This article first
appeared in New
in the next year, a woman will give birth in the Lagos slum
a young man will flee his village in west Java for the bright
lights of Jakarta, or a farmer will move his impoverished family
into one of Lima’s innumerable pueblos jovenes. The exact
event is unimportant and it will pass entirely unnoticed. Nonetheless
it will constitute a watershed in human history. For the first
time the urban population of the earth will outnumber the rural.
Indeed, given the imprecisions of Third World censuses, this
epochal transition may already have occurred.
The earth has urbanized
even faster than originally predicted by the Club of Rome in
its notoriously Malthusian 1972 report, Limits of Growth.
In 1950 there were 86 cities in the world with a population over
one million; today there are 400, and by 2015, there will be
at least 550.  Cities, indeed, have absorbed nearly two-thirds
of the global population explosion since 1950 and are currently
growing by a million babies and migrants each week.  The present
urban population (3.2 billion) is larger than the total population
of the world in 1960. The global countryside, meanwhile, has
reached its maximum population (3.2 billion) and will begin to
shrink after 2020. As a result, cities will account for all future
world population growth, which is expected to peak at about 10
billion in 2050. 
to view larger and printable version of cartoon
1. THE URBAN CLIMACTERIC
are the heroes, the colonisers, the victims of the Metropolis? – Brecht,
Diary entry, 1921
Ninety-five per cent
of this final buildout of humanity will occur in the urban areas
of developing countries, whose population will double to nearly
4 billion over the next generation.  (Indeed, the combined
urban population of China, India and Brazil already roughly equals
that of Europe plus North America.) The most celebrated result
will be the burgeoning of new megacities with populations in
excess of 8 million, and, even more spectacularly, hypercities
with more than 20 million inhabitants (the estimated urban population
of the world at the time of the French Revolution).  In 1995
only Tokyo had incontestably reached that threshold. By 2025,
according to the Far Eastern EconomicReview, Asia alone
could have ten or eleven conurbations that large, including Jakarta
(24.9 million), Dhaka (25 million) and Karachi (26.5 million).
Shanghai, whose growth was frozen for decades by Maoist policies
of deliberate under-urbanization, could have as many as 27 million
residents in its huge estuarial metro-region.  Mumbai (Bombay)
meanwhile is projected to attain a population of 33 million,
although no one knows whether such gigantic concentrations of
poverty are biologically or ecologically sustainable. 
if megacities are the brightest stars in the urban firmament,
the burden of population growth will be borne by faintly visible
second-tier cities and smaller urban areas: places where, as
UN researchers emphasize, “there is little or no planning to
accommodate these people or provide them with services.” 
In China (officially 43 per cent urban in 1997), the number of
official cities has soared from 193 to 640 since 1978. But the
great metropolises, despite extraordinary growth, have actually
declined in relative share of urban population. It is, rather,
the small cities and recently “citized” towns that have absorbed
the majority of the rural labor-power made redundant by post-1979
market reforms.  In Africa, likewise, the supernova-like growth
of a few giant cities like Lagos (from 300,000 in 1950 to 10
million today) has been matched by the transformation of several
dozen small towns and oases like Ouagadougou, Nouakchott, Douala,
Antananarivo and Bamako into cities larger than San Francisco
or Manchester. In Latin America, where primary cities long monopolized
growth, secondary cities like Tijuana, Curitiba, Temuco, Salvador
and Belém are now booming, “with the fastest growth of all occurring
in cities with between 100,000 and 500,000 inhabitants.” 
as Gregory Guldin has urged, urbanization must be conceptualized
transformation along, and intensified interaction between, every
point of an urban–rural continuum. In his case-study of southern
China, the countryside is urbanizing in situ as well as
generating epochal migrations. “Villages become more like market
and xiang towns, and county towns and small cities become
more like large cities.” The result in China and much of Southeast
Asia is a hermaphroditic landscape, a partially urbanized countryside
that Guldin and others argue may be “a significant new path of
human settlement and development…a form neither rural nor urban
but a blending of the two wherein a dense web of transactions
ties large urban cores to their surrounding regions.”  In
Indonesia, where a similar process of rural/urban hybridization
is far advanced in Jabotabek (the greater Jakarta region), researchers
call these novel land-use patterns desokotas and debate
whether they are transitional landscapes or a dramatic new species
of urbanism. 
also speculate about the processes weaving together Third World
extraordinary new networks, corridors and hierarchies. For example,
the Pearl River (Hong Kong–Guangzhou) and the Yangtze River (Shanghai)
deltas, along with the Beijing–Tianjin corridor, are rapidly
developing into urban-industrial megalopolises comparable to
Tokyo–Osaka, the lower Rhine, or New York–Philadelphia. But this
may only be the first stage in the emergence of an even larger
structure: “a continuous urban corridor stretching from Japan/North
Korea to West Java.”  Shanghai, almost certainly, will then
join Tokyo, New York and London as one of the “world cities” controlling
the global web of capital and information flows. The price of
this new urban order will be increasing inequality within and
between cities of different sizes and specializations. Guldin,
for example, cites intriguing Chinese discussions over whether
the ancient income-and-development chasm between city and countryside
is now being replaced by an equally fundamental gap between small
cities and the coastal giants. 
2. BACK TO DICKENS
I saw innumerable
hosts, foredoomed to darkness, dirt, pestilence, obscenity,
misery and early death. – Dickens, ‘A
December Vision’, 1850
dynamics of Third World urbanization both recapitulate and
confound the precedents
of nineteenth and early twentieth-century Europe and North America.
In China the greatest industrial revolution in history is the
Archimedean lever shifting a population the size of Europe’s
from rural villages to smog-choked sky-climbing cities. As a
result, “China [will] cease to be the predominantly rural country
it has been for millennia.”  Indeed, the great oculus of
the Shanghai World Financial Centre may soon look out upon a
vast urban world little imagined by Mao or, for that matter,
Le Corbusier. But in most of the developing world, city growth
lacks China’s powerful manufacturing-export engine as well as
its vast inflow of foreign capital (currently equal to half of
total foreign investment in the developing world).
as a result, has been radically decoupled from industrialization,
even from development perse. Some would argue that this
is an expression of an inexorable trend: the inherent tendency
of silicon capitalism to delink the growth of production from
that of employment. But in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America,
the Middle East and parts of Asia, urbanization-without-growth
is more obviously the legacy of a global political conjuncture – the
debt crisis of the late 1970s and subsequent IMF-led restructuring
of Third World economies in the 1980s – than an iron law of advancing technology. Third World
urbanization, moreover, continued its breakneck pace (3.8 per
cent per annum from 1960–93) through the locust years of the
1980s and early 1990s in spite of falling real wages, soaring
prices and skyrocketing urban unemployment. 
