Beyond contention: urban social movements and their multiple approaches to secure transformation

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Abstract

This paper explores the strategies of social movement organizations working in towns and cities of the global South to secure justice for their members and address poverty and inequality. The paper argues that there has been a false distinction between alternative strategies of resistance. Drawing on research in Kenya and South Africa, I argue that, rather than seeing strategies of contention, collaboration and subversion as separate approaches, they can best be understood as alternative strategies, adopted simultaneously and iteratively by urban social movements. Movements, I suggest, move among contentious politics, efforts at collaboration with the state, and subversion (often taking the form of encroachment), to address the survival imperatives of their members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-574
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Urbanization
Volume30
Issue number2
Early online date20 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • co-production
  • contentious politics
  • encroachment
  • SDI
  • urban social movements

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute

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