[URBANTH-L]CFP: Negotiating Urban Conflicts

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Fri Feb 25 00:23:17 EST 2005

CFP: Negotiating Urban Conflicts

Cities have always been arenas of social and symbolic conflict. As places of
encounter between different classes, ethnic groups, and lifestyles, one of
the major roles they are predestined to play is that of a powerful
integrator; yet on the other hand urban contexts are, as it were, the ideal
setting for marginalization and violence. The struggle for control of urban
spaces is an ambivalent mode of sociation, one that cuts systematically
across the whole of everyday life: in and by producing themselves, groups
produce exclusive spaces and then, in turn, use the boundaries they have
created to define themselves. The spatial politics subscribed to by social
actors at the same time shape the contour of the city's inner order and the
symbolic universes of the groups living in it.

The struggle for territorial control and spatial arrangements and orders
focuses some of the motives - fundamental in nature though not adequately
borne in mind by social policy and social theory - apparent in all types of
urban conflict.

Building on this premise, the conference will center on various mutually
disruptive and reinforcing spatial politics with a view to pinpointing some
old and new conflict potentials, but without losing sight of the need to
identify altered negotiating processes. To put the conference in a nutshell:
"acting," "acting on," "negotiating" are its thematic focuses, the aim being
to conceptualize spatial politics from the perspective of

-institutional regimes
-constructions of difference with the processes of compromise which they

This thematic focus will be discussed utilizing the theoretical background
of Postcolonialism to widen the Eurocentric perception of urban conflicts.

Heike Kollross
TU Darmstadt
Institut für Soziologie
D - 64283 Darmstadt
Tel. : + 49.(0)6151.16-46 15
Fax.: + 49.(0)6151.16-65 14
Email: nuc at ifs.tu-darmstadt.de
Visit the website at http://www.urban-conflicts.net

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