Neoliberal ideologies applied in city politics can be portrayed as key aspects for the progressive and often conflictive transformations of urban space today. Such transformations do not exclusively apply to the political sphere – neoliberalism has also affected the habits of how people imagine, perceive and appropriate urban spaces in their daily life. Cities play a strategic role in the variegated geographies of neoliberalism, but relatively little research critically assessed the challenges citizenship faces in neoliberal societies. The interdisciplinary exchange programme CONTESTED_CITIES will tackle this gap – it investigates the discourses and practices of contest and re-appropriation of urban space, thus providing a novel understanding of how opposition against neoliberal urban development is being re-framed in the course of the current financial and economic crisis. It will bring together scientists from European and Latin American universities to discuss some of the striking consequences of urban neoliberalism and the resistance originated in different geographical backgrounds. By applying innovative qualitative methodologies such as reflexive photography and other visual accounts, the project aims at providing theoretical advances within citizenship studies and urban geography as well as at producing new empirical insights to the consequences of recent urban policies. Within an interdisciplinary network to analyse and compare urban policies, gentrification and contestation in Europe and Latin America, the exchange programme creates additionally the conditions to introduce policy transfer by learning from Latin American cities - which have experienced for decades urban conflict and highly innovative urban solutions - as laboratories of social change, and to create a theoretical background that overcomes existing lacunas between urban debates in the English, and the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking literature.
Call for proposal
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