw upon the example of workers' struggles to control the geography of work in the U.S. East Coast longshore industry.
Article
Full-text available
Housing consolidation and the urban poor: the case of Hagar El Nawateyah, Alexandria examines the mechanisms by which agricultural land on Alexandria's periphery is converted into urban residential use and examines the main characteristics of the settlement and its inhabitants. It also gives background information on housing conditions in Egypt.
Article
Full-text available
Over the last ten years, scholars in human geography have been paying increasing theoretical and empirical attention to understanding the ways in which the production of scale is implicated in the production of space. Overwhelmingly, this work reflects a social construc- tionist approach, which situates capitalist production (and the role of the state, capital, labor and nonstate political actors) as of central concern. What is missing from this discussion about the social construction of scale is serious attention to the relevance of social reproduction and consumption. In this article I review the important literature on scale construction and argue for enlarging our scope for understanding scale to include the complex processes of social repro- duction and consumption. I base my critique on a short case study which illustrates that attention to other processes besides production and other systems of domination besides capitalism can enhance our theorizing and improve our attempts to effect real social change.
Article
Full-text available
Research on social movements in both political science and sociology was radically renewed by the movements of the 1960s. The 1970s saw the growth in the United States of the resource mobilization approach and in Western Europe of the study of “new movements.” Although political factors were present in both approaches, the connections between politics and movements remained obscure in each. Research in the 1980s has restored politics to its central role in the origins, the dynamics, and the outcomes of social movements. Three important political concepts and the problems they raise for research on movements are explored in this review: the social movements sector, the political opportunity structure, and cycles of protest.
Article
Full-text available
The recent proliferation of scholarship on collective action frames and framing processes in relation to social movements indicates that framing processes have come to be regarded, alongside resource mobilization and political opportunity processes, as a central dynamic in understanding the character and course of social movements. This review examines the analytic utility of the framing literature for understanding social movement dynamics. We first review how collective action frames have been conceptualized, including their characteristic and variable features. We then examine the literature related to framing dynamics and processes. Next we review the literature regarding various contextual factors that constrain and facilitate framing processes. We conclude with an elaboration of the consequences of framing processes for other movement processes and outcomes. We seek throughout to provide clarification of the linkages between framing concepts/processes and other conceptual and theoretical formulations relevant to social movements, such as schemas and ideology.
Article
Presents evidence to suggest that the picture of the urban poor as conservative and concerned primarily with individual advancement should be adjusted rather than discarded. Extensive research in a poor community in the northern part of Lima during the mid-1980s revealed a complex and politically divided population in which patterns of conservatism and clientelism persisted while new currents of popular radicalism and class-based activism appeared. The article begins by presenting evidence, drawn from interviews with two dozen shantytown leaders and community activists, of a complex and mixed popular political culture in contemporary Lima. It then places current patterns in the context of recent Peruvian political history and suggests ways in which macro-level changes during the period of military rule (1968-1980) and since the transition back to civilian rule have influenced popular political culture. The article ends by highlighting the implications of the Peruvian case of heightened social mobilization and class consciousness for a more theoretical and regional understanding of the political character of the urban poor. -from Author
Article
Looks at the recent trends of the city of Alexandria in relation to the housing situation, land ownership and the land market, and then examines land acquisition and current land prices within the two areas. Focuses on the ways in which the squatters acquired land and the role of the government in land allocation, invasion, land tenure and subdivision of land within the two areas. Concludes that informal intervention by decision-makers within land provision for housing the urban poor is in itself an important and useful way of conserving the old mechanisms within squatting areas, and accelerating land provision for the urban poor. -from Author
Article
Chilean mining municipalities are centers from which political radicalism is diffused into surrounding non-mining agricultural and non-agricultural areas. The greater the number of mining municipalities a "satellite" municipality adjoins, the more likely it is to have a "high" vote for the presidential candidate of the Socialist-Communist coalition (FRAP). Municipalities that are neither mining municipalities nor adjoining any, are least likely to have a "high" FRAP vote. In agricultural areas, political differences based on class position among the peasants tend to disappear in the mining and "satellite" municipalities. In the non-mining, non-satellite municipalities, however, class structure does determine voting. Mining and adjoining municipalities develop a radical political culture that tends to eliminate the political importance of class differences among the peasants, uniting them across class lines.
