Transport, Transgression and Politics in African Cities: The Rhythm of Chaos, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Transport, Transgression and Politics in African Cities

The Rhythm of Chaos, 1st Edition

Edited by Daniel E. Agbiboa


180 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780815377375
pub: 2018-08-09
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351234221
pub: 2018-09-03
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


This collection of field-based case-studies examines the role and contributions of Africa’s informal public transport (also referred to as paratransit) to the production of city forms and urban economies, as well as the voices, experiences, and survival tactics of its poor and stigmatised workforce. With attention to the question of what a micro-level analysis of the organisation and politics of informal public transport in urbanizing Africa might tell us about the precarious existence and agency of its informal workforce, it explores the political and socio-economic conditions of contemporary African cities, spanning from Nairobi and Dar es Salaam to Harare, Cape Town, Kinshasa and Lagos. Mapping, analysing and comparing the everyday experiences of informal transport operators across the continent, this book sheds light on the multiple challenges facing Africa’s informal transport workers today, as they negotiate the contours of city life, expand their horizons of possibility and make the most of their time. It thus offers directions for more effective policy response to urban public transport, which is changing fundamentally and rapidly in light of neoliberal urban planning strategies and ‘World Class’ city ambitions.

Table of Contents

Notes on the Contributors

Introduction: Transport, Transgression and Politics in African Cities: An Introduction (Daniel E. Agbiboa)

Part I: Historical Perspectives

1. "Taxi Pirates": A Comparative History of Informal Transport in Nairobi and Kinshasa, 1960s-2000s (Robert Heinze)

Part II: Politics, Power and Patronage

2. Stomach Infrastructure: Informal Transport, Electoral Politics, and the Precariousness of Patronage in Lagos (Daniel E. Agbiboa)

3. Informal Transport, Politics and Power in Harare (Davison Muchadenyika)

Part III: (Auto)Mobility And Place-Making

4. Place Ballet in a South African Minibus Taxi Rank (Bradley Rink)

5. Interfered Rhythms, Navigating Mobilities: Chinese Migrants on the Roads in Lagos (Allen Xiao)

Part IV: Pathways: Social Network And State Law

6. Practices, Positions and Power Relations: Pathways of Transport Workers in The Field of Motorcycle-Taxi Services in Dar Es Salaam (Daniel Ehebrecht & Barbara Lenz)

7. State Law as A Means Of Resistance: Okada Riders Versus The Lagos State Government (Daniel E. Agbiboa)

Conclusion: The Rhythm of Chaos: A Conclusion (Daniel E. Agbiboa)


About the Editor

Daniel E. Agbiboa is Assistant Professor at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, USA.

About the Series

Cities and Society

Cities and Society
Cities and Society is a series disseminating high quality new research and scholarship which contribute to a sociological understanding of the city. The series promotes scholarly engagement with contemporary issues such as urban access to public and private services; urban governance; urban conflict and protest; residential segregation and its effects; urban infrastructure; privacy, sociability and lifestyles; the city and space; and the sustainable city.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General