46 books like Public Goods Versus Economic Interests

By Freia Anders (editor), Alexander Sedlmaier (editor),

Here are 46 books that Public Goods Versus Economic Interests fans have personally recommended if you like Public Goods Versus Economic Interests. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution

Paul Chatterton Author Of How to Save the City: A Guide for Emergency Action

From my list on helping us save the city.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated by city life since I studied Geography at high school. After twenty five years of teaching and researching urban geography, I am Professor of Urban Futures at a UK university. I now have a better sense of the challenges we face and what we can do about them. I spend my time supporting activists, campaigners, students, policymakers, and politicians about the urgency for change and what kind of ideas and examples they can use to tackle what I call the triple emergencies of climate breakdown, social inequality, and nature loss.

Paul's book list on helping us save the city

Paul Chatterton Why did Paul love this book?

David Harvey has been writing about how capitalism shapes city life since the global revolutions back in 1968.

What I learned from his book Rebel Cities is that we need a laser-like focus on how capitalism makes and remakes urban life, normally for the worse. Unless we realise this we don’t know what we are up against and what effective solutions look like.

What I really like about this book is that it encourages us to see that cities and their citizens are rebelling all over the world – and this means building alternatives to corporate capitalism power that is ultimately pushing our climate and natural world beyond safe limits.

By David Harvey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Rebel Cities as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Long before Occupy, cities were the subject of much utopian thinking. They are the centers of capital accumulation as well as of revolutionary politics, where deeper currents of social and political change rise to the surface. Do the financiers and developers control access to urban resources or do the people? Who dictates the quality and organization of daily life? Rebel Cities places the city at the heart of both capital and class struggles, looking at locations ranging from Johannesburg to Mumbai, from New York City to S o Paulo. Drawing on the Paris Commune as well as Occupy Wall Street…


Book cover of The Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting

Bart Van Der Steen Author Of City Is Ours: Squatting and Autonomous Movements in Europe from the 1970s to the Present

From my list on squatting and urban activism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was young, I have been fascinated by – and worked with - people protesting injustice and inequality. By standing up, following through, and letting their voice be heard, people have the potential to change the world for the better. As a researcher, I have studied the history of various European protest movements – from labor activists to squatters and direct action groups. I have published on radical philosophers, Dutch Trotskyists, and even a socialist astronomer - but my main focus has always been radical squatters in the Netherlands and Germany.

Bart's book list on squatting and urban activism

Bart Van Der Steen Why did Bart love this book?

Vasudevan is one of the first to provide an account of the global history of urban squatting, from the late 19th century to the present. His central claim is that squats are never simply about acquiring housing, but also ‘offer place[s] of collective world-making’. He wants to find out how squatters ‘reimagined the city as a space of necessity and refuge, experimentation and resistance’. As squatters take buildings into use, they recreate the space, filling it with new life and energies, forming new networks and identities as they work towards making abandoned places inhabitable again. Vasudevan’s study allows for global comparisons, and he explicitly includes the actions and experiences of migrants, women, and queer activists in the history of squatting.

By Alexander Vasudevan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Autonomous City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Autonomous City is the first popular history of squatting in Europe and North America. Drawing on extensive archival research, it retraces the struggle for housing in cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Detroit, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Milan, New York, and Vancouver. It looks at the organization of alternative forms of housing-from Copenhagen's Christiana 'Free Town' to the Lower East Side of Manhattan-as well as the official response, including the recent criminalization of squatting, the brutal eviction of squatters and their widespread vilification. As a result, Alexander Vasudevan argues how, through a shared history of political action, community organization and…


Book cover of Migration, Squatting and Radical Autonomy

Bart Van Der Steen Author Of City Is Ours: Squatting and Autonomous Movements in Europe from the 1970s to the Present

From my list on squatting and urban activism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was young, I have been fascinated by – and worked with - people protesting injustice and inequality. By standing up, following through, and letting their voice be heard, people have the potential to change the world for the better. As a researcher, I have studied the history of various European protest movements – from labor activists to squatters and direct action groups. I have published on radical philosophers, Dutch Trotskyists, and even a socialist astronomer - but my main focus has always been radical squatters in the Netherlands and Germany.

