Comparative Approaches to Informal Housing Around the Globe

Comparative Approaches to Informal Housing Around the Globe

Udo Grashoff


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Comparative Approaches to Informal Housing Around the Globe brings together historians, anthropologists, political scientists, sociologists, urban planners and political activists to break new ground in the globalisation of knowledge about informal housing. Providing both methodological reflections and practical examples, they compare informal settlements, unauthorised occupation of flats, illegal housing construction and political squatting in different regions of the world. Subjects covered include squatter settlements in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, squatting activism in Brazil and Spain, right-wing squatting in Germany, planning laws and informality across countries in the Global North, and squatting in post-Second World War UK and Australia.

The volume’s global approach is found not only in the variety of topics but in the origins of its authors, who between them contribute specialist knowledge from Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, North and South America, and Eastern and Western Europe. Bringing together such a wide range of authors and subjects demonstrates the power of comparative research to open up new perspectives. By comparing, for example, toleration of informal housing in Hong Kong and Paris, squatting in the Netherlands and communist East Germany, or slums in nineteenth-century Europe and twentieth-century Africa, the chapters connect different contexts in path-breaking fashion.