Article
Defeated in the East and discredited in the West, Marxism has broken down as an ideology and as a guide to governance. However, for all its flaws, it remains an important tool for understanding and raising questions about key aspects of modern life. In Marxism and the City, Ira Katznelson critically assesses the scholarship on cities that has developed within Marxism in the past quarter century to show how some of the most important weaknesses in Marxism as a social theory can be remedied by forcing it to engage seriously with cities and spatial concerns. He argues that such a Marxism still has a significant contribution to make to the discussion of historical questions such as the transition from feudalism to a world composed of capitalist economies and nation‐states and the acquiescence of the western working classes to capitalism. Katznelson demonstrates how a Marxism that embraces complexity and is open to engagement with other social–theoretical traditions can illuminate understanding of cities and of the patterns of class and group formation that have characterized urban life in the West.
Article
Most of the nations of Africa and Asia remain predominantly rural and agricultural. However, more than half the people in most Latin American countries are no longer rural, and a fifth to a third live in cities of 100,000 or more. In Asia and North Africa, Lebanon, the U.A.R., and the Philippines are also substantially urbanized, and Morocco, Syria, Turkey, South Korea, and Taiwan are not far behind. Moreover, virtually everywhere in the developing world, regardless of the extent of urbanization already achieved, cities are growing at rates of 5 to 8 percent annually. That is, they are doubling their populations every ten to fifteen years.
Article
The nature of public space in contemporary society is changing. This paper uses the turmoil over People's Park in Berkeley, California, as a means for exploring changing ideas about and practices in public space. I argue that as public space is increasingly privatized or otherwise brought under greater control, possibilities for democratic action are minimized. To make this claim, I provide a brief outline of the roots of the August 1991 riots at People's Park. I then examine the role that public space plays in modern democracies, and how ideas about public space have developed dialectically with definitions of who counts as “the public.” In American democracy, “the public” is constituted by private individuals. In this paper, I suggest that the presence of homeless people in public spaces raises important contradictions at the heart of this definition of “the public.” Many commentators suggest that these contradictions have led to “the end of public space” in contemporary cities, or at the very least, the removal of its political functions to the “space” of electronic communication. I examine what this move means for democratic action in the city and show that material public spaces remain a necessity for (particularly) oppositional political movements. This returns us to People's Park, as these were precisely the issues that structured the riots in 1991. I conclude the paper with a sketch of where People's Park and the issues raised by the riots now stand.
Article
This study documents four key facts about informal economic activities: (1) the size of the informal sector varies greatly across nations; (2) this size is strongly correlated with economic development, the tax burden, and the rule of law; (3) the informal sector emphasizes small-scale, self-financed and unskilled labour intensive economic activities; and (4), while financial markets are generally segmented along formal/informal lines in developing nations there is no compelling evidence that this is true for labour markets. We review the existing theoretical literature on the informal sector and describe a simple model with a tradeoff between tax evasion and access to formal sources of outside finance which is consistent with much of the existing evidence. Finally, the study discusses the challenges associated with measuring informal sector assets.
Article
This paper argues that the Southern sit-in movement of 1960, though it appears to have developed in the spontaneous manner described by classic collective behavior theory, actually grew out of pre-existing institutions and organizational forms. The spread of the sit-ins followed the networks of these pre-existing institutional relationships. Factors internal to the black community-churches, colleges, protest organizations, and leaders--were responsible for nurturing and developing the movement. The analysis is based on primary data collected from archives and interviews with civil rights leaders.
Article
Obra que reconstruye el origen y evolución de las actuales redes transnacionales que, con la utilización de las nuevas tecnologías informativas como recurso organizador y aglutinador, han logrado constituirse en movimientos más o menos presionadores en la defensa de los derechos humanos, de la protección ambiental y de una mayor equidad de género, entre otros.