Bart's book list on squatting and urban activism

Bart Van Der Steen Why did Bart love this book?

Migration and squatting are integrally linked. Migrants have always been the ones who have had the most difficulty in finding adequate and affordable housing – and this is even more so for undocumented migrants. Mudu and Chattopadhyay are the first to systematically document and analyze the recent squatter experiences of illegalized migrants in Europe and the US. While some chapters discuss political actions - such as seeking sanctuary in churches and occupying houses and squares - others focus on more covert strategies of migrants for seeking shelter. The contributors ask how migrants are being portrayed in politics and the media, how they can form coalitions with others, and under what conditions they can build power. 

By Pierpaolo Mudu (editor), Sutapa Chattopadhyay (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Migration, Squatting and Radical Autonomy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book offers a unique contribution, exploring how the intersections among migrants and radical squatter's movements have evolved over past decades. The complexity and importance of squatting practices are analyzed from a bottom-up perspective, to demonstrate how the spaces of squatting can be transformed by migrants. With contributions from scholars, scholar-activists, and activists, this book provides unique insights into how squatting has offered an alternative to dominant anti-immigrant policies, and the implications of squatting on the social acceptance of migrants. It illustrates the different mechanisms of protest followed in solidarity by migrant squatters and Social Center activists, when discrimination comes…


Book cover of Squatting in Europe: Radical Spaces, Urban Struggles

Bart Van Der Steen Author Of City Is Ours: Squatting and Autonomous Movements in Europe from the 1970s to the Present

From my list on squatting and urban activism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was young, I have been fascinated by – and worked with - people protesting injustice and inequality. By standing up, following through, and letting their voice be heard, people have the potential to change the world for the better. As a researcher, I have studied the history of various European protest movements – from labor activists to squatters and direct action groups. I have published on radical philosophers, Dutch Trotskyists, and even a socialist astronomer - but my main focus has always been radical squatters in the Netherlands and Germany.

Bart's book list on squatting and urban activism

Bart Van Der Steen Why did Bart love this book?

From 2009 to 2021, the Squatting Europe Kollective provided a platform for innovative research on squatting by both academics and activists. The group organized international meetings, created an interactive map of squatter actions in various European cities, and published a number of books. Their 2013 volume provided a state of the art of squatter research. The first chapter distinguishes between different modes (‘configurations’) of squatting; for example squatting as an alternative housing strategy, a strategy for saving monumental dwellings from demolition or squatting as a tactic for confronting neoliberalism. The subsequent chapters zoom into particular issues, such as the ways in which squatters organize the running of occupied places, respond to criminalization and form international travel networks. 

By Squatting in Europe Kollective,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Squatting in Europe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Squatting offers a radical but simple solution to the crises of housing, homelessness, and the lack of social space that mark contemporary society: occupying empty buildings and rebuilding lives and communities in the process. Squatting has a long and complex history, interwoven with the changing and contested nature of urban politics over the last forty years.

Squatting can be an individual strategy for shelter or a collective experiment in communal living. Squatted and self-managed social centres have contributed to the renewal of urban struggles across Europe and intersect with larger political projects. However, not all squatters share the same goals,…


Book cover of We Are 'Nature' Defending Itself: Entangling Art, Activism and Autonomous Zones

Shaun Chamberlin Author Of Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy

From my list on navigating the unfolding collapse of civilisation.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2005 I realised that society was gradually, inexorably, headed off a cliff. So I quit a job I loved – a great decision! – and followed John Michael Greer's advice to “collapse now and avoid the rush”. Through that I’ve written a film, books, and peer-reviewed articles, co-founded organisations and movements, been arrested for direct action, advised governments, and come to live at a money-free pub! And now lead the ‘Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time’ online program, through Vermont’s Sterling College. I haven’t learned to change the course of history, but have discovered the ‘dark optimism’ of meaningful – even joyous – paths through such times, with eyes wide open.

