Cities As Representations and As Manifestations of Power
Manifestations of power refer to the actual functioning of the cityscape in terms of power, which includes also manifestations of fear, of powerlessness or neglect, and of counter-power. Manifestations of power further include processes of invisibilization, of hiding phenomena amenable to questioning / critique, and methods of surveillance.The main powers which set their mark on contemporary cities are, the political rulers – national and local -, and private capital, national and foreign. Counter-power comes bottom-up, from popular classes, grassroots movements, and popular urban reform coalitions, asserting themselves in squatting and spatial enclaves, in some vhange of urban development or policy, or in a transformative popular city government.
The proposed paper involves presenting a systematic analytical framework for studying cities as sites of power, and a small worldwide set, north, south, east and west, of illustrative cases, drawing upon the global empirical research for my recent book Cities of Power.