Originally published as 'Cities of Peasants', this highly-acclaimed account of the expansion of capitalism in the developing world has now been extensively rewritten and updated.
Focusing on Latin America, Bryan Roberts traces the evolution of developing societies and their economies to the present. Taking account of the move towards more 'open' economies, a shrinking of the state and various transitions towards democracies, he shows how urban growth has produced new patterns of social stratification, creating opportunities for social mobility, but doing little to decrease income inequality or political and social pressures.
Underlying social changes have broadened the practice of citizenship in developing countries, limiting authoritarian rule but within a context of entrenched social inequalities and persisting political instability. This book conveys both the flavour of life in the cities of the third world and the immediacy of their problems.
…one of the most significant contributions to the growing literature of Third World urbanization.
Annals of the AAG (of the first edition)
…an excellent book, worthy of close study, rewarding to read chapter by chapter, and one whose study will enrich the appreciation of most social scientists of the organization of Latin American cities.
Environment and Planning A (of the first edition)
Urbanization and underdevelopment
Urbanization and underdevelopment before the modern period
Urbanization and industrialization
Migration and the agrarian structure
The urban economy and the organization of the labor market
The nature of urban stratification
Urban poverty, the household, and coping with urban life
The development of citizenship