Shaun's book list on navigating the unfolding collapse of civilisation

Shaun Chamberlin Why did Shaun love this book?

I first heard Isabelle and Jay speak in 2021, and found myself literally gripping the arms of my chair with fascination. 

They told the 40-year-long story of their home at ‘the ZAD’, 4,000 acres of wild wetlands and forest that the French state intended for an international airport. Community-building and collective resistance in the face of intense and repeated police assault – the footage of which is astonishing to witness – eventually saw off the planned devastation, and has inspired numerous other ZADs around France and the world.

We Are ‘Nature’ Defending Itself weaves together captivating theory and hard-fought practice in telling the kind of true story our world desperately needs more of.  Pure distilled inspiration for those pondering their path, as centralised power structures weaken.

By Isabelle Fremeaux, Jay Jordan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Are 'Nature' Defending Itself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 2008, as the storms of the financial crash blew, Isabelle Fremeaux and Jay Jordan deserted the metropolis and their academic jobs, traveling across Europe in search of post-capitalist utopias. They wanted their art activism to no longer be uprooted.

They arrived at a place French politicians had declared lost to the republic, otherwise know as the zad (the zone to defend): a messy but extraordinary canvas of commoning, illegally occupying 4,000 acres of wetlands where an international airport was planned. In 2018, the 40-year-long struggle snatched an incredible victory, defeating the airport expansion project through a powerful cocktail that…


Book cover of From My Window

Laura Resau Author Of Stand as Tall as the Trees: How an Amazonian Community Protected the Rain Forest

From my list on children’s pictures set in South America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I feel passionate about spreading the word about all the fantastic children’s literature set in South America. As an author and a multilingual mom whose son enjoys learning about his Latin American heritage, I’ve always brought home stacks of picture books—in Spanish and English—that celebrate Latin American cultures and settings. I’ve loved traveling to the Andes mountains and the Amazon rain forest as part of my children’s book collaborations with Indigenous women in those regions. Most of all, I love transporting young readers to these inspiring places through story.

Laura's book list on children’s pictures set in South America

Laura Resau Why did Laura love this book?

The vibrant, colorful cut-out style mosaic artwork first caught my eye—it creates a jubilant sensory experience.

In poignant observations, the author recounts what he saw as a boy from his window, in his favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Although favelas might have problems with lack of services and violence, this story is a celebration of the creative spirit of the favela, where Brazilian funk was born, and where future soccer super-stars hone their skills.

This is a poignant glimpse into the poetry of people’s lives in the favela, and it captivated me completely.

By Otavio Junior, Vanina Starkoff (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From My Window as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

What do you see from your window? This #OwnVoices picture book from Brazil offers a first-hand view of what children growing up in the favelas of Rio de Janiero see everyday. A vibrant and diverse celebration of urban community living, brought to life by unique, colorful illustrations that juxtapose brick buildings with lush jungle plants.


Book cover of Take Back the Land: Land, Gentrification & the Umoja Village Shantytown

Jordan Flaherty Author Of No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality

From my list on challenging capitalism, racism, and patriarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I produced dozens of hours of film and television, including for Al Jazeera’s Emmy, Peabody, and DuPont-award-winning program Faultlines; as well as short and long-form documentaries for Democracy Now and teleSUR, and reporting in The New York Times and Washington Post. I’ve written two books based on my journalism, No More Heroes: Grassroots Responses to the Savior Mentality and Floodlines: Community and Resistance From Katrina to the Jena Six. I produced the independent feature film Chocolate Babies, which was recently added to the Criterion Collection. My latest film is Powerlands.

Jordan's book list on challenging capitalism, racism, and patriarchy

Jordan Flaherty Why did Jordan love this book?

The best book I’ve ever read about organizing. Max Rameau is a visionary organizer who, in the midst of the housing crisis of 2008, began seizing empty houses and helping homeless people move in. In this book, he goes into deep detail on a previous campaign to reclaim land and turn it into housing, explaining both the successes and failures, as well as the strategy and ideas behind the tactics. Read this to learn the fundamentals of how to plan, organize and win.

