Alessandro Coppola

Politics and neighborhood policy in a neoliberal city. Proprietary civicness in Baltimore

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Neighborhood; Urban Studies; Ethnography; Polity; North-American Urban Crisis.

Traditionally the object of significant attention in the fields of urban studies and planning, the scale of the neighborhood has recently met renewed interest in the context of studies focusing on the raise and consolidation of neoliberal forms of urban governamentality. Moving from the recognition of the critical role that qualitative and ethnographic enquiries can play in analysis of this kind, the article presents the results of an ethnography of the «neighborhood polity» of Better Waverly, a community in the city of Baltimore. In particular, it presents the shaping of the polity around the strategic constructs and discour- ses of the so-called «Community Development Industry», its rooting within a local hegemonic geography structured around social representations entren- ched in the contexts of the North-American urban crisis, and also the presence of a strong selection of its participants based on a major cleavage between an «organized» and a «non-organized demand». The contribution concludes by discussing the empirical material in the light of the role that a variety of local factors play in the making of this case of neoliberal urban governamentality starting from its rooting in a culture of so-called «proprietary civicness».

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