Contentious Politics in Neoliberal Cities

Tuesday, 24 March 2020, 6:00pm - 7:30pm, IWM library
Cities have become strategic sites for the expansion of the political. They have witnessed the emergence and erosion of new citizenships, popular sovereignties, and democratic interventions. Actors affected by austerity policies struggle against social injustice and for the right to the city. Among them are sections of the middle class whose living and working conditions have become increasingly precarious, as well as migrants, undocumented workers, unemployed and homeless persons. The contentious potential of contemporary urban struggles lies in the fusing of diverse protest formations and the communing processes. What similarities and entanglements can be identified between apparently heterogeneous formations of contentious politics in the neoliberal city? And what are the consequences for our understanding of the political?

Ayse Caglar, Professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Vienna University and a Permanent Fellow at IWM. Before joining University of Vienna she was a professor of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Central European University, Budapest and was a Minerva Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Goettingen. She has widely published on processes of migration, urban restructuring, transnationalization processes and the state, and of dispossession and displacement. Her most recent comparative empirical research addressed the location of migrants in city-making processes especially in disempowered cities. Selected Publications: Migrants and City Making: Dispossession, Displacement, and Urban Regeneration. (co‐authored with Nina Glick Schiller), Durham, 2018. Locating Migration: Rescaling Cities and Migrants, co‐edited by Nina Glick Schiller, Ithaca, 2011. “Chronotopes of Migration Scholarship: Challenges of contemporaneity and historical conjuncture“ In Migration & Temporality, edited by Winnie Lem & Pauline Gardiner Barber, 2018.

James Holston, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a political anthropologist with a focus on Brazil, which he has researched intensively for a long time. His work focuses on the city as a strategic site for the emergence and erosion of citizenships, people’s sovereignties and democratic inventions. He is committed to an anthropology of criticism and experiment. His works include The modernist city: An anthropological critique of Brasilia, Chicago 1989; (Ed.) Cities and citizenship, Durham 1999; Insurgent Citizenship: Disjunctures of Democracy and Modernity in Brazil, Princeton 2008.

Margit Mayer, Professor of Political Science, worked from 1989–2014 at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the Freien Universität Berlin, since then at the Center for Metropolitan Studies at the Technischen Universität Berlin. She conducts research on comparative politics, urban and social politics as well as social movements. A current project is examining the role of the municipality in relation to welcome initiatives and refugee protests. Selected publications: Cities for people not for profit: Critical urban theory and the right to the city, Abingdon 2012 (ed. with Neil Brenner and Peter Marcuse); Neoliberal urbanism and its contestations: Crossing theoretical boundaries, Basingstoke 2012 (ed. with Jenny Künkel); Urban uprisings: Challenging the neoliberal city in Europe, London 2016 (ed. with Catharina Thörn and Håkan Thörn).