‘GLOCAL’ MOVEMENTS: PLACE STRUGGLES AND TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZING BY INFORMAL WORKERS

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ABSTRACT.

This paper investigates the scalar practices of collectively organized informal workers and the political implications of such practices. It illustrates how the studied group organizes across scales – hence, a ‘glocal movement’– and stresses the importance of an analysis that integrates these multiple scales of collective organizing, as they may have a bearing on each other. In so doing, it contests a common tendency to analytically privilege one or other scale of resistance and agency. In particular, I argue that networking across scales may be of significance for local struggles and thus play a role in local politics. The transnational activities of the studied group assist it in challenging local power relations and dominant place projects that repress informal livelihood activities. This paper comprises a conceptual discussion of notions of scale, of conceptions of the spatialities and scales of resistance as well as of place, followed by an empirical illustration that refers to an association of informal vendors in Maputo, Mozambique, and its international connections. The analysis is based on interviews with vendors, leaders of the association and with the international partners of the association.

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