This “perverse” urban
boom contradicted orthodox economic models which predicted that
the negative feedback of urban recession should slow or even
reverse migration from the countryside. The African case was
particularly paradoxical. How could cities in Côte d’Ivoire,
Tanzania, Gabon and elsewhere – whose economies were contracting
by 2 to 5 per cent per year – still sustain population growth
of 5 to 8 per cent per annum?  Part of the secret, of course,
was that IMF- (and now WTO-) enforced policies of agricultural
deregulation and “de-peasantization” were accelerating the exodus
of surplus rural labor to urban slums even as cities ceased to
be job machines. Urban population growth in spite of stagnant
or negative urban economic growth is the extreme face of what
some researchers have labeled “over-urbanization.”  It is
just one of the several unexpected tracks down which a neoliberal
world order has shunted millennial urbanization.
social theory from Marx to Weber, of course, believed that
the great cities
of the future would follow in the industrializing footsteps of
Manchester, Berlin and Chicago. Indeed, Los Angeles, São Paulo,
Pusan and, today, Ciudad Juárez, Bangalore and Guangzhou, have
roughly approximated this classical trajectory. But most cities
of the South are more like Victorian Dublin which, as Emmet Larkin
has emphasized, was unique amongst “all the slumdoms produced
in the western world in the nineteenth century…[because] its
slums were not a product of the industrial revolution. Dublin,
in fact, suffered more from the problems of de-industrialization
than industrialization between 1800 and 1850.” 
Kinshasa, Khartoum, Dar es Salaam, Dhaka and Lima grow prodigiously
import-substitution industries, shrunken public sectors and downwardly
mobile middle classes. The global forces “pushing” people from
the countryside – mechanization in Java and India, food imports
in Mexico, Haiti and Kenya, civil war and drought throughout
Africa, and everywhere the consolidation of small into large
holdings and the competition of industrial-scale agribusiness – seem
to sustain urbanization even when the “pull” of the city is drastically
weakened by debt and depression.  At the same time, rapid
urban growth in the context of structural adjustment, currency
devaluation and state retrenchment has been an inevitable recipe
for the mass production of slums.  Much of the urban world,
as a result, is rushing backwards to the age of Dickens.
astonishing prevalence of slums is the chief theme of the historic
and sombre report
published last October by the United Nations’ Human Settlements
Programme (UN-Habitat).  The Challenge of the Slums (henceforth: Slums)
is the first truly global audit of urban poverty. It adroitly
integrates diverse urban case-studies from Abidjan to Sydney
with global household data that for the first time includes China
and the ex-Soviet Bloc. (The UN authors acknowledge a particular
debt to Branko Milanovic, the World Bank economist who has pioneered
the use of micro-surveys as a powerful lens to study growing
global inequality. In one of his papers, Milanovic explains: “for
the first time in human history, researchers have reasonably
accurate data on the distribution of income or welfare [expenditures
or consumption] amongst more than 90 per cent of the world population.”)
also unusual in its intellectual honesty. One of the researchers
with the report told me that “the ‘Washington Consensus’ types
(World Bank, IMF, etc.) have always insisted on defining the
problem of global slums not as a result of globalization and
inequality but rather as a result of ‘bad governance.’” The new
report, however, breaks with traditional UN circumspection
and self-censorship to squarely indict neoliberalism, especially
the IMF’s structural adjustment
programs.  “The primary direction of both national and international
interventions during the last twenty years has actually increased
urban poverty and slums, increased exclusion and inequality,
and weakened urban elites in their efforts to use cities as engines
of growth.” 
to be sure, neglects (or saves for later UN-Habitat reports)
some of the most important land-use
issues arising from super-urbanization and informal settlement,
including sprawl, environmental degradation, and urban hazards.
It also fails to shed much light on the processes expelling labor
from the countryside or to incorporate a large and rapidly growing
literature on the gender dimensions of urban poverty and informal
employment. But these cavils aside, Slums remains an invaluable
exposé that amplifies urgent research findings with the institutional
authority of the United Nations. If the reports of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change represent an unprecedented scientific
consensus on the dangers of global warming, then Slums sounds
an equally authoritative warning about the global catastrophe
of urban poverty. (A third report someday may explore the ominous
terrain of their interaction.)  And, for the purposes of
this review, it provides an excellent framework for reconnoitering
contemporary debates on urbanization, the informal economy, human
solidarity and historical agency.
3. THE URBANIZATION
mountain of trash seemed to stretch very far, then gradually
demarcation or boundary it became something else. But what? A
jumbled and pathless collection of structures. Cardboard cartons,
plywood and rotting boards, the rusting and glassless shells
of cars, had been thrown together to form habitation. – Michael
Thelwell, The Harder They Come, 1980
first published definition of “slum” reportedly occurs in Vaux’s 1812 Vocabulary
of the Flash Language, where it is synonymous with “racket” or “criminal
trade.”  By the cholera years of the 1830s and 1840s, however,
the poor were living in slums rather than practicing them. A
generation later, slums had been identified in America and India,
and were generally recognized as an international phenomenon.
The “classic slum” was a notoriously parochial and picturesquely
local place, but reformers generally agreed with Charles Booth
that all slums were characterized by an amalgam of dilapidated
housing, overcrowding, poverty and vice. For nineteenth-century
Liberals, of course, the moral dimension was decisive and the
slum was first and above all envisioned as a place where a social “residuum” rots
in immoral and often riotous splendor. Slums’ authors
discard Victorian calumnies, but otherwise preserve the classical
definition: overcrowding, poor or informal housing, inadequate
access to safe water and sanitation, and insecurity of tenure.
multi-dimensional definition is actually a very conservative
gauge of what qualifies
as a slum: many readers will be surprised by the UN’s
counter-experiential finding that only 19.6 per cent of urban
Mexicans live in slums. Yet, even with this restrictive definition, Slums estimates
that there were at least 921 million slum-dwellers in 2001: nearly
equal to the population of the world when the young Engels first
ventured onto the mean streets of Manchester. Indeed, neoliberal
capitalism has multiplied Dickens’s notorious slum of Tom-All-Alone
in Bleak House by exponential powers. Residents of slums
constitute a staggering 78.2 per cent of the urban population
of the least developed countries and fully a third of the global
urban population.  Extrapolating from the age structures
of most Third World cities, at least half of the slum population
is under the age of 20. 
percentages of slum-dwellers are in Ethiopia (an astonishing
99.4 per cent of the urban population), Chad (also 99.4 per cent),
Afghanistan (98.5 percent) and Nepal (92 per cent).  The
poorest urban populations, however, are probably in Maputo and
Kinshasa where (according to other sources) two-thirds of residents
earn less than the cost of their minimum required daily nutrition.
