Cities In Contemporary Africa

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This book offers a broad range of scholarly interpretations of the evolving forms, the changing dynamics, and the unexpected surprises that characterize contemporary African cities. It wrestles with important questions concerning how large numbers of people without regular work nevertheless find ways to survive and even prosper. It balances investigations of particular cities in sub-Saharan Africa with considerations of a diversity of topics, themes and multi-city comparisons, including themes in: culture, imagination, place and space; political economy and work livelihoods; and urban planning and governance. The collection is both theoretically informed and empirically grounded. Aimed at mid-level undergraduate students, these essays, taken as a whole, provide an understanding of what is happening in African cities today, and why.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Readers of African Affairs who are seeking insights into what is now happening in a range of African cities, from Lagos to Luanda, will find plenty here...there is much of great interest and great value in this book." 
--Anthony O'Connor, African Affairs
"Cities in Contemporary Africa is a refreshing collection, putting African cities at the center of urban thinking. It intelligently sets agendas for studying and acting in the diverse urban settings of the continent and beyond. Scholars and practitioners interested in cities everywhere will find themselves stimulated to deepen their understandings of their own cities with this exploration of cities in Africa. The continent’s cities are sites for diverse, complex and inventive forms of urban living, often in situations of economic and political crisis. The authors are clear that this doesn't mean these cities are foreshadowing the future of the rest of the world; but they insist that learning from the experiences of African cities is crucial both to address these challenges, and to understand urbanism in the twenty-first century."
--Jennifer D. Robinson, Professor of Urban Geography, The Open University, and author of Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403970350
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin J. Murray is Professor of Sociology, SUNY Binghamton. He has previously held positions at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University; The University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg); the University of Cape Town; and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is the author of numerous books, including Taming the Disorderly City: Envisioning the Spatial Landscape of Johannesburg after Apartheid (forthcoming, 2007); Revolution Deferred: The Painful Birth of Post-Apartheid South Africa (1995); South Africa: Time of Agony, Time of Destiny (1986); South African Capitalism and Black Political Opposition (1980); and The Development of Capitalism in Colonial Indochina (1980).

Garth A. Myers
is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Geography and African/African American Studies, and Director of the Kansas African Studies Center at the University of Kansas. He has previously held positions at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Miami University. He is the author of Verandahs of Power: Colonialism and Space in Urban Africa (2003) and Disposable Cities: Garbage, Governance, and Sustainable Development in Urban Africa (2005), in addition to many research articles and books chapters.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Situating Contemporary Cities in Africa--Garth Myers and Martin Murray * Section I: Culture, Imagination, Place, and Space
• Douala/Johannesburg/New York: Cityscapes Imagined--Dominique Malaquais
• Internal Migration and the Escalation of Ethnic and Religious Violence in Urban Nigeria--Daniel J. Smith
• Re(figuring) the City: The Mapping of Places and People in Contemporary Kenyan Popular Song Texts--Joyce Nyairo
• Photographic Essay: Johannesburg Fortified--Martin J. Murray & Juanita Malan (photography)
• Douala: Inventing Life in an African Necropolis--Basile Ndjio * Section II: Political Economy, Work, and Livelihoods * Economic Globalization from Below: Transnational Refugee Trade Networks in Nairobi--Elizabeth Campbell
• Changing African Cityscapes: Regional Claims of African Labor at South African-owned Shopping Malls--Darlene Miller
• Cars Are Killing Luanda: Cronyism, Consumerism, and Other Assaults on Angola's Post-War Captial City--M. Anne Pitcher (with Aubrey Graham)
• Photographic Essay II: Luanda, Angola--Aubrey Graham
• Human Capital, Embedded Resources and Employment for Youth in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe--Miriam Grant
• Gender Relations, Bread Winning and Family Life in Kinshasa--Guillaume Iyenda and David Simon
Section III: Urban Planning, Administration and Governance * South African Urbanism: Between the Modern and the Refugee Camp--AbdouMaliq Simone
• Planning, Anti-Planning and the Infrastructure Crisis Facing Metropolitan Lagos--Matthew Gandy
• City Life in Zimbabwe at a Time of Fear and Loathing: Urban Planning, Urban Poverty, and Operation Murambatsvina--Deborah Potts
• Social Control and Social Welfare under Neoliberalism in South African Cities: Contradictions in Free Basic Water Services--Greg Ruiters


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