What makes citizens choose a particular form of protest and how does space function as mediator between these citizens and their political acts? These questions address the international social contentions of this century. This research offers an interdisciplinary analysis of urban spaces and protests, with a focus on the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The research’s goal is to enrich the discourse about the relationships between dissent and public space.
Addressing these relationships, this research offers a window into how people use, manipulate, claim, and appropriate urban space while advocating for their own values. Thus far, we have no coherent theory explaining the relationship between space and contentious politics. We do have significant empirical and theoretical accounts of how prevailing forms of popular struggle vary and change from one political regime to another, but there is little written about the spatial physicality of these struggles.
This research seeks to further understand the phenomena of dissent. It contributes to this goal by setting the rather abstract notions of citizenship and democracy into a concrete framework of time, place and meaning. The research aims are:
1.Building an analytical, interdisciplinary framework for the spatial physicality of dissent.
2.Advancing a comparative display of forms of citizenship and cultural identities.
3.Offering significant new perspectives on how different and changing notions and practices of citizenship relate to issues in our multicultural society.
The project is based on empirical analysis in 10 cities, with the aide of translators and research assistances.
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