Urban Revolt: State Power and the Rise of People's Movements in the Global South

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    Trevor Ngwane, Luke Sinwell, Immanuel Ness (eds.)

    Publisher: Haymarket Books

    Year: 2017

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 222 pages

    ISBN: 9781608467136

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Through detailed case studies, Urban Revolt unravels the potential and limitations of urban social movements on an international level.

The urban poor and working class now make up the majority of the world’s population and this segment is growing dramatically as the global population expands to 10 billion by mid-century. Much of the population growth results from the displacement of rural peasants to the urban cores, resulting in the vast expansion of mega-cities with 10 to 20 million people in the global South. The proliferation of informal settlements and slums particularly in the global south have created the conditions in which urban areas have become the principal sites of social upheaval as people seek to improve their living conditions. Drawing from case studies in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, the various chapters in this book map and analyze the ways in which the majority of the world exists and struggles in the contemporary urban context.

Advancing beyond a liberal perspective, the book unpacks the ways in which Urban Social Movements (USMs) in the global south have challenged or transformed how the city is organized and the possibilities that they have created for a revolutionary alternative to the capitalist hegemonic framework.

About the Editors

Immanuel Ness is professor of political science at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and a founding member of the Lower East Side Community Labor Organization, an autonomous activist organization in New York City. His research and writing focuses on social and revolutionary movements, labor militancy, and migrant worker resistance to oppression. Ness has just completed Guest Workers, Corporate Despotism and Resistance,(forthcoming University of Illinois Press) a book that examines the rise of guest workers from the global South in the US and labor opposition to employer abuses. He is author of numerous books including an anthology of contemporary labor: Real World Labor, with Amy Offner and Chris Sturr (Dollars & Sense). He edits the peer-review quarterly journal, Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society, and has also edited several reference works, including the International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest: 1500 to the Present (Wiley-Blackwell 2009), and, with Aaron Brenner and Bejamin Day, the Encyclopedia of Strikes in American History (Sharpe 2009).

Trevor Ngwane is a scholar activist, based in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa, who has over the years devoted as much time to academic work as to community and political activism. For two decades he has been active in the trade unions, social movements and political organisations as an organiser and militant, a period that spanned the transition from apartheid to a democratic society. He was also involved in the international movement for social and economic justice and was active for several years in the African Social Forum, a component of the World Social Forum.

Luke Sinwell, Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, South Africa, PhD, is currently a Senior Researcher with the South African Research Chair in Social Change, University of Johannesburg. His research interests include the politics and conceptualisation of participatory development and governance, social movements and housing struggles, direct action as a method to transform power relations, ethnographic research methods and action research.

What People Are Saying
"A superb addition to the literature on the contemporary global crisis and its micro manifestations." —Patrick Bond, BRICS: An Anticapitalist Critique

"What emerges from this collection is a complex picture of resistance, which nevertheless provides nuanced hope for a universalist project of social transformation.... The result is often a refreshing and accessible journey into urban revolts that the reader may have less familiarity." —Leo Zeilig, Struggles Today: Social Movements Since Independence

“Read this to be inspired by stories of city-based resistance in some of the most difficult conditions possible.” Socialist Review

"A superb addition to the literature on the contemporary global crisis and its micro manifestations." Patrick Bond, BRICS: An Anticapitalist Critique

"What emerges from this collection is a complex picture of resistance, which nevertheless provides nuanced hope for a universalist project of social transformation.... The result is often a refreshing and accessible journey into urban revolts that the reader may have less familiarity." Leo Zeilig, Struggles Today: Social Movements Since Independence

Tags: activism ....... africa ....... anti-imperialism ....... anticapitalism ....... asia ....... Haymarket Books ....... latin america ....... Luke Sinwell ....... Trevor Ngwane ....... urbanism .......