Article
A case study of the movement of people affected by dams in southern Brazil shows how particular local mobilizations are linked to national and global economics, politics, and social movements. In the early stages, the progressive church was the predominant influence and was largely responsible for framing the key issue as peasants' right to land, while left intellectuals contributed a class analytical frame. After 1988, the weakening of the Federal government regional power company ELETROSUL, the crisis of the Left after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the defeat of the agrarian reform movement, the rise of the international and national ecology movements, and the anti-dam movement's need for a broader political and financial base all contributed to the adoption of a broadened and more pro-active land/energy/ecology frame and an alliance with international environmentalism. The anti-dam movement in southern Brazil began in 1979 as a local mobilization to aid peasants affected by the proposed flooding of river valleys by large hydroelectric dams. Initially the movement organization was known as CRAB (Comissão Regional de Atingidos por Barragens, Regional Committee of those Displaced by Dams). Framing the issue as a land struggle, local activists took advantage of early openings in a democratic transition and drew on their national and international church networks to defend those affected (or atingidos). In the process, they broadened the collective identity of atingidos from the government's definition of owning land that was to be flooded, first, to working or living on land that was to be flooded and, then, to those who would be affected in other ways. In 1987 they signed a landmark Accord with ELETROSUL which met movement demands of just compensation in cash or land prior to dam construction. In the late 1980s, in the wake of the crisis in mobilization following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the defeat of the agrarian reform movement, the growing conservatism of the church and the weakening of its chief adversary, ELETROSUL, the anti-dam movement came into contact with the international environmentalist movement, forging a new ideology which linked class and environmental concerns. In 1991, CRAB played a lead role in the First National Congress of People Affected by Dams in Brasilia, which created MAB (Movimento Nacional de Atingidos por Barragens, National Movement of People Affected by Dams). The national movement was divided into five regions and CRAB was re-named MAB-Sul (Movimento Nacional dos Atingidos por Barragens-Sul, Movement of People Affected by Dams - Southern Region). In every step of the process, local activists took initiative to address local concerns, drew on their network ties to larger national and international movements to obtain needed information and resources, and simultaneously identified themselves as part of a larger movement while maintaining a strong local identification and focus. Although mobilization declined after 1988 with the reduced presence of ELETROSUL in the region, it has increased since 1997 in response to newly privatized dam projects, particularly the Machadinho Dam (Switkes 1998). MAB-Sul has gained wide recognition in the 1990s for its management of the Itá Dam Resettlement Project in Paraná State.
Article
Based on 70 interviews with informants who were mostly students during the 1989 Beijing student movement, the author found that the ecology of university campuses in Beijing enclosed a huge number of students in a small area with a unique spatial distribution and regulated their spatial activities. This ecology nurtured many close-knit student networks, as well as directly exposed all Beijing students to a collective action environment when the movement started. These ecological conditions not only sustained a high rate of movement participation but also facilitated the formation of many ecology-dependent strategies of student mobilization, which in turn patterned the dynamics of the movement.
Article
The pace of black insurgency between 1955 and 1970 is analyzed as a function of an ongoing process of tactical interaction between movement forces and southern segregationists. Given a political system vulnerable to challenge and strong internal organization the main challenge confronting insurgents is a preeminently tactical one. Lacking institutionalized power, challengers must devise protest techniques that offset their powerlessness. This is referred to as a process of tactical innovation. Such innovations, however, only temporarily afford challengers increased bargaining leverage. In chess-like fashion, movement opponents can be expected, through effective tactical adaptation, to neutralize the new tactic, thereby reinstituting the power disparity between themselves and the challenger. This perspective is applied to the development of the black movement over the period, 1955-1970. Evidence derived from content-coding all relevant story synopses contained in The New York Times Index for these years is presented showing a strong correspondence between the introduction of new protest techniques and peaks in movement activity. Conversely, lulls in black insurgency reflect the successful efforts of movement opponents to devise effective tactical counters to these innovations.
Article
Scholars of democratic consolidation have come to focus on the links between political institutions and enduring regime outcomes. This article takes issue with the conceptual and analytical underpinnings of this literature by highlighting how new political institutions, rather than securing democratic politics, have in fact had a more checkered effect. It delineates why the theoretical expectations of the democratic consolidation literature have not been realized and draws, by example, on the contemporary ethnic movements that are now challenging third-wave democracies. In particular, it highlights how contemporary indigenous movements, emerging in response to unevenly institutionalized reforms, pose a postliberal challenge to Latin America's newly founded democracies. These movements have sparked political debates and constitutional reforms over community rights, territorial autonomy, and a multiethnic citizenry. As a whole, they have laid bare the weakness of state institutions, the contested terms of democracy, and the indeterminacy of ethnic accommodation in the region. As such, these movements highlight the need to qualify somewhat premature and narrow discussions of democratic consolidation in favor of a broader research agenda on democratic politics.
Article
Sociological studies sensitive to the issue of place are rarely labeled thus, and at the same time there are far too many of them to fit in this review. It may be a good thing that this research is seldom gathered up as a “sociology of place,” for that could ghettoize the subject as something of interest only to geographers, architects, or environmental historians. The point of this review is to indicate that sociologists have a stake in place no matter what they analyze, or how: The works cited below emplace inequality, difference, power, politics, interaction, community, social movements, deviance, crime, life course, science, identity, memory, history. After a prologue of definitions and methodological ruminations, I ask: How do places come to be the way they are, and how do places matter for social practices and historical change?
