This article first appeared
Sometime in the next year,
a woman will give birth in the Lagos slum of Ajegunle, 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
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. 
version of Slum World cartoon.
1. THE URBAN CLIMACTERIC
Where are the heroes,
the colonisers, the victims of the Metropolis? – Brecht, Diary
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. 
But if megacities are the
brightest stars in the urban firmament, three-quarters of 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.” 
Moreover, as Gregory Guldin
has urged, urbanization must be conceptualized as structural 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.
Urbanists also speculate
about the processes weaving together Third World cities into 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
The 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
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.
Classical 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.” 
Likewise Kinshasa, Khartoum,
Dar es Salaam, Dhaka and Lima grow prodigiously despite ruined 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.
The 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.”) 
Slums is also unusual
in its intellectual honesty. One of the researchers associated 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
and slums, increased exclusion and inequality, and weakened urban
elites in their efforts to use cities as engines of growth.” 
Slums, 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 OF
The mountain of trash seemed
to stretch very far, then gradually without perceptible 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
The 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. 
This 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. 
The world’s highest 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.
Slum 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. 
There 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.
Whereas the classic slum
was a decaying inner city, the new slums are more typically 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,
In 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, everything. 
5. A SURPLUS HUMANITY?
We shove our way about
next to City, holding on to it by its thousand survival cracks… –
Patrick Chamoiseau, Texaco (1997)
The 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
Indeed, the global informal
working class (overlapping but non-identical with 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 World cities.
Alejandro Portes and Kelly
Hoffman have recently evaluated the overall impact of SAPs
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
Overall, according 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. 
The 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 standards.
Moreover, 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. 
The 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.
Slums, of course, originate
in the global countryside where, as Deborah Bryceson 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 HOLY
[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.
Tendencies 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.
Thus 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?
In 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
Struggles 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. 
Will 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
Indeed, 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.
Today, 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.” 
The 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.
Symptomatically, 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
Although 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.” 
In 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. 1.
 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, double.
 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.
 UN-Habitat, The
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 1991.
 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 York Bradshaw and Rita Noonan, ‘Urbanization,
Economic Growth, and Women’s Labour-Force Participation’, in Gugler,
Cities in the DevelopingWorld, pp. 9–10.
 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
 Prunty, Dublin Slums,
 Slums, p. 12.
 Slums, pp.
 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,
 Simon, ‘Urbanization
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,
 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,
 Slums, p.
 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,
 The absence of infrastructure,
however, does create innumerable niches for informal workers: selling
water, carting nightsoil, recycling trash, delivering propane and
 World Resources Institute, World
Resources: 1996–97, Oxford 1996, p. 21.
 Slums of the World,
 Slums, p.
 Slums of the World,
 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, pp. 224–38.
 Otchet, ‘Lagos’;
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, p.
 Slums of the World,
 Fidelis Odun Balogun, Adjusted
Lives: stories of structural adjustment, Trenton, nj 1995,
 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.
 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. 28).
 Slums, p.
 Carole Rakodi, ‘Global
Forces, Urban Change, and Urban Management in Africa’, in Rakodi, Urban
Challenge, pp. 50, 60–1.
 Piermay, ‘Kinshasa’,
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.
 UN, World
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. 64–8.
 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. 616 (discrimination).
 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.
 Slums, pp.
 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.
 Slums, p.
 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,
 Slums, p.
 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.
 Slums, p.
 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.
 Dubresson, ‘Abidjan’,
 Rogerson, ‘Globalization
or informalization?’, p. 347–51.
 Bryceson, ‘Disappearing
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 is produced.
 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 politics, 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, Robert Mapes 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’: p. 18.
 ‘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
 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
 Freston, ‘Pentecostalism’,
 Comaroff, Body
of Power, pp. 259–63