 In Delhi, planners complain bitterly about “slums within
slums” as squatters take over the small open spaces of the peripheral
resettlement colonies into which the old urban poor were brutally
removed in the mid-1970s.  In Cairo and Phnom Penh, recent
urban arrivals squat or rent space on rooftops: creating slum
cities in the air.
populations are often deliberately and sometimes massively
undercounted. In the
late 1980s, for example, Bangkok had an “official” poverty rate
of only 5 per cent, yet surveys found nearly a quarter of the
population (1.16 million) living in slums and squatter camps.
 The UN, likewise, recently discovered that it was unintentionally
undercounting urban poverty in Africa by large margins. Slum-dwellers
in Angola, for example, are probably twice as numerous as it
originally believed. Likewise it underestimated the number of
poor urbanites in Liberia: not surprising, since Monrovia tripled
its population in a single year (1989–90) as panic-stricken country
people fled from a brutal civil war. 
may be more than a quarter of a million slums on earth. The
five great metropolises
of South Asia (Karachi, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Dhaka) alone
contain about 15,000 distinct slum communities with a total population
of more than 20 million. An even larger slum population crowds
the urbanizing littoral of West Africa, while other huge conurbations
of poverty sprawl across Anatolia and the Ethiopian highlands;
hug the base of the Andes and the Himalayas; explode outward
from the skyscraper cores of Mexico, Jo-burg, Manila and São
Paulo; and, of course, line the banks of the rivers Amazon, Niger,
Congo, Nile, Tigris, Ganges, Irrawaddy and Mekong. The building
blocks of this slum planet, paradoxically, are both utterly interchangeable
and spontaneously unique: including the bustees of Kolkata,
the chawls and zopadpattis of Mumbai, the katchi
abadis of Karachi, the kampungs of Jakarta, the iskwaters of
Manila, the shammasas of Khartoum, the umjondolos of
Durban, the intra-murios of Rabat, the bidonvilles of
Abidjan, the baladis of Cairo, the gecekondus of
Ankara, the conventillos of Quito, the favelas of
Brazil, the villas miseria of Buenos Aires and the colonias
populares of Mexico City. They are the gritty antipodes to
the generic fantasy-scapes and residential themeparks – Philip
K. Dick’s bourgeois “Offworlds” – in which the global middle
classes increasingly prefer to cloister themselves.
the classic slum was a decaying inner city, the new slums are
located on the edge of urban spatial explosions. The horizontal
growth of cities like Mexico, Lagos or Jakarta, of course, has
been extraordinary, and “slum sprawl” is as much of a problem
in the developing world as suburban sprawl in the rich countries.
The developed area of Lagos, for instance, doubled in a single
decade, between 1985 and 1994.  The Governor of Lagos State
told reporters last year that “about two thirds of the state’s
total land mass of 3,577 square kilometres could be classified
as shanties or slums.”  Indeed, writes a UN correspondent,
the event, however, urban poverty continued its relentless
accumulation and “the
gap between poor and rich countries increased, just as it had
done for the previous 20 years and, in most countries, income
inequality increased or, at best, stabilized.” Global inequality,
as measured by World Bank economists, reached an incredible
Gini coefficient level of 0.67 by the end of the century. This
was mathematically equivalent to a situation where the poorest
two-thirds of the world receive zero income; and the top third,
5. A SURPLUS HUMANITY?
shove our way about next to City, holding on to it by its
Patrick Chamoiseau, Texaco (1997)
brutal tectonics of neoliberal globalization since 1978 are
analogous to the
catastrophic processes that shaped a “third world” in the first
place, during the era of late Victorian imperialism (1870–1900).
In the latter case, the forcible incorporation into the world
market of the great subsistence peasantries of Asia and Africa
entailed the famine deaths of millions and the uprooting of
tens of millions more from traditional tenures. The end result,
in Latin America as well, was rural “semi-proletarianization”:
the creation of a huge global class of immiserated semi-peasants
and farm laborers lacking existential security of subsistence.
 (As a result, the twentieth century became an age, not
of urban revolutions as classical Marxism had imagined, but
of epochal rural uprisings and peasant-based wars of national
liberation.) Structural adjustment, it would appear, has recently
worked an equally fundamental reshaping of human futures. As
the authors of Slums conclude: “instead of being a focus
for growth and prosperity, the cities have become a dumping
ground for a surplus population working in unskilled, unprotected
and low-wage informal service industries and trade.” “The rise
of [this] informal sector,” they declare bluntly, “is…a direct
result of liberalization.” 
the global informal working class (overlapping but non-identical
the slum population) is almost one billion strong: making it
the fastest growing, and most unprecedented, social class on
earth. Since anthropologist Keith Hart, working in Accra, first
broached the concept of an “informal sector” in 1973, a huge
literature (mostly failing to distinguish micro-accumulation
from sub-subsistence) has wrestled with the formidable theoretical
and empirical problems involved in studying the survival strategies
of the urban poor.  There is a base consensus, however,
that the 1980s’ crisis inverted the relative structural positions
of the formal and informal sectors, promoting informal survivalism
as the new primary mode of livelihood in a majority of Third
Portes and Kelly Hoffman have recently evaluated the overall
and liberalization upon Latin American urban class structures
since the 1970s. Congruent with UN conclusions, they find that
both state employees and the formal proletariat have declined
in every country of the
region since the 1970s. In contrast, the informal sector of
the economy, along with general social inequality, has dramatically
expanded. Unlike some researchers, they make a crucial distinction
between an informal petty bourgeoisie (“the sum of owners of
microenterprises, employing less than five workers, plus own-account
professionals and technicians”) and the informal proletariat
(“the sum of own-account workers minus professionals and technicians,
domestic servants, and paid and unpaid workers in microenterprises”).
They demonstrate that this former stratum, the microentrepreneurs” so
beloved in North American business schools, are often displaced
public-sector professionals or laid-off skilled workers. Since
the 1980s, they have grown from about 5 to 10 per cent of the
economically active urban population: a trend reflecting “the
forced entrepreneurialism foisted on former salaried employees
by the decline of formal sector employment.” 
to Slums, informal workers are about two-fifths of the
economically active population of the developing world. 
