Writing

Below is a list of publications by date, with links where available. For academic papers that are only accessible via a university library, I have also included a pdf of an earlier version. See, also, the Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network blog, which I edit, and for which I write many of the entries.

2017

‘de-FENCE-ible space’ in All Materials of Value: Responses to walking in Salford, edited by John Van Aitken and Jane Brake, Manchester: Institute of Urban Dreaming. (An essay in pictures.) Draft pdf: de-FENCE-ible space

‘A Tangled Web: Sarah Glynn unpicks the fine lines between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism’ Bella Caledonia, 5 September

‘Talking about Rojava – reflections on the recent international conference on Challenging Capitalist Modernity organised by the Kurdish community in Hamburg’, Bella Caledonia, 4 August

‘On the front line of the battle for benefits’ Bella Caledonia, 12 May

‘We must put grassroots activism at the centre of the Indy campaign’ Common Space, 4 April

‘Spring is always the bleakest time for those forced to rely on benefits’, The National, 1 April

2016

Righting Welfare Wrongs: Dispatches and Analyses from the Front Line of the Fight against Austerity (Editor) Glasgow: Common Print (I edited this for the Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network, and wrote several of the chapters.) Buy from Common Print here. download free e-book here.

cover drawing draft (small)

Warning – this book will make you angry!

This volume has been forged through grassroots activism by and with people at the sharp end of ‘welfare reform’. It illuminates everyday battles to maintain human dignity and even existence in the face of the new punitive welfare state. It is about solidarity and mutual support, but it is also about understanding and taking on the bigger politics behind this brave new world of coercion and control. It has been written for everyone who wants to comprehend what is happening and what we can do about it – and maybe even have a laugh along the way.

‘I am convinced that the network must have saved many vulnerable people from going over the edge, as has tragically happened in many parts of the country. I am not surprised now that this same group has written this marvellous book.’ – Paul Laverty, Screenwriter for ‘I, Daniel Blake’

‘Discovering Syria’s “real revolution”: In conversation with PYD co-chair Salih Muslim’, Common Space19 December

‘More than ever we need to show our support for Kurds and others under threat around the world’, Common Space, 15 November

‘The anger over ‘I, Daniel Blake’ needs to turn into action – here’s how it can’Common Space, 31 October

‘Why we must resist the “work cure”‘, Common Space, 12 October

‘This is what democracy looks like: Sarah Glynn – member of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan was part of a Scottish delegation to the Democratic Union Party Congress in Brussels, discussing the democratic federalist system they are establishing in the autonomous predominantly Kurdish part of Northern Syria, Bella Caledonia, 30 September

‘What Scotland can learn about democracy from Syrian Kurdistan’, Common Space, 28 September

2015

Byker: Newcastle upon Tyne (with photographs by Keith Collie), Canterbury: Categorical Books. Pdf of text only: Good Homes – text only

bykerNew Byker, the Newcastle council estate conceived by Ralph Erskine in the late 1960s, demonstrates the potential for humane and imaginative affordable rented social housing – and the pitfalls of insensitive management and hostile economic and political forces. Its fame as an example of public participation and preservation of the existing community hides a rather more complex reality; but it also obscures the innovation and success of its layout and landscaping, with external spaces planned for social interaction. Erskine’s Byker is visibly unique and still attracts architectural tourists from across the world, but it is designed for living in. Many of those tourists must be shocked at the obvious signs of neglect of this iconic estate, and these reflect the long-term socio-economic neglect of its inhabitants. Architectural listing has opened possibilities of physical regeneration, but with social housing itself under attack, the future of the community remains uncertain. Sarah Glynn’s text looks in detail at the processes through which Erskine’s Byker emerged and developed, and the lessons to be garnered, architecturally, socially and politically. Keith Collie’s photographs capture the visual excitement and pleasure of one of the country’s finest surviving large-scale council estates.

‘The response to “Islamic extremism” that governments don’t want to hear’. Blog for Manchester university Press,

2014

Class, Ethnicity and Religion: A political history of the Bengali East End, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Buy from MUP here.

Class Ethnicity and ReligionThis exploration of one of the most concentrated immigrant communities in Britain combines a fascinating narrative history, an original theoretical analysis of the evolving relationship between progressive left politics and ethnic minorities, and an incisive critique of political multiculturalism. It recounts and analyses the experiences of many of those who took part in over six decades of political history that range over secular nationalism, trade unionism, black radicalism, mainstream local politics, Islamism and the rise and fall of the Respect Coalition. Through this Bengali case study and examples from wider immigrant politics, it traces the development and adoption of the concepts of popular frontism, revolutionary stages theory and identity politics. It demonstrates how these theories and tactics have cut across class-based organisation and acted as an impediment to addressing socio-economic inequality; and it argues for a left materialist alternative.

Housing for a Better Nation, policy paper for Common Weal

‘Good Housing for a Good Life’, Scottish Left Review 82 May/June

2013

‘The Case for Public Housing’ The Occupied Times

‘Dundee Responds: a reply to Nathan Abrams’ article in Northern Scotland on the history of Dundee’s Jewish community, and to his earlier book chapter, on which that article was based’ Northern Scotland 4 pp 78-86. Pdf to download: Dundee Responds – pre-publication draft

2012

‘You can’t demolish your way out of a housing crisis: A Scottish case study of what happens when neoliberalism becomes built into legislation’City:analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action 16:6 pp 656-671. Pdf of earlier version: Mass Demolitions and Growing Housing Waiting Lists

‘Blowing up the Past, Destroying the Future’New Left Project 

‘Muslims and the Left: An English case study’Ethnicities 12:5 pp 581-602. Pdf of earlier version: Muslims and the Left

2011

‘Oor Destroyed Hoosis’ Scottish Left Review 64 pp 20-21 . Pdf version: Multi Story

‘”Regeneration” in Interesting Times: a story of privatisation and gentrification in a peripheral Scottish city’ in Mixed Communities: Gentrification by stealth?, edited by Gary Bridge, Tim Butler, and Loretta Lees, Bristol: Policy Press. Pdf of earlier version: Regeneration in Interesting Times

2010

‘Playing the Ethnic Card – politics and segregation in London’s East End’, Urban Studies. Pdf of earlier version: Playing the Ethnic Card

‘Marxism and Multiculturalism’Human Geography. Pdf of earlier version: Marxism and Multiculturalism

2009

Where the other half lives: lower-income housing in a neoliberal world (Editor) London: Pluto Press (As well as editing this, I wrote 6 out of 13 chapters.)

