In an increasingly globalised and rapidly changing world, the simultaneous association of cities as spaces of risks and opportunities are becoming more pronounced. Navigating risk has always been an inherent part of urban life, though one which is notably subjective and differentially distributed and experienced between people and places. In contemporary cities of the global North and South, rising inequality, turbulent geopolitics and ethno-political tensions, coupled with environmental degradation and the growing force and frequency of extreme weather events are creating a climate of fear. Amidst this context, the urban has become both a site of insecurity and refuge to those ‘at risk’ and has led to the targeting of blame for risk on certain groups.
Framings of people and places as being ‘of risk’, or ‘at risk’ are often contradictory, deployed to serve political interests that enable the governance of risky subjects, over objectives of reducing the vulnerability of those most marginal. Also inherent to these processes are acts of resistance by those working to address the conditions of exclusion and inequality that underpin vulnerability, as well as counter the stigmatisation and problematic framings of bodies as ‘at’ or ‘of’ risk.
In this interdisciplinary session, we seek to bring together a collection of theoretical and empirical papers inspired by issues of inequality and social justice, which critically interrogate the framings and formations emerging from urban ecologies of risk. We are particularly interested in papers that speak to the politics of citizen-subject and space-place framings around urban risk and securitisation, as tools of governance or otherwise, or which highlight movements or dynamics of resistance that challenge or undermine these processes or narratives.
Submissions are encouraged from researchers (including early career or PhDs post-fieldwork) working in different geographical contexts, on topics that conceptually engage with places and people ‘of’ or ‘at’ risk within the urban sphere.
Examples of topics may include but are not limited to:
• Urban poor and informal settler communities
• Urban environmental risks and radical approaches to disaster management, development and vulnerability reduction
• Spaces of gendered risk and precarity, including for non-heteronormative/conformist gendered identities
• Race and or class framings as deviant, defiant or (un)desirable
• Movements of resistance, e.g. Black Lives Matter
• Migrants, refugees, asylum seekers
• Precarious living in or on the economic, social and political fringes of the urban
• Risks arising from the neoliberal expansion of cities eg. urban revanchism, gated communities and forced displacements
|Presenter||Rebecca Young*, Florida Intn'l University, “In the Interests of ‘Citizens’”: The Governance of Homelessness through Criminalization and Care in Orlando, Florida||20||4:40 PM|
|Presenter||Samuel Maull*, Stanford University, Children of Incarcerated Parents and the Paradoxes of Agency under Mass Incarceration||20||5:00 PM|
|Presenter||Kevin Keenan*, College of Charleston, Risk Framing and Place Making: The Use of Spatial Metaphors to Articulate Race, Risk, and Fear in American Cities||20||5:20 PM|
|Presenter||Laura Antona*, London School of Economics, ‘Naming’ and ‘Framing’ Labouring Bodies: Constructing the Identity of a Population||20||5:40 PM|
|Discussant||Jeanne Firth London School of Economics||20||6:00 PM|
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