Atelier des jeunes chercheurs / Εργαστήριο νέων ερευνητών

Lundi 18 avril
Δευτέρα 18 Απριλίου

Salle des conférences de l’EFA / Αίθουσα διαλέξεων της EFA

Southern European Cities in Times of Austerity. Toward an anti-displacement paradigm:
the rise of anti-eviction discourses and practices in Madrid, Athens and Rome.

S. Annunziata Marie Curie Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

The seminar deals with the rise of anti-eviction discourses and practices unfolding in the political space of Southern European cities as a consequence of the crisis and during a time of permanent austerity. In the countries under observation austerity measures meet (and contribute to produce) a very diffuse set of variegated forms of displacement which has become a crisis per se “an event widely perceived by member of the communities to constitute urgent threat to core community value and structure” (Boin et all 2008, 83).
People are displaced from their first place of residence as evidenced by the increased number of evictions due to mortgage arrears in Spain, for rental arrears in Italy and public auction for indebtedness in Greece. Housing displacement is accompanied and reinforced by evacuation of social centre and social clearing which became the strategies for the commodification of urban space in historical centers. However, despite the intellectual efforts to explain the causes of urban displacement in urban critical geography only after the crisis eviction in Southern Europe started to be seen as a collective problem and acquired new visibility and centrality in political discourses. The magnitude of the problem is currently challenging both our understanding of urban displacement and our capacities to frame solutions.
The researcher will present the theoretical premises and the preliminary research findings of a research project which seeks to compare new regimes of expulsions and urban displacement in three countries Spain, Italy and Greece assuming the lens of anti-eviction platforms which spread-out in Southern Europe. In order to explore the complexity of urban displacement after the economic crisis the researcher will frame displacement theoretically arguing for a lack of an inclusive definition of the variegated forms of displacement unfolding in the observed contexts and empirically by giving voice to anti-eviction platforms, their strategies and their methods in a comparative perspective. The seminar goal is to discuss the appropriateness of an anti-displacement paradigm as a way to cope with austerity, which focus on the potential and limits of anti-eviction practices and discourse that animate the political space of Madrid, Rome and Athens.

Acknowledgements: This work is supported by the European Commission, under the seventh framework program call for reference FP7-PEOPLE-2013 Intra European Marie Curie Fellowship



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