According to researchers at the Inter-American Development
Bank, the informal economy currently employs 57 per cent of
the Latin American workforce and supplies four out of five
new “jobs.”  Other sources claim that more than half of
urban Indonesians and 65 per cent of residents of Dhaka subsist
in the informal sector.  Slums likewise cites research
finding that informal economic activity accounts for 33 to
40 per cent of urban employment in Asia, 60 to 75 per cent
in Central America and 60 per cent in Africa.  Indeed,
in sub-Saharan cities “formal job” creation has virtually ceased
to exist. An ILO study of Zimbabwe’s
urban labor markets under “stagflationary” structural adjustment
in the early 1990s found that the formal sector was creating
only 10,000 jobs per year in face of an urban workforce increasing
by more than 300,000 per annum.  Slums similarly
estimates that fully 90 per cent of urban Africa’s new jobs
over the next decade will somehow come from the informal sector.
pundits of bootstrap capitalism, like the irrepressible Hernando
de Soto, may see
this enormous population of marginalized laborers, redundant
civil servants and ex-peasants as actually a frenzied beehive
of ambitious entrepreneurs yearning for formal property rights
and unregulated competitive space, but it makes more obvious
sense to consider most informal workers as the “active” unemployed,
who have no choice but to subsist by some means or starve.
 The world’s estimated 100 million street kids are not
likely – apologies to Señor de Soto – to start issuing IPOs
or selling chewing-gum futures.  Nor will most of China’s
70 million “floating workers,” living furtively on the urban
periphery, eventually capitalize themselves as small subcontractors
or integrate into the formal urban working class. And the informal
working class – everywhere subject to micro- and macro-exploitation – is
almost universally deprived of protection by labor laws and
as Alain Dubresson argues in the case of Abidjan, “the dynamism of crafts
and small-scale trade depends largely on demand from the wage
sector.” He warns against the “illusion” cultivated by the
ILO and World Bank that “the informal sector can efficiently
replace the formal sector and promote an accumulation process
sufficient for a city with more than 2.5 million inhabitants.” 
His warning is echoed by Christian Rogerson who, distinguishing
(à la Portes and Hoffman) “survivalist” from “growth” micro-enterprises,
writes of the former: “generally speaking, the incomes generated
from these enterprises, the majority of which tend to be run
by women, usually fall short of even a minimum living standard
and involve little capital investment, virtually no skills
training, and only constrained opportunities for expansion
into a viable business.” With even formal-sector urban wages
in Africa so low that economists can’t figure out how workers
survive (the so-called “wage puzzle”), the informal tertiary
sector has become an arena of extreme Darwinian competition
amongst the poor. Rogerson cites the examples of Zimbabwe and
South Africa where female-controlled informal niches like shebeens
and spazas are now drastically overcrowded and plagued
by collapsing profitability. 
real macroeconomic trend of informal labor, in other words,
is the reproduction
of absolute poverty. But if the informal proletariat is not
the pettiest of petty bourgeoisies, neither is it a “labor
reserve army” or a “lumpen proletariat” in any obsolete nineteenth-century
sense. Part of it, to be sure, is a stealth workforce for the
formal economy and numerous studies have exposed how the subcontracting
networks of Wal-Mart and other mega-companies extend deep into
the misery of the colonias and chawls. But at
the end of the day, a majority of urban slum-dwellers are truly
and radically homeless in the contemporary international economy.
of course, originate in the global countryside where, as
reminds us, unequal competition with large-scale agro-industry
is tearing traditional rural society “apart at the seams.” 
As rural areas lose their “storage capacity,” slums take their
place, and urban “involution” replaces rural involution as
a sink for surplus labor which can only keep pace with subsistence
by ever more heroic feats of self-exploitation and the further
competitive subdivision of already densely filled survival
niches.  “Modernization,” “Development” and, now, the unfettered “Market” have
had their day. The labor-power of a billion people has been
expelled from the world system, and who can imagine any plausible
scenario, under neoliberal auspices, that would reintegrate
them as productive workers or mass consumers?
6. MARX AND THE
Lord says:] The time will come when the poor man will say
that he has
nothing to eat and work will be shut down…. That is going
to cause the poor man to go to these places and break in
to get food. This will cause the rich man to come out with
his gun to make war with the laboring man…blood will be in
the streets like an outpouring rain from heaven. – A
prophecy from the 1906 ‘Azusa Street Awakening’
The late capitalist
triage of humanity, then, has already taken place. The global
growth of a vast informal proletariat, moreover, is a wholly
original structural development unforeseen by either classical
Marxism or modernization pundits. Slums indeed challenges
social theory to grasp the novelty of a true global residuum
lacking the strategic economic power of socialized labor, but
massively concentrated in a shanty-town world encircling the
fortified enclaves of the urban rich.
toward urban involution, of course, existed during the nineteenth
century. The European industrial revolutions were incapable
of absorbing the entire supply of displaced rural labor, especially
after continental agriculture was exposed to the devastating
competition of the North American prairies from the 1870s.
But mass immigration to the settler societies of the Americas
and Oceania, as well as Siberia, provided a dynamic safety-valve
that prevented the rise of mega-Dublins as well as the spread
of the kind of underclass anarchism that had taken root in
the most immiserated parts of Southern Europe. Today surplus
labor, by contrast, faces unprecedented barriers – a literal “great
wall” of high-tech border enforcement – blocking large-scale
migration to the rich countries. Likewise, controversial population
resettlement programs in “frontier” regions like Amazonia,
Tibet, Kalimantan and Irian Jaya produce environmental devastation
and ethnic conflict without substantially reducing urban poverty
in Brazil, China and Indonesia.
only the slum remains as a fully franchised solution to the
problem of warehousing
the twenty-first century’s surplus humanity. But aren’t the
great slums, as a terrified Victorian bourgeoisie once imagined,
volcanoes waiting to erupt? Or does ruthless Darwinian competition,
as increasing numbers of poor people compete for the same informal
scraps, ensure self-consuming communal violence as yet the
highest form of urban involution? To what extent does an informal
proletariat possess that most potent of Marxist talismans: “historical
agency”? Can disincorporated labor be reincorporated in a global
emancipatory project? Or is the sociology of protest in the
immiserated megacity a regression to the pre-industrial urban
mob, episodically explosive during consumption crises, but
otherwise easily managed by clientelism, populist spectacle
and appeals to ethnic unity? Or is some new, unexpected historical
subject, à la Hardt and Negri, slouching toward the supercity?
truth, the current literature on poverty and urban protest
offers few answers
to such large-scale questions. Some researchers, for example,
would question whether the ethnically diverse slum poor or
economically heterogeneous informal workers even constitute
a meaningful “class in itself,” much less a potentially activist “class
for itself.” Surely, the informal proletariat bears “radical
chains” in the Marxist sense of having little or no vested
interest in the preservation of the existing mode of production.
