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Politics and street trading in Africa: Developing a comparative frame.

Brown, Alison ORCID: and Mackie, Peter ORCID: 2018. Politics and street trading in Africa: Developing a comparative frame. Articulo: Journal of Urban Research 2018 (17-18) 10.4000/articulo.3612

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Street trading is ubiquitous in African cities, but despite research over the last 40 years, there has been relatively little analysis of the political factors that influence the street economy. It is thus timely to examine the broader political landscape of street trading and its influence on the operations and vulnerabilities of street trade. The paper first frames concepts of street trade and the street economy, and briefly examines the political landscape in Africa. It then develops and tests an exploratory framework through which to examine the relationship of politics to street trade across three broad areas: colonial legacy and politics across borders, the top-down politics of state repression and accommodation, and the bottom-up politics of trader organisation and voice. The paper draws on extensive research by the authors in Africa and published papers to examine how history, culture and religion, governance and politics have influenced the operation of street trading across Africa today. The paper concludes that each axis of the proposed tripartite framework has merit, but that many gaps exist in understanding the relationship between politics and street trade in Africa.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Journal of Urban Research
ISSN: 1661-4941
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 September 2018
Date of Acceptance: 5 August 2018
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 15:23

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