What is radical?

Silent and noisy intersections in Abidjan’s struggles against housing precarity

Andrea Guida

Published in Issue 6.1 // The Long Read

Keywords: Urban political sociology, housing studies, evictions, Abidjan, qualitative research


Is it time to reconsider radical housing struggles? This is the main question animating the article, in the light of telling evidence from Abidjan’s contemporary evictions, where dwellers put in place a plethora of practices against their displacement, from collective to individual ones. The study builds on Abidjan’s eviction programs under the SDUGA (Schéma Directeur d’Urbanisme Grand Abidjan) to pick up three urban scenarios of neighbourhoods’ reaction to precarity, considering data from scientific and administrative papers, press review, and interviews and participant observations. Conventional and non-conventional forms of reaction to eviction in the three case studies inform a more dynamic reading of the concept of radicality. A radicality referred to the aim and not to the outcome of a struggle, a subjective concept belonging to the perception of those who struggle, an objective feature that shares a semantic familiarity with the essential core of the oppressive force.


Andrea Guida is an independent researcher. He has focused on political sociology, international relations and urban studies in Mediterranean Europe and West Africa

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