But because uprooted rural migrants and informal workers have
been largely dispossessed of fungible labor-power, or reduced
to domestic service in the houses of the rich, they have little
access to the culture of collective labor or large-scale class
struggle. Their social stage, necessarily, must be the slum
street or marketplace, not the factory or international assembly
of informal workers, as John Walton emphasizes in a recent
review of research
on social movements in poor cities, have tended, above all,
to be episodic and discontinuous. They are also usually focused
on immediate consumption issues: land invasions in search of
affordable housing and riots against rising food or utility
prices. In the past, at least, “urban problems in developing
societies have been more typically mediated by patron–client
relations than by popular activism.”  Since the debt crisis
of the 1980s, neopopulist leaders in Latin America have had
dramatic success in exploiting the desperate desire of the
urban poor for more stable, predictable structures of daily
life. Although Walton doesn’t make the point explicitly, the
urban informal sector has been ideologically promiscuous in
its endorsement of populist saviors: in Peru rallying to Fujimori,
but in Venezuela embracing Chávez.  In Africa and South
Asia, on the other hand, urban clientelism too often equates
with the dominance of ethno-religious bigots and their nightmare
ambitions of ethnic cleansing. Notorious examples include the
anti-Muslim militias of the Oodua People’s Congress in Lagos
and the semi-fascist Shiv Sena movement in Bombay. 
such “eighteenth-century” sociologies
of protest persist into the middle twenty-first century? The
past is probably a poor guide to the future. History is not
uniformitarian. The new urban world is evolving with extraordinary
speed and often in unpredictable directions. Everywhere the
continuous accumulation of poverty undermines existential security
and poses even more extraordinary challenges to the economic
ingenuity of the poor. Perhaps there is a tipping point at
which the pollution, congestion, greed and violence of everyday
urban life finally overwhelm the ad hoc civilities and survival
networks of the slum. Certainly in the old rural world there
were thresholds, often calibrated by famine, that passed directly
to social eruption. But no one yet knows the social temperature
at which the new cities of poverty spontaneously combust.
for the moment at least, Marx has yielded the historical
stage to Mohammed
and the Holy Ghost. If God died in the cities of the industrial
revolution, he has risen again in the postindustrial cities
of the developing world. The contrast between the cultures
of urban poverty in the two eras is extraordinary. As Hugh
McLeod has shown in his magisterial study of Victorian working-class
religion, Marx and Engels were largely accurate in their belief
that urbanization was secularizing the working class. Although
Glasgow and New York were partial exceptions, “the line of
interpretation that associates working-class detachment from
the church with growing class consciousness is in a sense incontestable.” If
small churches and dissenting sects thrived in the slums, the
great current was active or passive disbelief. Already by the
1880s, Berlin was scandalizing foreigners as “the most irreligious
city in the world” and in London, median adult church attendance
in the proletarian East End and Docklands by 1902 was barely
12 per cent (and that mostly Catholic).  In Barcelona,
of course, an anarchist working class sacked the churches during
the Semana Trágica, while in the slums of St. Petersburg,
Buenos Aires and even Tokyo, militant workers avidly embraced
the new faiths of Darwin, Kropotkin and Marx.
on the other hand, populist Islam and Pentecostal Christianity
(and in Bombay,
the cult of Shivaji) occupy a social space analogous to that
of early twentieth-century socialism and anarchism. In Morocco,
for instance, where half a million rural emigrants are absorbed
into the teeming cities every year, and where half the population
is under 25, Islamicist movements like “Justice and Welfare,” founded
by Sheik Abdessalam Yassin, have become the real governments
of the slums: organizing night schools, providing legal aid
to victims of state abuse, buying medicine for the sick, subsidizing
pilgrimages and paying for funerals. As Prime Minister Abderrahmane
Youssoufi, the Socialist leader who was once exiled by the
monarchy, recently admitted to Ignacio Ramonet, “We [the Left]
have become embourgeoisified. We have cut ourselves off from
the people. We need to reconquer the popular quarters. The
Islamicists have seduced our natural electorate. They promise
them heaven on earth.” An Islamicist leader, on the other hand,
told Ramonet: “confronted with the neglect of the state, and
faced with the brutality of daily life, people discover, thanks
to US, solidarity, self-help, fraternity. They understand that
Islam is humanism.” 
counterpart of populist Islam in the slums of Latin America
and much of sub-Saharan
Africa is Pentecostalism. Christianity, of course, is now,
in its majority, a non-Western religion (two-thirds of its
adherents live outside Europe and North America), and Pentecostalism
is its most dynamic missionary in cities of poverty. Indeed
the historical specificity of Pentecostalism is that it is
the first major world religion to have grown up almost entirely
in the soil of the modern urban slum. With roots in early ecstatic
Methodism and African-American spirituality, Pentecostalism “awoke” when
the Holy Ghost gave the gift of tongues to participants in
an interracial prayer marathon in a poor neighborhood of Los
Angeles (Azfa Street) in 1906. Unified around spirit baptism,
miracle healing, charismata and a premillennial belief in a
coming world war of capital and labor, early American Pentecostalism – as
religious historians have repeatedly noted – originated as
a “prophetic democracy” whose rural and urban constituencies
overlapped, respectively, with those of Populism and the IWW.
 Indeed, like Wobbly organizers, its early missionaries
to Latin America and Africa “lived often in extreme poverty,
going out with little or no money, seldom knowing where they
would spend the night, or how they would get their next meal.” 
They also yielded nothing to the IWW in
their vehement denunciations of the injustices of industrial
capitalism and its inevitable destruction.
the first Brazilian congregation, in an anarchist working-class
district of São Paulo, was founded by an Italian artisan immigrant
who had exchanged Malatesta for the Spirit in Chicago. 
In South Africa and Rhodesia, Pentecostalism established its
early footholds in the mining compounds and shantytowns; where,
according to Jean Comaroff, “it seemed to accord with indigenous
notions of pragmatic spirit forces and to redress the depersonalization
and powerlessness of the urban labor experience.”  Conceding
a larger role to women than other Christian churches and immensely
supportive of abstinence and frugality, Pentecostalism – as
R. Andrew Chesnut discovered in the baixadas of Belém – has
always had a particular attraction to “the most immiserated
stratum of the impoverished classes”: abandoned wives, widows
and single mothers.  Since 1970, and largely because of
its appeal to slum women and its reputation for being color-blind,
it has been growing into what is arguably the largest self-organized
movement of urban poor people on the planet. 
recent claims of “over 533 million Pentecostal/charismatics in the world
in 2002” are probably hyperbole, there may well be half that
number. It is generally agreed that 10 per cent of Latin America
is Pentecostal (about 40 million people) and that the movement
has been the single most important cultural response to explosive
and traumatic urbanization.  As Pentecostalism has globalized,
of course, it has differentiated into distinct currents and
sociologies. But if in Liberia, Mozambique and Guatemala, American-sponsored
churches have been vectors of dictatorship and repression,
and if some us congregations
are now gentrified into the suburban mainstream of fundamentalism,
the missionary tide of Pentecostalism in the Third World remains
closer to the original millenarian spirit of Azusa Street.
