Book review

Delivery as Dispossession: Land Occupation and Eviction in the Postapartheid City (2022) by Zachary Levenson

Katherine Wiley

Published in Issue 6.1 // Updates

Keywords: Land occupation, distributive democracy, eviction, squatting, South Africa


Drawing on fieldwork over the course of a decade in two encampments in Cape Town, South Africa, Zachary Levenson’s book uses a Gramscian framework to analyze the dynamics between the state and the organizational formations of encampments. His relational perspective on eviction considers the main factors influencing the likelihood of state-enforced evictions and underlines the effect of different organizing tactics, constructing land occupations as alternative housing versus social movements. In challenging and expanding our understandings of the politics of eviction, the book provides insights for housing movements globally.

Katherine Wiley is a PhD candidate in the Community Research and Action program at Vanderbilt University. She is interested in how people negotiate their moral and political commitments within community organizing efforts, and she is active in housing justice efforts in Tennessee.

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