"This neighbourhood deserves an espresso bar too": Neoliberalism, racialization, and urban policy
Number of pages
SourceAntipode, 47, 5, (2015), pp. 1203-1223
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
In the Dutch and more broadly European context, urban policymaking has generally been studied through the conceptual lens of neoliberalism. While important, I argue that this neoliberal lens does not fully account for the design and impact of urban policies currently transforming cities like Amsterdam. Following Mustafa Dikec's (2007, Badlands of the Republic: Space, Politics, and Urban Policy) understanding of urban policy as place-making practices that normalize particular distributions of people, authorities and spaces, I propose to focus on underlying visions of the normal and the good city that shape urban policymaking. Drawing on 18months of ethnographic research on Amsterdam's notorious Diamantbuurt, I argue that this vision is informed by neoliberalism and by racialized concerns with migrants and ethnic minorities. It entails particular classed and racialized preferences that normalize and underwrite the partial displacement that is underway in the neighbourhood.
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