Where the Other Half Lives‘To feel secure people need good well maintained housing, where they know they can live without fear of having to leave. Our society has consistently failed to provide this. We are told the market will be the answer, but it isn’t. This book will explain why, and point the way to a socially responsible economy’ – Ken Loach

‘This book is a brilliant, compulsive and passionately written case for the continued importance of council housing’ – Mute Magazine

‘At last, a cross-national treatment – theoretical as well as empirical – of how neoliberalism has impacted housing policies and programs, and their effects on us all’ – Chester Hartman, Director of Research at the Poverty & Race Research Action Council in Washington, DC and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at George Washington University.

‘Provides a concise introduction to and a trenchant and impassioned critique of four decades of neoliberal housing policy; it challenges many of the invidious shibboleths of present-day development programmes, and begins the debate about alternatives based on the principles of equity and social justice’ – Professor Joe Doherty, Centre for Housing Research, University of St Andrews

‘Forcing councils to privatise and failing both to build social housing on a big scale or regenerate the estates has been the worst failure of our Labour government. Sarah Glynn and her contributors demonstrate the neoliberal legacy behind this and show the damage it inflicted on society’ – Austin Mitchell MP, Chair of the House of Commons Council Housing Group

This book demonstrates how neo-liberal policy makers have presented cities with a ‘false choice’ between degeneration …. It criticises the short-sightedness of policies of state-sponsored gentrification and the structural inequalities … This is a very readable and robust account of recent urban policy and its critical edge will no doubt challenge and enlighten its readers. – Professor Loretta Lees, Department of Geography in the School of Science and Public Policy, King’s College London.

‘Liberalising Islam: creating Brits of the Islamic Persuasion’ in Muslim Spaces of Hope: Geographies of Possibility in Britain and the West, Edited by Richard Phillips, London: Zed. Pdf of earlier version: Liberalising Islam

‘The Housing Question’ Concept (Journal of Contemporary Community Education, Practice and Theory) pp 19-23. Pdf of earlier version: The Housing Question

2008 

‘Soft Selling Gentrification?’ Urban Research and Practice 1:2 pp 164-180 . Pdf of earlier version: Soft Selling Gentrification

‘East End Bengalis and the Labour Party – the end of a long relationship?’ in New Geographies of Race and Racism, Edited by Claire Dwyer and Caroline Bressey, Aldershot: Ashgate pp 67-82. Pdf of earlier version: East End Bengalis and the Labour Party

2007

‘Safe as Houses’, Scottish Left Review 42 pp 12-13.   Related pdf: An Alternative Housing Strategy for Scotland

‘But We Already Have Community Ownership – making council housing work’ in Reclaiming the Economy: Alternatives to Market Fundamentalism edited by Andy Cumbers and Geoff Whittam, Glasgow: Scottish Left Review Press pp 141-156. Pdf of earlier version: But we already have community ownership

2006

‘The Spirit of ’71 – how the Bangladeshi War of Independence has haunted Tower Hamlets’ Socialist History Journal 29 pp 56-75. Pdf of earlier version: The Spirit of 71

2005

‘East End Immigrants and the Battle for Housing: a comparative study of political mobilisation in the Jewish and Bengali communities’ Journal of Historical Geography 31 pp 528-545 . Pdf of earlier version: East End Immigrants and the Battle for Housing

2002

‘Bengali Muslims: the new East End radicals?’ Ethnic and Racial Studies 25:6  pp 969-988 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0141987022000009395. Pdf of earlier version

2001

‘The Haveli – a social history’ in Architecture of Rajasthan, Marg, Bombay, pp 102-111. Reissued by Marg August 2004. Pdf of earlier version: The Haveli – a social history

1999

The Way We Worked: an oral history by members of St Hilda’s East Community Centre and Stepney Jewish Community Centre, St Hilda’s, London. (I organised the project, conducted the English interviews and edited the material for publication as a booklet.)

1995

(Publications before 1996 are under my former married name of Tillotson.)

‘Havelis Today: Skeletons of an Extinct Culture’ in The India Magazine, March pp 18-27

1994

Indian Mansions: A Social History of the Haveli, Oleander Press, Cambridge, republished by Orient Longman, Hyderabad  India, 1998

Indian_Mansions‘a well-informed and readable social history’ Times Literary Supplement

‘There are people living today who will recognise in Sarah Tillotson’s narrative aspects of their own lifestyle, but most of us will read with astonishment and enlightenment of a way of life that has gone with the wind… Essential reading for the younger generation and for architects with a conscience.’ Narayani Gupta in India Today

1988

‘“Cultural Tourism” or Cultural Destruction’ in Economic and Political Weekly, Bombay, September 17th pp 1940-1941

1987

‘An Indian “Stately Home” – The Preservation of Jodhpur Fort’ in South Asian Studies 3 pp 71-79

1986

‘The tourist: defender or destroyer; Preserving monuments’ in The India Magazine, March
pp 36-43