Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1,500 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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When looking through the settler colonial framework, this chapter demonstrates how the building and establishment of exclusive White communities is maintained and reinforced. One way to understand how White communities are maintained is to focus on the narratives that White people use to make sense of their residential histories, tied to ideas about private property. Respondents shared histories about why they decided to move, live, and stay in Jamaica Plain. Their histories mainly highlighted their childhood neighbourhoods projected onto Jamaica Plain, which is vital to their sense of self, identity, and relationship to Jamaica Plain. This chapter shows that Whiteness is perpetually reproduced by those who fit into the narrow idea of community. Respondents often looked inward to what they meant by “community,” who they included, and what community means.

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Chapter 9 returns to the book’s four overarching arguments and summarizes how each of them have been addressed in previous chapters. It also offers a synthesis on different responses to living and working informally. The chapter recognizes that a multiplicity of top-down, bottom-up and co-productive responses to urban informality co-exist, with varying results. It then lays out a series of considerations that are considered essential for the development of more progressive urban informality responses. The chapter finishes by introducing future directions for urban informality research and practice, with emphasis put on the climate emergency, the permacrisis, and artificial intelligence-related technological innovations.

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This concluding chapter extends the utility of the term gensociocide to speak about the devastating consequences of emplacing a White-middle-class ethos into place and space by highlighting the importance of private property. By showing key examples, the case is made that gensociocide provides language to be able to speak about the devastating consequences of gentrification, that is, the emplacement of Whiteness and White supremacy. Miguel Montalva Barba uses his own immigration experience to address the violence that gensocioside produces.

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This chapter focuses on forms of racism not covered in other parts of the book. The chapter outlines how White interview respondents talk about race, racism, and racial politics. The interview respondents use four main devices to speak about race and racism, but what was central was their utility of the racial Other to (re)create their Whiteness. White Jamaica Plain interviewees often used ethnic restaurants and food options to speak and think about diversity. Ultimately, this chapter shows the work of racecraft, in which participants disconnect race from racism.

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Chapter 8 focuses on emerging trends and alternative understandings of and responses to informality. It examines recent debates which revive concerns to get beyond binaries and challenge dichotomous thinking. In particular, it engages with ideas that seek to go beyond the concept of informality, such as popular urbanization, collective life and solidarity economies. The chapter also looks at alternative responses to urban informality, reflecting in particular on the New Urban Agenda as representative of contemporary top-down approaches that embrace informality, and emerging citizen-led approaches that emphasize South–North learning and the potential of urban reform coalitions. The chapter subsequently reflects on the value of including cultural responses towards informality, particularly through fiction, as different ways of representing it. It finishes by introducing emerging avenues for researching informality and offers ideas for students on how to develop research in this area, briefly discussing ethical principles of conducting research on informality as well as innovative methodologies, from knowledge co-production and participatory approaches to digital research methods.

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Chapter 5 explores governing informally, which has received less explicit attention within the urban informality literature than living and working informally, despite being intimately linked to both. The chapter starts with tracing the conceptual roots of governing informally in the political sciences literature. Emphasis is also put on a discussion on why governing informally is prevalent particularly (though not exclusively) in global South contexts affected by (post)colonial development and rapid urbanization. The chapter then explores different articulations of governing informally, and its relations with living and working informally, and broadly distinguishes between informal politics initiated by state and elite actors – with emphasis put on articulations of ‘calculated informality’ and urban clientelist politics – and by ordinary people who live and work informally – with emphasis put on autonomous political organization, ‘quiet encroachment’, collective action and insurgent politics.

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This chapter summarizes gentrification, settler colonialism, and Whiteness literature by focusing on race, place, and space. What becomes apparent in the discussion is the importance of private property as it is tied to White children and families to achieve exclusive White futures. By focusing on private property through the lens of a wide variety of disciplines, the chapter highlights the utilization of discourses about the White child and family as tools for the extraction and hoarding of resources and the advancement of exclusionary White futures. The term gensociocide is proposed to address what housing advocates state about gentrification, that it is a form of genocide.

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Chapter 1 sets the scene through a series of illustrative testimonies on urban informality. It then offers a working definition of the term informality, and provides a series of examples of informality in urban settings in the global South and North. It subsequently introduces the book’s key arguments, namely that: (1) informality affects everyone; (2) an urban informality lens helps making sense of poverty, inequality and exclusion dynamics; (3) there is a need to move beyond North/South binaries and to investigate informality in its spatial, economic and political dimensions; and (4) that there is a need to engage with different academic and non-academic representations on urban informality. The chapter subsequently sets out the framing of the book, which is structured around the categories of living, working and governing informally. It finishes by providing an overview of subsequent chapters.

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This chapter provides a short history of Jamaica Plain, MA and elaborates on key historical moments that gave this borough the progressive label, while at the same time embedding White supremacy and settler colonialism in place. The chapter shows how the modern characterization of Jamaica Plain can be traced to an active settler colonial emplacement visible throughout the borough. In particular, the chapter shows how the racial Other is constructed and used to constantly help solidify a White settler character and city.

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Chapter 3 explores how places develop and how people live, using the lens of living informally. It looks at the definitions and meanings related to urban informal neighbourhoods, as well as their form, evolution and causal factors. The chapter explores three core elements of land, housing and basic services, focusing on how residents are often the agents in the key processes of land acquisition through invasion or illegal subdivision, incremental and self-help housing construction, and provisional followed by improved service provision. The chapter also looks at how living informally is changing, in terms of elite and middle-class informal housing, the emergence of informal high-rise housing, and manifestations of informality in the global North.

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