I'm excited to pick up a copy of Robert Neuwirth's Shadow Cities. Neuwirth spent time living in "slums" in Rio, Bombay, and Nairobi, and documents the outside-the-system systems of self governance and organization that get developed there. Apparently, it's pretty interesting.
From the publishers' description:
And understanding how a full tenth of the world's population lives is, y'know, important.
In almost every country of the developing world, the most active builders are squatters, creating complex local economies with high rises, shopping strips, banks, and self-government. As they invent new social structures, Neuwirth argues, squatters are at the forefront of the worldwide movement to develop new visions of what constitutes property and community.