Article
The theory of collective action can and has been applied when people excluded from the polity oppose the authorities on the redress of wrongs and matters of public policy using both conventional and unconventional means. The theory specifies four macro‐societal conditions for social movements ‐ dissatisfaction, ideology, capacity to mobilize, and opportunity ‐ and a micro‐model of participation by challengers in opposition actions such as petitions, protests, demonstrations, and strikes. The benefits and costs of participation depend largely on the expectations of challengers of how many others will join. The third component of the theory is a conflict dynamic between challengers and targets, the movement participants and the authorities. Applied to the overthrow of communist regimes in Eastern Europe in 1989 and to the transition to democracy or to an authoritarian regime, the theory explains how popular movements without prior leadership and organization toppled seemingly powerful regimes. It explains how the intersection of exit strategies by communist leaders and entrance strategies by anti‐communist challengers accounts for the democratic outcomes in Eastern Europe and for xenophobic nationalism and the break‐up of Yugoslavia amid civil war.
Article
In this article I explore the ways in which participants in urban movements in the Ajusco foothills deploy the concept of necesidad (necessity) to describe social conditions and the possibilities of grassroots organizing. Participants in urban movements—which were organized by the urban poor to gain land tenure and urban services—articulate the concept of necesidad in their criticisms of state policy. Using Nancy Fraser's notions of “needs talk” as a starting point, I outline how necesidad is implicated both in the construction of social identities—including class and gender—and in the processes through which hierarchical social relations are criticized and reinforced. I conclude the article by explaining the relevance of the concept of necesidad for understanding Mexican urban culture and for more broadly constructing an anthropology of urban social movements. [social movements, urban social movements, urban anthropology, Mexico]
Article
While transitions to democracy have been hailed as the most important phenomena of this century, few scholars understand the role that women have played in these metamorphoses. This article uses an historical in-depth case study to examine how and why women mobilized against the state in Chile. Previous social movement theories have not attended adequately to cultural and ideational elements (e.g., gender ideology), much less these factors in the Third World and authoritarian context. In contrast, the present study modifies and extends the concepts of political opportunity structure and collective action frames, suggesting that the manner in which ideology and cultural themes are framed may provide opportunities for protest, especially in the authoritarian context. Specifically, the rise and fall of broader mobilizational frames or master frames shapes how movement-specific frames compete, decay, and transform, as some master frames create space for certain ideas (e.g., feminism) while others do not. New hypotheses regarding the use of collective action frames in a nondemocratic setting are offered.
Article
This essay reviews images of urbanization that have been held by academics and activists, including revolutionary leaders. It examines the methodology and findings of case studies in Nigeria, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Kenya, Turkey, Malaysia and other countries with the aim of determining how well suited are our data and theories for assessing the relationship between urbanization and political stability. The review examines the following topics: migration; political participation and the urban poor; radical parties and urban violence; the ‘over-urbanization’ thesis; class and ethnicity. It especially evaluates the role of so-called ‘urban marginals’ in urban political life and concludes that the evidence is overwhelming that there is no widespread ‘culture of poverty’ or ‘culture of apathy’ among the urban poor indeveloping countries.
Article
This is the first of two papers, in which we examine the nature and effectiveness of formal channels for encouraging community action and participation among low-income groups in Bogotá (Columbia), Mexico City (Mexico) and Valencia (Venezuela). We are concerned with the forms of community participation among the poor, how demands are channelled to the state, the formal organization of community links with the state, and the origins of community action programmes. Organizations to facilitate popular participation in barrio upgrading have existed since the late 1950s, most of which have been imposed from the top down. We argue that the poor have derived few benefits from these government-inspired organizations although they have sometimes given resources to local communities for the first time. The primary purpose behind these organizations is to legitimate the political system and to encourage compliance with urban policy. Greater power over decision-making has not increased among local groups.
Article
Telecommunications do not simply rearrange information and ideas in space, they also alter the balance of power in social struggles. Although it supports centralization of power and capital, subordinated groups can achieve certain goals by exploiting the existing telecommunication infrastructure. This tactic is geographical in that it refuses to accept the territorial boundaries fundamental to established systems of domination. Protest is therefore a politics of scale. Examination of these scale politics in China, the Philippines and the USA indicates that distant bystanders may or may not be of assistance to protesters, and that the media affect but do not determine the course of events. The protest in China does not yet appear to have succeeded; that in the Philippines did not solve long-term problems; while the US protest brought political but not economic power to a racial minority. Regardless of their success, these protests show new terrains of struggle not yet acknowledged by geography.
