HomeThe Right to the City : nouveaux défis, nouveaux problèmes

HomeThe Right to the City : nouveaux défis, nouveaux problèmes

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Published on Wednesday, April 23, 2008


La conférence a pour objectif de comparer les effets du changement d'échelle et de la démocratie participative au niveau local sur le contenu des politiques urbaines et sur les transformations des régimes de citoyenneté.


The Right To The City: New Challenges, New Issues

ESF-LiU Conference

  • Chair: Professor Bernard Jouve, Universite de Lyon, FR
  • Co-chair: Dr. Mark Purcell, University of Washington, US

11-15 octobre 2008
Klosterhotel, Vadstena, Sweden

Grants: some grants are available for young researchers to cover the conference fee and travel costs.


The claims and expectations of civil societies regarding direct participation in the construction of collective choices are one component of the broader debate on the current transformation of the exercise of citizenship in contemporary political systems of government. Whilst formal citizenship is and will long be centred on the state, the work of T. H. Marshall established that it is not a static political category (Marshall 1964). Quite the opposite: as a universal principle applying to all the individuals that compose a political community, regardless of differences in class, gender, ethnic group or language, citizenship has undergone major, intrinsic changes over time.

Until now, citizenship was extended essentially by the state, which played a major part in the regulation of contemporary societies in countries of the ‘North’ and ‘South’ alike. It is this ‘state-centred’ model that has been challenged over the last twenty years, due to a combination of various socio-political dynamics that differ in intensity from one institution and from one political culture to another (Jouve and Booth 2005).

It is the state’s ‘benevolent neutrality’ that is currently being called into question, as well as its functional incapacity to regulate society on its own. This is the broad context in which this call for papers takes on its full meaning. We assume an ongoing transformation in the relationship between public authorities and civil societies. In this context, cities are places of struggles, of experimentation, of learning and of resistance with respect to the initiation of new citizenship regimes.

It now seems to be generally accepted that citizenship regimes are not centred on state institutions alone. It can be argued, in accordance with T. H. Marshall, that the gradual extension of citizenship regimes is followed by an extension of the territories where they are exercised. The key notion underlying this call for papers is that the emergence of metropolitan civil societies making claims for access to the political agenda and using the “right to the city” as a discursive strategy for political mobilization allows us to analyze the struggles among social groups and classes. The main issue at stake is the official recognition (by urban institutions) of their “rights” and the definition of the geographical scale at which they have to be implemented (McCann 2003). This call for papers would like to complete this approach by establishing a close relationship between this political rescaling and the “right to the city” discourse generating by competing social groups.

The four-day conference will address four issues and thematic areas that are currently at the core of the transformations mentioned above: the legal instruments of urban democracy, access to “primary goods and services”, cultural diversity and its consideration by public urban authorities, and, finally, empowerment. Each issue will be addressed during special one-day sessions.

Invited speakers will include:

  • Ernesto d’Albergo
    University of Rome, IT
    The right to the city and the role of national policies
  • Eugene McCann
    Simon Fraser University, CA
    Down here: situatedness, empowerement, and drug policy in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Rob Atkinson
    University of the West of England, UK
    The renaissance of urban areas: democracy, community and everyday-life
  • Don Mitchell, Syracuse University, US and
    Lynn Staeheli, Edinburg University, UK
    Rights to the city on the hill
  • Nuria Benach
    University of Barcelona, ES
    The impact of global flows on the meanings of urban places and the right to the (imagined) city
  • Ulrich Mückenberger
    Hamburg University, DE
    The right to an adequate urban time organisation – a necessary component of urban citizenship in a post-fordist society
  • Mustafa Benletaeif
    University of Tunis, TN
    The right to the city in the urban policies in Tunisia
  • Ludek Sykora
    Charles University, CZ
    Competition, cohesion and access to urban services
  • Nick Blomley
    Simon Fraser University, CA
    Public Space, civil engineering and the deactivation of the right to the city
  • Erik Swyngedouw
    University of Manchester, UK
    The Antinomies of the Post-Political City: Questioning the Political Right to the City
  • Kevin Cox
    Ohio State University, US
    Class, stratum and struggle for the city
  • Catherine Trudelle
    Université du Québec à Montréal, CA
    Collective action in cities: protest events and conflicts as agents of human development?
  • Adrian Kearns
    University of Glasgow, UK
    Defining and Implementing Community Ownership Empowerment: Policy Failure or Policy Evolution?


  • Klosterhotel
    Vadstena, Kingdom of Sweden


  • Tuesday, October 14, 2008
  • Saturday, October 11, 2008
  • Sunday, October 12, 2008
  • Monday, October 13, 2008
  • Wednesday, October 15, 2008


  • citizenship, urban development, humanities, social sciences


  • Anne Blondeel-Oman
    courriel : ablondeel [at] esf [dot] org

Information source

  • Ivanka Angelova
    courriel : iangelova [at] esf [dot] org


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The Right to the City : nouveaux défis, nouveaux problèmes », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, April 23, 2008, https://calenda.org/194870

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