Informal Traders and the Battlegrounds of Revanchism in Cusco, Peru


Informal trading in the global South, particularly in Latin America, is the subject of revanchist urban policy and yet few studies have examined the longer‐term impacts of such intolerant policies on traders. This article explores the evolution and impacts of revanchist policies directed at informal traders in the Andean city of Cusco. It makes two key contributions. First, it documents a shift from early revanchist policies to a post‐revanchist era where policies have become more tolerant of informal traders. However, contemporary policies fall short of a supportive environment for informal trading, hence the authors recommend changes that will ensure informal traders can access the city’s streets and become an accepted part of the urban fabric. Second, given the lack of theoretical attention given to the impacts of revanchism, a battlegrounds framework is developed, consisting of spatial, political, economic and socio‐cultural battlegrounds. This framework provides a comprehensive insight into the complex set of interactions that exist between informal traders and the state. It is hoped that the framework will provide a tool for further research into the highly damaging impacts of revanchism across the globe.