By Jeremy Seabrook  

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Every year tens of millions of people abandon rural areas of the South for life in the city. Already overcrowded urban centres are under increasing pressure. With education, health care and even safe water in short supply, cities risk becoming sites of violent conflict for future generations. The urban poor are less accepting of their fate than the scattered rural poor. And yet, world governments are doing little to address these demographic shifts or to provide the basic services that rapid urbanization demands. Jeremy Seabrook offers a vivid portrait of the lives of people who migrate from impoverished villages to towns and cities.

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  • Preface
  • Introduction: An Urbanizing World
  • Cities of the Past, Cities of the Present
  • The Global Network
  • Migrants to the City
  • The Spectre of the Poor
  • Slums
  • Livelihoods
  • Beyond Livelihoods: Cities of Fear
  • Provision of Basic Services
  • The City in Africa
  • The Peri-urban Area
  • Rural-urban Linkages
  • The Successful City: The Triumph of the Middle Class
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Index


  • Jeremy Seabrook

    Jeremy Seabrook was born in Northampton, England in 1939. Early on in his career, he was both a teacher and a social worker. During this time he was also a lecturer for the Workers’ Educational Association and the Working Men’s College. He became an associate honorary fellow at the University of Bradford’s Department of Peace Studies 1995 to 1998 and an associate at the Institute of Race Relations, UK, from 2004 onwards. He has made several documentaries for BBC radio and TV on social, environmental and developmental issues. Since 1963, Seabrook has written for publications including: New Society, the Guardian, the Times, the Independent, New Statesman, New Internationalist, Race and Class, Third World Resurgence, Third World Network and others. He has written over 40 books, including; Travels in the Skin Trade-looking at the psychology of western men who travel to southeast Asia for sexual adventures, and A World Growing Old-the implications of an ageing population, north and south. He is currently contributing a monthly column for the New Internationalist website; and preparing a new book The End of the Provinces-on the ways in which global metropolitan culture affects regional identities. He is also writing a book on how the evangelising project of the west has mutated, becoming an ostensibly materialist economistic ideology.

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