Emerging Urban Political Subjectivities: Synergies, Tensions, Contradictions, and Transformations in Pluralizing Cities
Cities are cross-roads where the numerous effects of neoliberal capitalism and (post)modern biopolitics converge with scores of counter-movements challenging them and proposing alternatives. In this context we ask how urban dwellers and traversers who strive for change of the terms of urban life become involved in the political. This panel aims to understand such emerging urban political subjectivities. We invite papers that observe such changes either regarding a specific subset of urban populations (e.g. activists, migrants, believers, students, homeless), specific causes (e.g. mobility, housing, security), or in overall urban governance schemes (e.g. private-public partnerships, participatory processes). The panel is particularly interested in innovative takes on the political that study the entanglements of materialities, people, and acts. We invite critical engagements with the - in our view - problematic conceptual distinctions between the political, the ethical, and the emotional. A key concern of ours is: How do non-hegemonic cosmovisions shape urban political subjectivities and how do their proponents re-define both the content and form of the political. Not only urban assemblages are plural, but also their styles and forms of addressing the political, fluently re-entangling materialities, actors, and acts. This fluidity challenges simple concepts of the political and signals urban becoming in multiplicity. Urban political subjectivities hence may go through rapid changes. Through increased analytical ethnographic attention into such emerging configurations and their synergies, tensions, and contradictions, the panel aims to make a valuable contribution to understanding and shaping more sustainable and resilient urban futures.