298pp., illus., maps, paperback, Cape Town, 2015
A collection of essays that explore the role of community meetings. The book is the result of a four-year-long research programme entitled "Voices of the Poor in Urban Governance: participation, mobilisation and politics in South African cities", conducted as a partnership between the University of Nanterre Paris and the University of the Witwatersrand.
"From Party-State to Party-Society in South Africa: SANCO and the informal politics of community representation in Imizamo Yethu, Cape Ton" by Laurence Piper
"Against Ourselves - local activists and the management of contradictory political loyalties: the case of Phiri, Johannesburg" by Boitumelo Matala and Claire Bénit-Gbaffou
"Social Movements, Mobilisation and Political Parties: a case study of the Landless People's Movement, South Africa" by Luke Sinwell
"Uncooperative Masses as a Problem for Substantive and Participatory Theories of Democracy: the cases of 'people's power' (1984-6) and the 'xenophobia' (2008) in South Africa" by Daryl Glaser
"'Bringing Government Closer to the People'? The daily experience of subcouncils in Cape Town" by Chloé Buire
"Contesting the Participatory Sphere: encountering the state in Johannesburg and Cape Town" by Alex Wafer and Sophie Oldfield.
Claire Benit-Gbaffou is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand.