£70.00 | $125.95
8 April 2010
234mm x 156mm
Politics, Africa, Development, Economics
Africa's Informal Workers
Collective Agency, Alliances and Transnational Organizing in Urban Africa
Edited by Ilda Lindell
Africa's Informal Workers is a vigorous examination of the informalization and casualization of work, which is changing livelihoods in Africa and beyond.
Gathering cases from nine countries and cities across sub-Saharan Africa, and from a range of sectors, this volume goes beyond the usual focus on household ‘coping strategies’ and individual agency, addressing the growing number of collective organizations through which informal workers make themselves visible and articulate their demands and interests. The emerging picture is that of a highly diverse landscape of organized actors, providing grounds for tension but also opportunities for alliance. The collection examines attempts at organizing across the formal-informal work spheres, and explores the novel trend of transnational organizing by informal workers.
Part of the ground-breaking Africa Now series, Africa’s Informal Workers is a timely exploration of deep, ongoing economic, political and social transformations.
'This collection, with its excellent editorial introduction, makes a groundbreaking contribution to understanding the ways in which informal workers are developing new forms of collective organisation for exercising voice and agency, illustrating both the scope for and constraints on their ability to exert political influence. Always fascinating. as might be expected in the varied terrain of Sub-Saharan Africa, the accounts are by turns depressing and inspiring.' - Professor Carole Rakodi, The University of Birmingham
'The 'informal sector' keeps moving and changing. Social scientists have to be very attentive to keep up as reality escapes theory and as organizations become as global as the commodities they distribute. This collection brings together empirical studies from varied contexts, based primarily in Africa, many by African scholars, allowing a crucial opportunity for new perceptions and comparisons, and for identifying key dynamics to track into the future. ' - Jane I. Guyer, George Armstrong Kelly Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
'The majority of African urbanites display profound ingenuity and tenacity as they navigate the grinding vicissitudes of slum urbanism. Africa's Informal Workers is an impressive example of the rigour and theoretical deftness required to acknowledge and engage the politics of urban informality in all its variegated complicatedness. This cutting-edge volume is indispensable reading for urbanists, activists and policy makers.' - Prof Edgar Pieterse, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town
Table of Contents
1. The Changing Politics of Informality: Collective Organizing, Alliances and.Scales of Engagement - Ilda Lindell
Part One: The Political Dynamics of Collective Organizing
2. Seen But Not Heard: Urban Voice and.Citizenship for Street Traders - Alison Brown and Michal Lyons
3. The Politics of Vulnerability: Exit, Voice and.Capture in Three Nigerian Informal Manufacturing Clusters - Kate Meagher
4. Women Leaders and.the Sense of Power: Clientelism and.Citizenship at the Dantokpa Market in Cotonou, Benin - Ebbe Prag
Part Two: Constructing Alliances: Organizing Across the Formal - Informal 'Divide'
5. Alliances Across The Formal-Informal Divide: South African Debates and.Nigerian Experiences - Gunilla Andrae and.Björn Beckman
6. Self-Organized Informal Workers and.Trade Union Initiatives in Malawi: Process, Challenges and Directions of Organizing the Informal Economy - Ignasio Malizani Jimu
7. Moments of Resistance: The Struggle Against Informalization in The City of Cape Town - David Christoffer Jordhus-Lier
8. The Possibilities for Collective Organization of Informal Port Workers in Tema, Ghana - Owusu Boampong
Part Three: International Dimensions of Organizing
9. The 'China Challenge': The Global Dimensions of Activism and the Informal Economy in Dakar, Senegal - Suzanne Scheld
10. Passport Please: The Cross-Border Traders Association in Zambia - Wilma S. Nchito and.Karen Tranberg Hansen
About the Author:
Ilda Lindell is a researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute and an associate professor of human geography at Stockholm University, Sweden. Her current research focuses on collective organizing in urban informal economies in Africa, including links to international movements and relations with other organized actors. She has authored book chapters and journal articles, including in 'Urban Studies', 'Habitat International' and 'Geografiska Annaler' and 'Third World Quarterly'. She has edited a special issue in 'African Studies Quarterly' on ‘Between Exit and Voice: Informality and the Spaces of Popular Agency’. She is also the author of 'Walking the Tight Rope: Informal Livelihoods and Social Networks in a West African City', which deals with processes of informalization and how urban dwellers are dealing with the changes.
The Nordic Africa Institute (Nordiska Afrikainstitutet) is a center for research, documentation and information on modern Africa. Based in Uppsala, Sweden, the Institute is dedicated to providing timely, critical and alternative research and analysis of Africa and to co-operation with African researchers. As a hub and a meeting place for a growing field of research and analysis the Institute strives to put knowledge of African issues within reach for scholars, policy makers, politicians, media, students and the general public. The Institute is financed jointly by the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden).
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