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The Power of Place

Book description

Riots, strikes, and protests broke out in the streets of Shanghai and Bombay (renamed Mumbai in 1995), with impressive frequency during the twentieth century. Many of the landmark protests and social movements had close connections with the neighborhoods, workplaces, and civic space of each city. By the late twentieth century, as the political geography of each city changed rapidly with the commodification of urban land, so too did the patterns of political contention. Using a comparative historical lens, Frazier chronicles the political biographies of these two metropolises and leading centers of manufacturing and finance. Debates over ideology, citizenship, and political representation took material form through clashes over housing, jobs, police violence, public space, among much else, in the lived experience of urban residents. Frazier puts contemporary debates over informal housing, eviction of inner-city residents, scarcities of manufacturing jobs, and questions of unequal citizenship in an illuminating historical context.

Reviews

'Frazier reveals the power of a closely-studied, empirically-based and controlled comparison of two of Asia’s ‘maximum’ cities over the last century. It makes for a fascinating read and embodies the best in the burgeoning field of Sino-Indian studies.'

Prasenjit Duara - Oscar L. Tang Family Professor of East Asian Studies, Duke University, North Carolina

'This impressive book is a tour de force account of the convergences and divergences that underpin collective protest in two of the world's great megacities: Shanghai and Mumbai. The book views contentious politics in both port cities through a comparative lens that will make scholars working on either of the two cities see them in new ways.'

Prashant Kidambi - Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester

'This remarkable and groundbreaking book examines contemporary Indian and Chinese urban politics and protests through a historical lens and with a focus on twentieth-century Shanghai and Bombay. It is a milestone in the comparative study of southern urbanism and politics.'

Fulong Wu - Bartlett Professor of Planning, University College London

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