Squatting is currently a global phenomenon. A concomitant of economic development and social conflict, squatting attracts public attention because – implicitly or explicitly – it questions property relations from the perspective of the basic human need for shelter. So far neglected by historical inquiry, squatters have played an important role in the history of urban development and social movements, not least by contributing to change in concepts of property and the distribution and utilization of urban space. An interdisciplinary circle of authors demonstrates how squatters have articulated their demands for participation in the housing market and public space in a whole range of contexts, and how this has brought them into conflict and/or cooperation with the authorities. The volume examines housing struggles and the occupation of buildings in the Global "North," but it is equally concerned with land acquisition and informal settlements in the Global "South." In the context of the former, squatting tends to be conceived as social practice and collective protest, whereas self-help strategies of the marginalized are more commonly associated with the southern hemisphere. This volume’s historical perspective, however, helps to overcome the north-south dualism in research on squatting.

chapter |26 pages


Global Perspectives on Squatting
ByFreia Anders, Alexander Sedlmaier

part |70 pages

Crossing Hemispheres

chapter |27 pages

Squatting, North, South and Turnabout

A Dialogue Comparing Illegal Housing Research
ByThomas Aguilera, Alan Smart

chapter |22 pages

Squatting in the US

What Historians Can Learn from Developing Countries
ByJason Jindrich

part |138 pages

Emerging Economies

chapter |23 pages

Squatting and Urban Modernity in Turkey

ByEllinor Morack

chapter |28 pages

Beyond Insurgency and Dystopia

The Role of Informality in Brazil's Twentieth-Century Urban Formation
ByBrodwyn Fischer

chapter |20 pages

“Right to the City”

Squatting, Squatters and Urban Change in Franco's Spain
ByInbal Ofer

chapter |18 pages

Unlicensed Housing as Resistance to Elite Projects

Squatting in Seoul in the 1960s and 1970s
ByErik Mobrand

chapter |23 pages

Living on the Edge

The Ambiguities of Squatting and Urban Development in Bucharest
ByIoana Florea, Mihail Dumitriu

chapter |24 pages

Informal Settlements in Bangkok

Origins, Features, Growth and Prospects
ByYap Kioe Sheng, Kittima Leeruttanawisut

part |70 pages

Highly Industrialised Countries

chapter |19 pages

“The Most Fun I've Ever Had”?

Squatting in England in the 1970s
ByJohn Davis

chapter |22 pages

Squatting in the Netherlands

The Social and Political Institutionalization of a Movement
ByHans Pruijt

chapter |27 pages

Squatting and Gentrification in East Germany since 1989

ByAndrej Holm, Armin Kuhn