 Above all, as Chesnut found in Brazil, “Pentecostalism…remains
a religion of the informal periphery” (and in Belém, in particular, “the
poorest of the poor”). In Peru, where Pentecostalism is growing
almost exponentially in the vast barriadas of Lima,
Jefrey Gamarra contends that the growth of the sects and of
the informal economy “are a consequence of and a response to
each other.”  Paul Freston adds that it “is the first
autonomous mass religion in Latin America…. Leaders may not
be democratic, but they come from the same social class.” 
contrast to populist Islam, which emphasizes civilizational
continuity and the trans-class
solidarity of faith, Pentecostalism, in the tradition of its
African-American origins, retains a fundamentally exilic identity.
Although, like Islam in the slums, it efficiently correlates
itself to the survival needs of the informal working class
(organizing self-help networks for poor women; offering faith
healing as para-medicine; providing recovery from alcoholism
and addiction; insulating children from the temptations of
the street; and so on), its ultimate premise is that the urban
world is corrupt, injust and unreformable. Whether, as Jean
Comaroff has argued in her book on African Zionist churches
(many of which are now Pentecostal), this religion of “the
marginalized in the shantytowns of neocolonial modernity” is
actually a “more radical” resistance than “participation in
formal politics or labour unions,” remains to be seen. 
But, with the Left still largely missing from the slum, the
eschatology of Pentecostalism admirably refuses the inhuman
destiny of the Third World city that Slums warns about.
It also sanctifies those who, in every structural and existential
sense, truly live in exile.
UN Population Division, World Urbanization Prospects, the 2001 Revision,
New York 2002.
 Population Information
Program, Population Reports: Meeting the Urban Challenge,
vol. xxx, no. 4, Fall 2002, p.
Wolfgang Lutz, Warren Sandeson and Sergei Scherbov, ‘Doubling of world population
unlikely’, Nature 387, 19 June 1997, pp. 803–4. However
the populations of sub-Saharan Africa will triple and India,
 Global Urban Observatory, Slums
of the World: The face of urban poverty in the new millennium?, New
York 2003, p. 10.
Although the velocity of global urbanization is not in doubt,
the growth rates of
specific cities may brake abruptly as they encounter the frictions
of size and congestion. A famous instance of such a ‘polarization
reversal’ is Mexico City: widely predicted to achieve a population
of 25 million during the 1990s (the current population is probably
about 18 or 19 million). See Yue-man Yeung, ‘Geography in an
age of mega-cities’, International Social Sciences Journal 151,
1997, p. 93.
For a perspective, see Yue-Man Yeung, ‘Viewpoint: Integration of the Pearl River
Delta’, International Development Planning Review, vol.
25, no. 3, 2003.
 Far Eastern Economic
Review, Asia 1998 Yearbook, p. 63.
Challenge of the Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements
2003, London 2003, p. 3.
 Gregory Guldin, What’s
a Peasant to Do? Village Becoming Town in Southern China,
Boulder, co 2001, p. 13.
Miguel Villa and Jorge Rodriguez, ‘Demographic trends in Latin America’s
metropolises, 1950–1990’, in Alan Gilbert, ed., The Mega-City
in Latin America, Tokyo 1996, pp. 33–4.
 Guldin, Peasant,
pp. 14, 17. See also Jing Neng Li, ‘Structural and Spatial
Economic changes and their Effects on Recent Urbanization in
China’, in Gavin Jones and Pravin Visaria, eds, Urbanization
in Large Developing Countries, Oxford 1997, p. 44.
See T. McGee, ‘The
Emergence of Desakota Regions in Asia: Expanding a Hypothesis’,
in Northon Ginsburg, Bruce Koppell and T. McGee, eds, The
Extended Metropolis: Settlement Transition in Asia, Honolulu
Yue-man Yeung and Fu-chen Lo, ‘Global restructuring and emerging urban corridors
in Pacific Asia’, in Lo and Yeung, eds, Emerging World Cities
in Pacific Asia, Tokyo 1996, p. 41.
 Guldin, Peasant,
 Wang Mengkui,
advisor to the State Council, quoted in the Financial Times,
26 November 2003. Since the market reforms of the late 1970s
it is estimated that almost 300 million Chinese have moved
from rural areas to cities. Another 250 or 300 million are
expected to follow in coming decades. (Financial Times,
16 December 2003.)
Josef Gugler, ‘Introduction—II.
Rural–Urban Migration’, in Gugler, ed., Cities in the Developing
World: Issues, Theory and Policy, Oxford 1997, p.
43. For a contrarian view that disputes generally accepted
World Bank and UN data on continuing high rates of urbanization
during the 1980s, see Deborah Potts, ‘Urban lives: Adopting new strategies
and adapting rural links’, in Carole Rakodi, ed., TheUrban
Challenge in Africa: Growth and Management of Its Large Cities,
Tokyo 1997, pp. 463–73.
David Simon, ‘Urbanization,
globalization and economic crisis in Africa’, in Rakodi, Urban
Challenge, p. 95.
See Josef Gugler, ‘Overurbanization
Reconsidered’, in Gugler, Cities in the Developing World,
pp. 114–23. By contrast, the former command economies of the
Soviet Union and Maoist China restricted in-migration to cities
and thus tended toward ‘under-urbanization’.
 Foreword to Jacinta
Prunty, Dublin Slums 1800–1925: A Study in Urban Geography,
Dublin 1998, p. ix.
 ‘Thus, it appears
that for low income countries, a significant fall in urban
incomes may not necessarily produce in the short term a decline
in rural–urban migration.’ Nigel Harris, ‘Urbanization, Economic
Development and Policy in Developing Countries’, Habitat
International, vol. 14, no. 4, 1990, p. 21–2.
On Third World urbanization and the global debt crisis, see
and Rita Noonan, ‘Urbanization, Economic Growth, and Women’s
Labour-Force Participation’, in Gugler, Cities in the DevelopingWorld,
 Slums: for publication
details, see footnote 8.
 Branko Milanovic,
True world income distribution 1988 and 1993, World Bank, New
York 1999. Milanovic and his colleague Schlomo Yitzhaki are
the first to calculate world income distribution based on the
household survey data from individual countries.