Article
In this important contribution both to the study of social protest and to French social history, Roger Gould breaks with previous accounts that portray the Paris Commune of 1871 as a continuation of the class struggles of the 1848 Revolution. Focusing on the collective identities framing conflict during these two upheavals and in the intervening period, Gould reveals that while class played a pivotal role in 1848, it was neighborhood solidarity that was the decisive organizing force in 1871. The difference was due to Baron Haussmann's massive urban renovation projects between 1852 and 1868, which dispersed workers from Paris's center to newly annexed districts on the outskirts of the city. In these areas, residence rather than occupation structured social relations. Drawing on evidence from trail documents, marriage records, reports of police spies, and the popular press, Gould demonstrates that this fundamental rearrangement in the patterns of social life made possible a neighborhood insurgent movement; whereas the insurgents of 1848 fought and died in defense of their status as workers, those in 1871 did so as members of a besieged urban community. A valuable resource for historians and scholars of social movements, this work shows that collective identities vary with political circumstances but are nevertheless constrained by social networks. Gould extends this argument to make sense of other protest movements and to offer predictions about the dimensions of future social conflict.
Article
Social Science History 24.1 (2000) 33-73 The history of the city in twentieth-century Latin America can be seen as a long contest over the exercise of urban public space. While the nature of this space is often less physical than it is social and situational, the struggle between different elements of the city to manipulate its politics and control its daily life has often been violent, leaving deep imprints in the collective memories of places as culturally and physically diverse as Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Havana, Bogotá, and Rio de Janeiro. If approached from the perspective of contested space, the urban milieu offers an intriguing site for the historian interested in exploring changing relations of power, class conflict, opposing visions of the future, breakdowns of social order, gendered spaces, health and disease, visual culture, spectacle and symbolic codes, and ultimately, the creation of community. Yet until the 1980s, most Latin American historians who were interested in these themes confined their studies to the countryside. As late as 1975, Jorge Hardoy (1975: 44) could write that “the urban history of the second half of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth is virtually unknown, in spite of the extremely rich material left to us by innumerable travelers, scientists, and men of state.” While historians and social scientists working from the 1950s through much of the 1970s delineated the complex relations between peasant villages and national states, the ideologies of rural rebellion, and the sources of identity and community in a countryside transformed by the demands of export capital, cities in twentieth-century Latin America were accorded secondary treatment, sometimes at the level of popular anecdotal narratives. For the most part, historians discussed cities as the landscapes against which population growth, labor strife, and populist politics took place, rather than as organisms with their own peculiar dynamics. The primary exceptions to this trend were the works of Richard M. Morse (1958) on São Paulo, James Scobie (1974) on Buenos Aires, and José Luis Romero (1976) on the region as a whole. These three writers explored the economic factors behind the particular shape of urban growth that they encountered and to varying degrees were interested in the ideologies and “mentalities” current in the cities under study. Scobie’s posthumously published review of the literature on the history of the Latin American city up to 1980 suggests that sociologists may have produced some of the most interesting work in this era, concentrating on urbanization and political economy (1989). The interrelationship of space and time, however, was rarely pursued in urban studies, one exception being the work of a geographer that explores transportation, housing, and urban planning (Sargent 1974). The early 1980s signaled a shift toward urban social history and the increased use of quantitative methodologies. Studies from this era were particularly concerned with social mobility, class conflict, and immigration, and they moved the city itself into the forefront of the analysis, devoting some discussion to the changing dynamics of neighborhoods and daily life in the city, though space was still a secondary factor in their work (Sofer 1982; Szuchman 1980; Rial and Klaczko 1981). Later in the decade, Jeffrey Needell (1987a) offered a cultural history of Rio’s elite in the early twentieth century that examined the city’s literature and budding consumerism in addition to outlining the history of social institutions created by the upper class as it sought to fashion a European-style capital. This history paid particular attention to physical aspects of the city, including architecture and life on the streets, at least the fashionable ones. This work was quickly followed by another social history of Rio, which focused on the world of domestic servants and provided a discussion of the intersection of work and public space in the nineteenth-century city (Graham 1988). In the 1990s, the Latin American city has increasingly become the focus of historical research. Journals such as Latin American Perspectives, The Bulletin of Latin American Research, Nueva Sociedad, NACLA Report on the Americas, and the Journal of Urban History have devoted special issues to analyzing the city in Latin America in the last few years. Recent...
