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Policy Tensions: Relational urban politics & austerity urbanism in European cities

Authors: Cristina Temenos*, University of Manchester
Topics: Urban Geography, Political Geography
Keywords: austerity, urban politics, policy mobilities
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Its not news to urban scholars that municipal and national state policies are often at odds, and more often than not, its cities that need to manage the fallout of national policy decisions. Economic austerity policies implemented post 2007 across Europe have been particularly severe and difficult for municipal governments to manage. This paper explores the circulation and implementation of economic austerity policies and the urban political and policy responses to it across three European cities. Drawing on recent work in Athens, Budapest, and Manchester, I analyze how urban public health programs in European cities have been affected by austerity policies and the ways in which communities have shown resistance to changes in care. Bringing together work on austerity urbanism, and policy mobilities, this paper seeks to understand how landscapes of urban public health are important sites for ‘everyday proper politics’ to unfold. Conceptualizing the city through spaces of urban public health brings into focus alternative forms of resistance and understandings of the political within urban politics. The emphasis on relational urbanism within policy mobilities seeks to balance both the global and local, as well as structural and social processes that effect and are effected by the negotiation of tensions within global and local urban policies, bringing a study of local politics into conversation with broader political economic analysis to draw out the nuances, mediations, and resistance to, neoliberal logics.

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