UNICEF, to be fair, has criticized the IMF for years, pointing
out that ‘hundreds of thousands
of the developing world’s children have given their lives to
pay their countries’ debts’. See The State of theWorld’s Children,
Oxford 1989, p. 30.
 Slums, p. 6.
 Such a study,
one supposes, would survey, at one end, urban hazards and infrastructural
breakdown and, at the other, the impact of climate change on
agriculture and migration.
 Prunty, Dublin
Slums, p. 2.
 Slums, p. 12.
 See A. Oberai, Population
Growth, Employment and Poverty in Third World Mega-Cities,
New York 1993, p. 28. In 1980 the 0–19 cohort of big OECD
cities was from 19 to 28 per cent of the population; of Third
World mega-cities, 40 to 53 per cent.
 Slums of the
World, pp. 33–4.
in Africa’, p. 103; and Jean-Luc Piermay, ‘Kinshasa: A reprieved
mega-city?’, in Rakodi, Urban Challenge, p. 236.
Sabir Ali, ‘Squatters:
Slums within Slums’, in Prodipto Roy and Shangon Das Gupta,
eds, Urbanization and Slums, Delhi 1995, pp. 55–9.
 Jonathan Rigg, Southeast
Asia: A Region in Transition, London 1991, p. 143.
 Slums of the
World, p. 34
Salah El-Shakhs, ‘Toward
appropriate urban development policy in emerging mega-cities
in Africa’, in Rakodi, Urban Challenge, p. 516.
 Daily Times
of Nigeria, 20 October 2003. Lagos has grown more explosively
than any large Third World city except for Dhaka. In 1950
it had only 300,000 inhabitants but then grew almost 10 per
cent per annum until 1980, when it slowed to about 6%—still
a very rapid rate—during the years of structural readjustment.
Amy Otchet, ‘Lagos:
the survival of the determined’, UNESCO Courier,
Winter King, ‘Illegal
Settlements and the Impact of Titling Programmes,’ Harvard
Law Review, vol. 44, no. 2, September 2003, p. 471.
 United Nations, Karachi,
Population Growth and Policies in Megacities series, New York
1988, p. 19.
 The absence of
infrastructure, however, does create innumerable niches for
informal workers: selling water, carting nightsoil, recycling
trash, delivering propane and so on.
 World Resources
Institute, World Resources: 1996–97, Oxford 1996, p.
 Slums of the
World, p. 25.
 Slums of the
World, p. 12.
For an exemplary case-study, see Greg Bankoff, ‘Constructing Vulnerability:
The Historical, Natural and Social Generation of Flooding in
Metropolitan Manila’, Disasters, vol. 27, no. 3, 2003,
and Li Zhang, Strangers in the City: Reconfigurations of
Space, Power and Social Networks within China’s Floating Population,
Stanford 2001; Alan Gilbert, The Latin American City,
New York 1998, p. 16.
 Martin Ravallion, On
the urbanization of poverty, World Bank paper, 2001.
 Slums of the
World, p. 12.
 Fidelis Odun
Balogun, Adjusted Lives: stories of structural adjustment,
Trenton, nj 1995, p. 80.
 The Challenge
of Slums, p. 30. ‘Urban bias’ theorists, like Michael
Lipton who invented the term in 1977, argue that agriculture
tends to be undercapitalized in developing countries, and
cities relatively ‘overurbanized’, because fiscal and financial
policies favour urban elites and distort investment flows.
At the limit, cities are vampires of the countryside. See
Lipton, Why Poor People StayPoor: A Study of Urban Bias
in World Development, Cambridge 1977.
Quoted in Tony Killick, ‘Twenty-five Years in Development: the Rise and Impending
Decline of Market Solutions’, Development Policy Review,
vol. 4, 1986, p. 101.
Deborah Bryceson, ‘Disappearing
Peasantries? Rural Labour Redundancy in the Neoliberal Era
and Beyond’, in Bryceson, Cristóbal Kay and Jos Mooij, eds, Disappearing
Peasantries? Rural Labour in Africa, Asia and Latin America,
London 2000, p. 304–5.
Ha-Joon Chang, ‘Kicking
Away the Ladder: Infant Industry Promotion in Historical Perspective’, OxfordDevelopment
Studies, vol. 31, no. 1, 2003, p. 21. ‘Per capita income
in developing countries grew at 3 per cent per annum between
1960 and 1980, but at only about 1.5 per cent between 1980
and 2000 . . . Neoliberal economists are therefore faced with
a paradox here. The developing countries grew much faster when
they used ‘bad’ policies during 1960–80 than when they used ‘good’ (or
least ‘better’) policies during the following two decades.’ (p.
Carole Rakodi, ‘Global
Forces, Urban Change, and Urban Management in Africa’, in Rakodi, Urban
Challenge, pp. 50, 60–1.
p. 235–6; ‘Megacities’, Time, 11 January 1993, p. 26.
Michael Mattingly, ‘The
Role of the Government of Urban Areas in the Creation of Urban
Poverty’, in Sue Jones and Nici Nelson, eds, Urban Poverty
in Africa, London 1999, p. 21.
Adil Ahmad and Ata El-Batthani, ‘Poverty in Khartoum’, Environment and
Urbanization, vol. 7, no. 2, October 1995, p. 205.
Alain Dubresson, ‘Abidjan’,
in Rakodi, Urban Challenge, pp. 261–3.
 World Bank, Nigeria:
Country Brief, September 2003.
Urbanization Prospects, p. 12.
Luis Ainstein, ‘Buenos
Aires: a case of deepening social polarization’, in Gilbert, Mega-City
in LatinAmerica, p. 139.
Gustavo Riofrio, ‘Lima:
Mega-city and mega-problem’, in Gilbert, Mega-City in LatinAmerica,
p. 159; and Gilbert, Latin American City, p. 73.
Hamilton Tolosa, ‘Rio
de Janeiro: Urban expansion and structural change’, in Gilbert,
Mega-City in LatinAmerica, p. 211.
 World Bank, Inequality
in Latin America and the Caribbean, New York 2003.
Orlandina de Oliveira and Bryan Roberts, ‘The Many Roles of the Informal
Sector in Development’, in Cathy Rakowski, ed., Contrapunto:
the Informal Sector Debate in Latin America, Albany 1994, pp.
Christian Rogerson, ‘Globalization
or informalization? African urban economies in the 1990s’,
in Rakodi, Urban Challenge, p. 348.
 Slums, p. 2.
Albert Park et al., ‘The Growth of Wage Inequality in Urban China, 1988 to
1999’, World Bank working paper, February 2003, p. 27 (quote);
and John Knight and Linda Song, ‘Increasing urban wage inequality
in China’, Economics of Transition, vol. 11, no. 4, 2003, p.
