CFP para la RC21 conference 2015: The Ideal City: between myth and reality – Representations, policies, contradictions and challenges for tomorrow’s urban life


The RC21 Conference 2015 will be hosted by the School of Social and Political Sciences – Department of Economics, Society, and Politics at the University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy.


Contested cities and crisis regimes: Practices, discourses and representations of housing (struggles) / Stream E – Contested cities

Organizer: Stavros Stavrides (National Technical University of Athens, GR); Penny Koutrolikou (National Technical University of Athens, GR); Michael Janoschka (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, ES).

Contacts: zoesm at; pkoutrollikou at; michael.janoschka at

In contemporary societies crises and structural changes are mostly perceived as centred around economy and production. Cities become both the terrain where crises are visibly felt and central points in the processes of their emergence. Cities are ‘in crisis’ both because policies of structural changes explicitly attempt to reshape them and because they become contested terrains in which socio-political antagonisms are emphatically spatialised.

Increased insecurity and precariousness is intrinsically connected to a paradigm shift; a shift towards what Sassen has described as “the logic of expulsion” where the “excessive humanity” is being expulsed rather than integrated to society as was the case in most of welfare-state oriented societies. Conversely, a plethora of struggles and claims emerge; struggles that contest both the ‘management’ of the crisis and claim a different future.

In this context, housing becomes a pivotal point; as a consequence of crisis, housing is being redefined and secured as an important social good, while at the same time it is being further integrated into regimes of liberal market provision, dispossession and stealth. The social meaning of housing becomes a stake especially because most of the existing models of social organization (liberal, neoliberal, welfare, socialist) have been in a ‘crisis’. Thus, housing entails an array of often-conflicting representations (themselves embodying ideologies and perceptions of what an ideal city is): housing as property/ownership, as product, as right, as public good. Public discourses often complement such representations, debating what public means and who it includes. Moreover, housing is central in regards to practices contesting displacement and expulsion/exclusion. In capital-rich cities, gentrification and increased provision of luxury housing pushes poorer and/or middle income residents further away from “revamped” city-centres. Contrastingly, in cities in ‘crises’ or ‘austerity’, housing gets targeted, resulting in increased debt, evictions (even homelessness) and asset consolidation. And displacement (of people and identities) becomes a key mechanism to reshape the social composition of the city.

This session invites papers that discuss the multiple aspects of housing and housing struggles in the context of multifaceted crises along these three (and interrelated) axes: representations, discourses and practices. In an effort to explore glimpses of contemporary views about an ideal city we need to study the ways housing practices and values are problematized today both by decision and policy makers and by people in struggle. In, against, and beyond the current urban crises.

The proposed abstracts besides addressing the single sessions’ topics should be inspired by the conference theme of ‘The ideal city between myth and reality’

The selection process

The deadline for abstract submission is 31 January 2015. Each abstract will be classified by the session organizers into three categories:

A – Accepted abstract to be presented at the conference;
B – Accepted abstract as a contribution to the conference (available online) (this paper might be presented in case of drop outs);
C – Refused abstract. The paper will not be presented at the conference.

Abstracts should be sent by e-mail to and to the session organizers (see email addresses listed below).

Authors of accepted abstracts should send their paper not later than 15 June 2013 to: and to the session organizers. The accepted papers will be published online on the website only if submitted in time.

Abstracts should include the following information:

A – The session to which the abstract is submitted.
B – A synthesis of the issues to be addressed in the paper, the hypothesis underlying them, the empirical and/or the theoretical basis, and the structure of the paper (300-500 words).
C – The contact of the author(s): Name(s), affiliation, address, a phone nr. (will not be made public) and an e-mail address.