How San Francisco's housing protest movements help us understand global mobilization
Local Protest, Global Movements
Capital, Community, and State in San Francisco
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A history of the antigentrification and housing rights movement in San Francisco, Local Protest, Global Movements examines the ability of local urban movements to engage in meaningful contestation with private real estate capital and area governmental leaders in the era of urban neoliberalism.
Using San Francisco as an illuminating case study, Beitel analyzes the innovative ways urban social movements have organized around issues regarding land use, housing, urban ecology, and health care on the local level to understand the changing nature of protest formation around the world.
Reconciling the passing of New Left ideals and the emergence of mobilization on a global scale, he assesses the limits of contemporary urban movements as conduits for advancing a radical political program. Beitel argues these limits reflect recurrent problems of internal fragmentation, and the manner in which liberal democratic institutions structure processes of political participation and interest representation.
"Beitel’s illuminating study of San Francisco’s land use and development politics documents how labor, environmental, and housing activists joined forces in an urban movement to block the worst of neoliberalization in this famously progressive city. His constructive critique of how resource constraints, competing agendas, and state cooptive power changed fusion to fission should be particularly valuable to scholars and activists alike."
Karl Beitel is a writer and scholar currently living in San Francisco. His work has addressed urban theory, the global economy, and U.S. foreign policy.