By Max Rameau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Take Back the Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On October 23, 2006, a group of activists brought land struggle to the US. After seizing public land in Liberty City, FL, the Umoja Village Shantytown was born.


Book cover of Les Enfants des Héros

Madison Smartt Bell Author Of Master of the Crossroads

From my list on Haitian history and Haiti today.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was drawn to Haiti for two reasons; the Haitian Revolution is the only one of the three 18th century upheavals to fulfill the declared ideology of the French and American Revolutions by extending basic human rights to all people, not just white people. Secondly, or maybe I should put it first, the practice of Vodou makes Haiti one of the few places where one can meet divinity in the flesh, an experience I coveted, although (as it is written) it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.

Madison's book list on Haitian history and Haiti today

Madison Smartt Bell Why did Madison love this book?

Lyonel Trouillot is one of the most powerful novelists of our time, extremely well known in the Francophone world, though less so in the US, in part because of the difficulty of translating his intensely lyrical prose. He has a rare ability to make artistically sound texts based on very immediate reportage on the various Haitian crises. This particular novel is especially valuable in the way it relates the desperation of Haitian life today to the country’s heroic past.

By Lyonel Trouillot,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Les Enfants des Héros as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Deux enfants courent, fuyant la misère du bidonville, le destin, le corps d'un père alcoolique et violent qu'ils viennent de tuer. Tableau d'une population désorientée et meurtrie, privée d'échappatoire, ce récit est un bouleversant cri d'alarme au coeur de l'indifférence.


Book cover of Ours: The Case for Universal Property

James K. Boyce Author Of Economics for People and the Planet: Inequality in the Era of Climate Change

From my list on the political economy of the environment.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I started teaching a course on the Political Economy of the Environment at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, little had been written that made the connection between environmental quality and economic inequality. Happily, this has changed over the years. The books recommended here mark the rise of a new environmentalism founded upon recognition that our impact on nature is interwoven closely with the nature of our relationships with each other.

James' book list on the political economy of the environment

James K. Boyce Why did James love this book?

Universal property – property that is inalienable, individual, and belongs in equal measure to all – is a game-changing idea whose time is coming.

Introduced alongside conventional (private and state) property, it can serve the twin goals of reducing inequality and protecting the environment.

For example, by treating the biosphere’s limited capacity to recycle carbon emissions as universal property, and charging for use of this resource, we can both protect climate stability and provide universal basic income via climate-protection dividends.

Peter Barnes has been a leading voice for universal property, following in the footsteps of Tom Paine and Henry George. Do yourself a favor: read this thought-provoking book, and share it with your family and friends.

By Peter Barnes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ours as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Great Demarcation: The French Revolution and the Invention of Modern Property

Wim Klooster Author Of Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History

From my list on the Age of Revolutions.

Why am I passionate about this?

To an Atlantic historian like me, the era of revolutions is one of the most dramatic historical periods, which erased many of the structures on which the Atlantic world had been built for centuries. It raised many hopes, which were often defeated, but lasting advances were made nonetheless.  

Wim's book list on the Age of Revolutions

Wim Klooster Why did Wim love this book?

The French revolutionaries not only transformed property, they disentangled it from public power, creating a distinction between a private realm and a public one and between state and society. Blaufarb shows that at stake was much more and much more complex than historians have thought. He argues that without this multiple demarcation, free elections would have been impossible and universal human rights could not have been defined.    

By Rafe Blaufarb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great Demarcation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What does it mean to own something? What sorts of things can be owned, and what cannot? How does one relinquish ownership? What are the boundaries between private and public property? Over the course of a decade, the French Revolution grappled with these questions. Punctuated by false starts, contingencies, and unexpected results, this process laid the foundations of the Napoleonic Code and modern notions of property.

As Rafe Blaufarb demonstrates in this ambitious work, the French Revolution remade the system of property-holding that had existed in France before 1789. The revolutionary changes aimed at two fundamental goals: the removal of…


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