This commentary concerns juxtapositions of varied spaces of citizen-authority negotiation within formal and informal politics. I build on the concept of juxtacity, as a productive articulation of contradictory realities and spaces of citizenship and authority, to reveal the co-constitutive and the non-binary spaces of action in insurgent movements. Focusing on a particular articulation of citizenship and authority that I conceptualize relationally as invited and invented spaces of citizens’ action, I highlight how contrasting spaces of politics can work co-constitutively. I ground my reflections in practices of subordinate groups as key actors in southern urbanism, namely South Africa’s township struggles for dignified sanitation (Social Justice Coalition, SJC, and Ses’khona movement), and Brazil’s homeless workers struggles for housing and land (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Teto, MTST). In their citizen-authority negotiation, these movements are agile, moving across invited and invented spaces as necessary to advance their struggle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-441
Number of pages9
JournalUrban Forum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Brazil
  • Insurgent movements
  • Sanitation and housing justice
  • South Africa
  • Southern turn to planning theory
  • Southern urbanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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