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Rizzo, Matteo (2017) Taken For A Ride: Grounding Neoliberalism, Precarious Labour, and Public Transport in an African Metropolis. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Critical Frontiers of Theory, Research, and Policy in International Development Studies)

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Abstract

The growth of cities and informal economies are two central manifestations of globalization in the developing world. Taken for a Ride addresses both, drawing on long-term fieldwork in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and charting its public transport system’s journey from public to private provision. The book investigates this shift alongside the increasing deregulation of the sector and the resulting chaotic modality of public transport. It reviews state attempts to regain control over public transport, the political motivations behind these, and their inability to address its problems. The analysis documents how informal wage relations prevailed in the sector, and how their salience explains many of the inefficiencies of public transport. The changing political attitude of workers towards employers and the state is investigated: from an initial incapacity to respond to exploitation, to political organization and unionization, which won workers concessions on labour rights. A longitudinal study of workers throws light on patterns of occupational mobility in the sector. The book ends with an analysis of the political and economic interests that shaped the introduction of Bus Rapid Transit in Dar es Salaam and local resistance to it. Taken for a Ride is an interdisciplinary political economy of public transport, exposing the limitations of market fundamentalist and postcolonial scholarship on economic informality and the urban experience in developing countries, and its failure to locate the agency of the urban poor within their economic and political structures. It is both a contribution to and a call for the contextualized study of ‘actually existing neoliberalism’.

Item Type: Authored Books
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
ISBN: 9780198794240
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198794240.001.0001
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2017 14:59
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/24320

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