Urban commons and urban struggles

in Focaal
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  • 1 Maison des Science de l'Homme Paris Nord bertho@orange.fr

Ida Susser and Stéphane Tonnelat are right to view the question of the urban commons in global cities as a crucial issue. It has precipitated massive urban and often violent struggles. We know that the ideological basis of these fights is very similar from one continent to another. Within the global space there is a global repertory of urban mobilizations and urban riots. Global cities can also be analyzed through the clashes that occur there. Where is this car burning? Beijing, Dakar, Buenos Aires, Tunis, or Mumbai? Where is the "southern world" and where is the "northern one"? When the riot erupts, who can distinguish the political regimes of the country? Against which government is this Molotov cocktail thrown? Against a democratic power or against a dictatorship? All that remains are the national peculiarities of the urban context. Why? First, because residents of global cities are faced with national states, national laws, national polices, in historical contexts. Second, because urban residents are in charge of the question of the people as a nation, as a collective subject in the heart of the cities.

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Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology