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Topographies of the Possible

Creating Situations and Spaces of a City's Counter-narrative

Laila Huber

This article explores the creation of new structures of participation and counter imaginaries within the city between the poles of arts and politics. On the basis of two case studies, one situated in the non-institutionalised artistic field and one in the non-institutionalised political field, I will explore narratives of a 'topography of the possible' in the city of Salzburg. Aiming to outline collage pieces of a topography of the possible and of counter-narrative in and of the city – the city is looked at in terms of collage, understood as overlapping layers of the three spatial dimensions materiality (physical space), sociability (social space) and the imaginary (symbolic space). These are understood as differing but interrelated spatial dimensions, each one unfolding forms of collective appropriation of a city. The focus lies on the creation of social relations and collective imaginaries on the micro-level of cultural and political self-organised initiatives, looked at under terms of narration and storytelling. My ethnographic project asks for the creative potentiality of a city and for the creative power of social relations and collective imaginaries.

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Miriam David

This article is a critique of the expansion of higher education in global and national contexts. First I provide an analysis of the transformation of higher education as a form of 'academic capitalism' and how second-wave feminist critiques and pedagogies have become incorporated as have women, amongst other social groups, in increasingly diverse forms of post-compulsory education. Yet, the transformations in global higher education have not been in the direction of greater gender or social equity. Second, I provide evidence of the policies and practices of the U.K. government in widening participation to U.K. higher education, drawing on research, commissioned by the U.K. government, and conducted by the Teaching and Learning Research Programme. I provide detailed research evidence, from the seven projects, about the policies, practices and pedagogies within English higher education. I argue that, although neither gender nor social equality has been accomplished, there is evidence of practices that value and respect social diversity and inclusion of women's diverse perspectives and feminist pedagogies.

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William R. Caspary

disparities cannot be eliminated and must be dealt with outside of negotiations through political action” (39). Jackson writes that “under unequal social conditions … [Dewey] demonstrates the need for nondeliberative modes of participation … (e.g., marches

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Joan Njagi

common to many development programs. As Jason Hart (2008) has explained, participation in these programs is perceived to transform relationships between adults and children so as to realize children’s rights. Children’s participation, which is often

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Which community for cooperatives?

Peasant mobilizations, the Mafia, and the problem of community participation in Sicilian co-ops

Theodoros Rakopoulos

The literature on cooperatives often conceptualizes cooperativism as an organized effort to embrace community participation. Through the analysis of agrarian cooperatives in Sicily that were formally established to counter the Mafia and by ethnographically exploring the notion of community for cooperativism, this article aims to problematize this idea of cooperatives as “community economics”. It proposes an anthropological approach that critically analyzes divisions of labor and the internal factions' divergent concepts of “community”. In Sicily, workers in “anti-Mafia” co-ops recognize a sense of community and “way of life” in Mafia-influenced mobilizations outside the cooperative environment, contrary to the co-op administrators' legalistic views of community. The article illuminates how the fact that often co-op members draw on different ideas of community can lead to contradictions and tensions, especially as there are different social realities underlying those ideas.

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Harmut Häußermann

The Soziale Stadt program, was introduced by the Red-Green coalition government in 2000, and has continued until today, despite the change in governing coalition. It is a cooperative program between the federal and Länder governments and has some innovative characteristics: cross-department cooperation at all administrative levels; integrative action plans; tackling social problems of neighborhoods in a new way; novel forms of participation and cooperation. After its first three years, the program is undoubtedly a great success, visibly addressing key issues in the cities and widening the scope for action. This article presents results of an interim evaluation showing that the results of program implementation, however, still remain modest.

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Katharina Hanel and Stefan Marschall

Facing linkage problems, parties in Germany have started to respond to a changing media environment by reforming their internal structures of opinion forming and decision making, inter alia reacting to the rise of the social web and the successes of the Pirate Party whose party organization is to a large extent “digitalized”. Whether and how established parties implement and adapt Internet tools, i.e., whether these could contribute to more participation of the “party on the ground” or whether they strengthen the “party in central office” is the focus of this article. The case study on the employment of an online platform for drafting a motion for the party convention of the German Social Democrats in December 2011 reveals that the “party in central office” controlled the online procedure as well as the processing of the results to a remarkable extent—thereby constraining the participatory potential of the tool. At the same time, the case study indicates a quality of online collaboration platforms that might limit the instrumentalization of these tools by the party elites in the long run and possibly re-empower the “party on the ground.”

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Enrique Pérez Campuzano

*Full article is in Spanish

English abstract: This article offers an empirical reading of urban peripheries as complex spaces between urban, rural, and environmental planning. Peripheries have become conflictive, particularly in developing countries, as objects of interest by different actors (landholders, political parties, administrators), which complicates management and planning. The planning of peripheries should include the active participation of landholders. The author analyzes two options for their inclusion: the first is economic remuneration of landowners in order to avoid changes in land use, particularly in areas with high ecosystem value; second, the author underlines the importance of policy evaluation. The article presents the initial results of a research project on members of a cooperative (ejidatarios) and evaluates the application of the FOCOMDES program in the southern urban periphery of Mexico City.

Spanish abstract: Este artículo ofrece una lectura empírica sobre las periferias urbanas como espacios complejos entre la planificación urbana, rural, y ambiental. Particularmente en países en desarrollo, las periferias se han vuelto conflictivas en tanto objeto de interés de diversos actores (poseedores del suelo, partidos políticos, administradores), lo que complica aún más su proceso de gestión y planificación. La planificación periférica también debe incluir la participación activa de los poseedores del suelo. El autor analiza dos opciones de inclusión: la primera es la retribución económica a los propietarios para evitar el cambio del uso del suelo, particularmente en las zonas con alto valor ecosistémico; en segunda instancia, el autor subraya la importancia de la evaluación de dichas políticas. En esta parte se presentan los resultados iniciales de una investigación de campo en una comunidad de ejidatarios que evalúan la aplicación del programa Fondos Comunitarios para el Desarrollo Rural Equitativo y Sustentable (FOCOMDES) en periferia urbana del sur de la Ciudad de México.

French abstract: Cet article offre une lecture empirique des périphéries urbaines comme espaces complexes entre la planification urbaine, rurale et écologique. En particulier dans les pays en voie de développement, les périphéries sont devenues une source de conflit, constituant l'objet d'intérêt d'acteurs différents (les propriétaires fonciers, les partis politiques, les administrateurs). Cela complique encore davantage la gestion et la planification. La planification de périphéries devrait également inclure la participation active des propriétaires fonciers. L'auteur analyse deux options pour leur inclusion ; la première est la rémunération économique de propriétaires fonciers pour éviter des changements dans l'usage des terrains, notamment dans les zones avec une haute valeur d'écosystème. Dans la seconde option proposée, l'auteur souligne l'importance de l'évaluation de ces politiques. Ce e partie présente les premiers résultats d'un projet de recherche sur les membres d'une « ejido ». Ils évaluent l'application du programme FOCOMDES dans la périphérie sud de la Ville de Mexico.

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City, Community, Nation, State

Participation and Spectacle

Judith Kapferer

The events and sites of a national holiday (17 May in Bergen, Norway) are the grounds from which to draw out meanings of nationalism and tradition, and analyze ideologies of egalitarianism and individualism in a social democratic welfare state. My project has two aims: to open up and deconstruct aspects of the material and symbolic life of the city, and to engage an examination of patterns of local and national community life in relation to shifting evaluations of localism and nationalism within the a changing state formation. Bergen can be thought of as a case study of social order and control, with women, children, and reverence for home life, highlighted in the town’s celebrations. The symbolism of the day discovers community and state in a difficult relation between domestic communities and nationalist ideology in the maintenance of governmentality, a relation mediated by the city itself.

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The road to nowhere?

Poverty and policy in the south of Laos

Holly High

Anthropological understandings of development have often discussed development projects in terms of an extension of the state. Using the example of a participatory poverty reduction project in Laos, this article outlines how development schemes also have the potential to define areas of exception from state services. This project was understood by project officers as an example of a successful “participatory” project. Lao recipients, however, interpreted it in terms of the non-provision of state services, and thus as further evidence of governmental corruption and deceit. These residents—far from resisting the notion of development, or the extension of the state—emphasized largesse and provisioning as the hallmarks of a successful project and a legitimate state. Their forms of “everyday resistance” to the project focused on narratives demanding more incorporation with the state.