Theory and Society

, Volume 39, Issue 3–4, pp 433–450 | Cite as

Taking Tilly south: durable inequalities, democratic contestation, and citizenship in the Southern Metropolis

  • Patrick HellerEmail author
  • Peter Evans


Drawing on Charles Tilly’s work on inequality, democracy and cities, we explore the local level dynamics of democratization across urban settings in India, South Africa, and Brazil. In all three cases, democratic institutions are consolidated, but there is tremendous variation in the quality of the democratic relationship between cities and their citizens. We follow Tilly’s focus on citizenship as the key element in democratization and argue that explaining variance across our three cases calls for analyzing patterns of inequality through the kind of relational lens used by Tilly and recognizing that patterns of contestation are shaped by shifting political relationships between the nation and the city. We conclude that Tilly’s theoretical frame is nicely sustained by the comparative analysis of cases very different from those that stimulated his original formulations.


Social Movement Civil Society Organization African National Congress Indian City Urban Governance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.University of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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