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Rethinking Geographies of Race and Austerity

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Black Geographies Specialty Group, Urban Geography Specialty Group
Organizers: Caroline Ponder, Akira Rodriguez, Sawyer Phinney
Chairs: Cristina Temenos


Austerity urbanism has become a key consideration for studying on-going state restructuring, uneven development, and unequal socio-spatial relations (Davidson and Ward, 2014, Peck, 2012, 2014; Tabb, 2014). The pattern of “rolling back” the state to facilitate the privatization of urban life is a key feature of neoliberalism, and austere policy debates have emerged around the provision of housing, education, welfare, and other forms of social reproduction. However, academic debates have yet to fully interrogate the role of race in analyses of austerity urbanism. Rather than revealing how periods of neoliberalization modify the way in which race and racial inequalities are experienced in society, or the ways in which race and racism are inextricably embedded in processes of neoliberalism, current conceptualizations of austerity urbanism often appear to have a difficult time confronting obviously racialized material outcomes of austerity policies. In both conceptual and concrete terms, the amount of research examining how and why racialized groups experience the costs of austerity the way they do, is limited. However, a growing number of scholars (Pulido, 2016; Bonds, 2019; Danewid, 2019; Ponder and Omstedt, 2019; Phinney, 2019) are beginning to conceptualize austerity urbanism as part of a larger process of racial capitalism.

This session seeks to explore topics of racialized austerity that understand processes of austerity and race to be working in unison. Our call is animated by a need for more research that examines the variegated interactions of racialized austerity, that questions the ways in which austerity policies do not govern in a homogenous manner but operate on historically and geographically distinctive terrains of racial domination and empire.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Sawyer Phinney*, University of Manchester, Racialized Austerity and the Making of a Water Crisis in U.S Cities 12 12:00 AM
Presenter Amanda Kass*, University of Illinois At Chicago, Andy Crosby, Pace University, A Vicious Cycle: Fiscal Intervention, Pension Underfunding, and Instability in (Re)Making Racialized Geographies 12 12:00 AM
Presenter Bethan Harries*, , Anti-racist organizing under austerity 12 12:00 AM
Presenter Rachael Baker*, York University, Décroissance /Degrowth: Dispossession and displacement by another name? 12 12:00 AM
Discussant Akira Rodriguez PennDesign 15 12:00 AM

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