 Slums, p. 34.
Shaohua Chen and Martin Ravallion, How Did the World’s Poorest
Fare in the 1990s?, World Bank paper, 2000.
See my Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World,
London 2001, especially pp. 206–9.
pp. 40, 46.
Keith Hart, ‘Informal
income opportunities and urban employment in Ghana’, Journal
of ModernAfrican Studies, 11, 1973, pp. 61–89.
Alejandro Portes and Kelly Hoffman, ‘Latin American Class Structures: Their
Composition and Change during the Neoliberal Era’, Latin
American Research Review, vol. 38, no. 1, 2003, p. 55.
 Cited in the Economist,
21 March 1998, p. 37.
Dennis Rondinelli and John Kasarda, ‘Job Creation Needs in Third World Cities’,
in Kasarda and Allan Parnell, eds, Third World Cities: Problems,
policies and prospects, Newbury Park, ca 1993,
Guy Mhone, ‘The
impact of structural adjustment on the urban informal sector
in Zimbabwe’, Issues inDevelopment discussion paper
no. 2, International Labour Office, Geneva n.d., p. 19.
Orlandina de Oliveira and Bryan Roberts rightly emphasize
that the bottom
strata of the urban labour-force should be identified ‘not
simply by occupational titles or whether the job was formal
or informal, but by the household strategy for obtaining an
income’. The mass of the urban poor can only exist by ‘income
pooling, sharing housing, food and other resources’ either
with kin or landsmen. (‘Urban Development and Social
Inequality in Latin America’, in Gugler, Cities in the Developing
World, p. 290.)
 Statistic on
street kids: Natural History, July 1997, p. 4.
or informalization?’, p. 347–51.
Peasantries’, pp. 307–8.
In Clifford Geertz’s
original, inimitable definition, ‘involution’ is ‘an overdriving
of an established form in such a way that it becomes rigid
through an inward over-elaboration of detail’. (Agricultural
involution: Social development and economic change in twoIndonesian
towns, Chicago 1963, p. 82.) More prosaically, ‘involution’,
agricultural or urban, can be described as spiralling labour
self-exploitation (other factors fixed) which continues, despite
rapidly diminishing returns, as long as any return or increment
John Walton, ‘Urban
Conflict and Social Movements in Poor Countries: Theory and
Evidence of Collective Action’, paper to ‘Cities in Transition
Conference’, Humboldt University, Berlin, July 1987.
Kurt Weyland, ‘Neopopulism
and Neoliberalism in Latin America: how much affinity?’, Third
World Quarterly, vol. 24, no. 6, 2003, pp. 1095–115.
For a fascinating if frightening account of Shiv Sena’s ascendancy
in Bombay at the expense of older Communist and trade-union
see Thomas Hansen, Wages of Violence: Naming and Identity
in Postcolonial Bombay, Princeton 2001. See also Veena
Das, ed., Mirrors of Violence: Communities, Riots and Survivors
in South Asia, New York 1990.
 Hugh McLeod, Piety
and Poverty: Working-Class Religion in Berlin, London and
New York, 1870–1914, New York 1996, pp. xxv, 6, 32.
Ignacio Ramonet, ‘Le
Maroc indécis’, Le Monde diplomatique, July 2000, pp.
12–13. Another former leftist told Ramonet: ‘Nearly 65 per
cent of the population lives under the poverty line. The people
of the bidonvilles are entirely cut off from the elites.
They see the elites the way they used to see the French.’
In his controversial sociological interpretation of Pentecostalism,
Anderson claimed that ‘its unconscious intent’, like other
millenarian movements, was actually ‘revolutionary’. (Vision
of theDisinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism, Oxford
1979, p. 222.)
 Anderson, Vision
of the Disinherited, p. 77.
 R. Andrew Chesnut, Born
Again in Brazil: The Pentecostal Boom and the Pathogens of
Poverty, New Brunswick 1997, p. 29. On the historical
associations of Pentecostalism with anarchism in Brazil,
see Paul Freston, ‘Pentecostalism in Latin America: Characteristics
and Controversies’, Social Compass, vol. 45, no. 3,
1998, p. 342.
David Maxwell, ‘Historicizing
Christian Independency: The Southern Africa Pentecostal Movement,
c. 1908–60’, Journal of African History 40, 1990, p.
249; and Jean Comaroff, Body of Power, Spirit of Resistance,
Chicago 1985, p. 186.
 Chesnut, Born
Again, p. 61. Indeed, Chesnut found that the Holy Ghost
not only moved tongues but improved family budgets. ‘By eliminating
expenditures associated with the male prestige complex, Assembelianos
were able to climb from the lower and middle ranks of poverty
to the upper echelons, and some Quandrangulares migrated
from poverty . . . to the lower rungs of the middle class’:
 ‘In all of human
history, no other non-political, non-militaristic, voluntary
human movement has grown as rapidly as the Pentecostal-Charismatic
movement in the last twenty years’: Peter Wagner, foreward
to Vinson Synan, The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition,
Grand Rapids 1997, p. xi.
The high estimate is from David Barret and Todd Johnson, ‘Annual
Statistical Table on Global Mission: 2001,’ International Bulletin of
Missionary Research, vol. 25, no. 1, January 2001, p. 25.
Synan says there were 217 million denominated Pentecostals
in 1997 (Holiness, p. ix). On Latin America, compare
Freston, ‘Pentecostalism’, p. 337; Anderson, Vision of the
Disinherited; and David Martin, ‘Evangelical and Charismatic
Christianity in Latin America’, in Karla Poewe, ed., Charismatic
Christianity as a Global Culture, Columbia 1994, pp. 74–5.
See Paul Gifford’s
brilliant Christianity and Politics in Doe’s Liberia,
Cambridge 1993. Also Peter Walshe, Prophetic Christianity
and the Liberation Movement in South Africa, Pietermaritzburg
1995, especially pp. 110–1.
Jefrey Gamarra, ‘Conflict,
Post-Conflict and Religion: Andean Responses to New Religious
Movements’, Journal of Southern African Studies, vol.
26, no. 2, June 2000, p. 272. Andres Tapia quotes the Peruvian
theologian Samuel Escobar who sees Sendero Luminoso and the
Pentecostals as ‘flip sides of the same coin’—‘both were seeking
a powerful break with injustices, only the means were different.’ ‘With
Shining Path’s decline, Pentecostalism has emerged as the winner
for the souls of poor Peruvians.’ (‘In the Ashes of the Shining
Path’, Pacific News Service, 14 Feburary 1996).
 Comaroff, Body
of Power, pp. 259–63