Article
Two political cartoons from the 1905 Chicago Tribune portrayed how some elements in society viewed the rise of a powerful Teamsters Union.On 29 April 1905, the front page cartoon depicted a husky teamster engaged in a sympathetic strike while the caption read, “The Dictator in His Old Act of Blocking Commerce” (Figure 1). A month later, on 3 June 1905, a cartoon played on the coincidence of the June 1905 uprising in Russia and a grand jury investigation of Teamster strike leaders in Chicago. The title caption read, “The Grand Dukes of Russia and the Grand Dukes of Chicago” (Figure 2). Both cartoons emphasized the theme of irresponsible power—either that of a dictatorship or of an unprincipled grand duke. Teamster leaders were tyrants, these images said.The sphere in which this irresponsible power was wielded extended beyond the realm of union affairs, and the relay the true menace conveyed by these images.They asserted that Teamster leaders held it in their power to stop the flow of business activity in Chicago.
Black Gold, White Heat: State Violence, Local Resistance, and the National Question in Nigeria Exploring Revolution: Essays on Latin American Insurgency and Revolutionary Theory
  • Watts
  • Michael
Watts, Michael. 1997. " Black Gold, White Heat: State Violence, Local Resistance, and the National Question in Nigeria, " pp. 33-67 in Geographies of Resistance, Steve Pile and Michael Keith, eds. London, UK: Routledge. Wickham-Crowley, Timothy. 1991. Exploring Revolution: Essays on Latin American Insurgency and Revolutionary Theory. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
From Solidarity to Survival: Transformations in the Culture and Styles of Mobilization of Chilean Metalworkers under Authoritarian and Democratic Regimes, 1945-1995. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Sociology
  • Stillerman
  • Joel
Stillerman, Joel. 1998. From Solidarity to Survival: Transformations in the Culture and Styles of Mobilization of Chilean Metalworkers under Authoritarian and Democratic Regimes, 1945-1995. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Sociology, New School for Social Research. Space, Strategies, and Alliances 85
Geography and Social Movements: Comparing Anti-Nuclear Activism in the Boston Area
  • Miller
  • A Byron
Miller, Byron A. 2000. Geography and Social Movements: Comparing Anti-Nuclear Activism in the Boston Area. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Marxism and Democracy in Chile: From 1932 to the Fall of Allende Carbon: Cien Años de História (1848-1960)
  • Faúndez
  • Julio
Faúndez, Julio. 1988. Marxism and Democracy in Chile: From 1932 to the Fall of Allende. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Figueroa Ortiz, Enrique, and Carlos Sandoval Ambiado. 1987. Carbon: Cien Años de História (1848-1960). Santiago, Chile: CEDAL.
Democratic Transitions and Social Movement Outcomes: The Chilean Shantydwellers' Movement in Comparative Perspective Pp. 149-167 in From Contention to Democracy
  • Hipsher
  • Patricia
Hipsher, Patricia. 1998. " Democratic Transitions and Social Movement Outcomes: The Chilean Shantydwellers' Movement in Comparative Perspective. " Pp. 149-167 in From Contention to Democracy, Marco Giugni, Doug McAdam, and Charles Tilly, eds. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Class Conflict and Economic Development in Chile The Riding of the Black Lad and other Working-class Ritualistic Activities: Toward a Spatialized and Gendered Analysis of Nineteenth Century Repertoires Pp. 17-35 in Challenging Authority: The Historical Study of Contentious Politics
  • Barbara Stallings
  • Marc W Steinberg
Stallings, Barbara. 1978. Class Conflict and Economic Development in Chile, 1958-1973. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Steinberg, Marc W. 1998. " The Riding of the Black Lad and other Working-class Ritualistic Activities: Toward a Spatialized and Gendered Analysis of Nineteenth Century Repertoires. " Pp. 17-35 in Challenging Authority: The Historical Study of Contentious Politics, Michael Hanagan, Leslie Moch and Wayne Te Brake, eds. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Class and Gender in the Developing Consciousness of Appalachian Coal-Miners Pp. 25-66 in Skill and Consent: Contemporary Studies in the Labor Process
  • Yarrow
  • Michael
Yarrow, Michael. 1992. " Class and Gender in the Developing Consciousness of Appalachian Coal-Miners. " Pp. 25-66 in Skill and Consent: Contemporary Studies in the Labor Process, Andrew Sturdy, David Knights and Hugh Willmott, eds. London, UK: Routledge.