Geographies of development III: Militancy, insurgency, encroachment and development by the poor

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16 Citations (Scopus)


One of the more familiar tropes in development-related literature is that impoverished people are neither passive recipients of development nor passive victims of process that have caused their marginalization. This progress report examines two ways in which research has elaborated on this idea, namely the collective responses to the causes of deprivation on one hand and the collective effects of uncoordinated responses on the other. The first theme has been reanimated by remarkable mobilizations across the world, including revolutions, widespread expressions of frustration, demands for more substantive inclusion into society and distributional systems, and mobilizations to enhance autonomy through self-organization. The second theme considers how those regarded as being in need of development transform society beyond the frame of social movements, through the often uncoordinated appropriation of space for living and working at a scale which invalidates, to varying degrees, efforts by elites to control and exclude. While these two themes seem at times to be placed in normative competition with each other, many researchers recognize the exchanges and overlaps between different forms of development by the poor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-224
Number of pages11
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2015


  • agency
  • appropriation
  • insurgent citizenship
  • quiet encroachment
  • social movements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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