Street-Level Democracy

Street-Level Democracy

Political Settings at the Margins of Global Power

By Jonathan Barker, with Anne-Marie Cwikowski, Christie Gombay, Katherine Isbester, Kole Shettima and Aparna Sundar


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Using colourful and detailed case material, Street-Level Democracy introduces a new method of researching everyday politics. It is a wide-ranging book that traces the conflicts between global power and local action. People in farming communities, town mosques, city markets, and fishing communities suffer the effects of wrenching change, but live far from the centres of power. From Britain and small-town USA to Nigeria, India, and Nicaragua, citizens everywhere grapple with the politics of everyday life.

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This is an important book for anyone interested in prospects for political mobilization in the context of globalizing capitalism.

– Socialist Studies Bulletin

For readers preoccupied with the survival of local democracy in the face of growing global power, this is a timely book.

– The Catholic Register


Chapter 1 Introduction: Integral Lives in a Fragmenting World
Jonathan Barker
Part I Public Action in Local Contexts:The Concept and Theory of Political Settings
Chapter 2 Power Shift: Global Change and Local Action
Jonathan Barker
Chapter 3 Political Settings: An Approach to the Study of Popular Action
Jonathan Barker
Part II Political Settings in Local Communities
Chapter 4 Empowerment from Above? Development Projects and Public Space in Northern Nigeria
Kole Shettima
Chapter 5 Sea Changes: Organizing around the Fisheryin a South Indian Community
Aparna Sundar
Chapter 6 Participation and Insecurity: Small Towns in Englandand the United States
Jonathan Barker
Part III Political Settings and Special Constituencies
Chapter 7 Eating and Meeting in Owino: Market Vendors, City Government, and the World Bank in Kampala, Uganda
Christie Gombay
Chapter 8 Claiming Space for Women: Nicaragua during and after Revolution, 1977-94
Katherine Isbester
Chapter 9 The Mosque as a Political Space in Pakistan
Anne-Marie Cwikowski
Part IV Lessons and Conclusions
Chapter 10 Local Action and Global Power: Shifting the Balance
Jonathan Barker
Appendix Mapping Local Politics: Methods, Measures, and Morals
Jonathan Barker
Selected Bibliography