Book review – Claiming the City:

A Global History of Workers' Fight for Municipal Socialism by Shelton Stromquist (2023)

Hannes Rolf

Published in Issue 5.1 // Updates

Keywords: Urban history, municipal socialism, labour movement


Shelton Stromquist has written a long and very rich account of the international history of local socialist activism, often called municipal socialism. Drawing on various examples, Stromquist wants to shift the focus from national parliamentary politics and centrist narratives to the local level, where the labour movement was built. At a time when local struggles such as affordable housing are once again on the agenda of progressive activists, this book offers important insights into the early local history of labour politics and inspiration for contemporary activists and municipal socialists.

Hannes Rolf is assistant professor at the Institute of Urban History, Department of History, Stockholm University. He works within the fields of urban and labour history and has specialized in the history of housing and housing movements and organizations. Rolf is a member of the Swedish housing researcher collective Fundament.

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