DOI link for Introduction
This introductory chapter lays the theoretical foundations of the book which are then taken up, expanded and illustrated by the case study chapters. It provides a broad look at markets and ways of understanding their past and current role and situation. The chapter also provides a brief international history of markets, directly linking their transformations to ideas, notions and narratives of modernity. Bringing the historical analysis up to the contemporary phase, it presents an innovative way of looking at markets as contested spaces from three overlapping perspectives, which it use as threads for the case studies. The three main analytical frameworks that will be broadly used by the rest of the case study chapters: markets as the frontier for processes of gentrification; markets as spaces for resistance and political mobilisation and markets as spaces for the development of alternative practices of production and consumption. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.