Circular Migration in Zimbabwe and Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa

Circular Migration in Zimbabwe and Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa

Deborah Potts

Hardback
$90.00

James Currey

Overview

Overview

The World Bank insists that the urban share of sub-Saharan Africa's population is rapidly increasing - this study shows that in many countries this is no longer true as migration strategies have adapted in response to economic and political change.
Circular migration, whereby rural migrants do not remain permanently in town, has particular significance in the academic literature on development and urbanization in Africa, often having negative connotations in southern Africanist studies due to its links with an iniquitous migrant labour system. Literature on other African regions often views circular migration more positively. This book reviews the current evidence about circular migration and urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa. The author challenges the dominant view that rural-urban migration continues unabated and shows that circular migration has continued and has adapted, with faster out-migration in the face of declining urban economic opportunities.
The empirical core of the book illustrates these trends through a detailed examination of the case of Zimbabwe based on the author's longstanding research on Harare. The political and economic changes in Zimbabwe since the 1980s transformed Harare from one of the best African cities to live in over this period to one of the worst. Harare citizens' livelihoods exemplify, in microcosm, the central theme of the book: the re-invention of circulation and rural-urban links in response to economic change.

Deborah Potts is a Senior Lecturer in the Geography Department of King's College London. She works in the broad research field of urbanization and migration in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly southern Africa and has conducted research on these themes in Harare in Zimbabwe since 1985.

Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia) and Zimbabwe: University of Cape Town Press (PB)

Details

November 2010
4 black and white, 33 line illustrations
312 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781847010230
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
James Currey
BIC KCM, 1HFMW
BISAC LCO001000
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: re-inventing the wheel?
Regional paradigms & approaches to circular migration: tropical Africa
Regional paradigms & approaches to circular migration: Southern Africa
Harare & Zimbabwe: from formal city to outsourced urban livelihoods
Migrant livelihoods & migration trajectories in Harare: 1980s to 2000s
Harare migrants' rural links & assets
Variations in migrants' experience, perceptions & options
Social & cultural attachments to rural settings & homes
Attacking the urban poor & abusing rural links: Operation Murambatsvina 2005
Conclusion

Reviews

Useful to students and scholars of urban processes and urban-rural linkages as well as to those interested in African migrations. . It contains substantial analysis of key debates in African migration studies and masters the difficult balance between structure and agency. LUCAS BULLETIN

A reference point for Zimbabweanists for years to come. It should also serve as the empirical basis for further theorisation around the meaning of urban citizenship, the importance of demographic variables in popular protest and democratisation, and Harare's productive possibilities. URBAN STUDIES

Useful to students and scholars of urban processes and urban-rural linkages as well as to those interested in African migrations. (It) contains substantial analysis of key debates in African migration studies and masters the difficult balance between structure and agency. LUCAS Bulletin

Combines a masterly overview and re-interpretation of past writing on rural-urban migration in Africa with a rigorous scholarly research study of Zimbabwe, 1980-2010. (...) This is not just the only book on circular migration in Zimbabwe, and the best on this topic for sub-Saharan Africa: it also incorporates both the best available overview of past writing on, and interpretations of, all rural-urban migration in Africa, and the most accessible and up-to-date discussion of city life in Zimbabwe. AFRICAN AFFAIRS

Pott's research is meticulously detailed and each chapter contains illustrative charts, graphs and tables. SCITECH BOOK NEWS