Maria Kaika

Maria Kaika
University of Amsterdam | UVA · Geography Planning and International Development

Oxford University, DPhil

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79
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5,421
Citations
Citations since 2017
20 Research Items
3009 Citations
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Publications

Publications (79)
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Contributing to an emerging debate that brings the mobilization of land rent as a financial asset to the heart of urban analysis, this article offers a narrative of land financialization as a ‘lived’ process. Focusing empirically on Bicocca (a post-industrial area north-east of Milan that traditionally hosted the activities of Pirelli, one of I...
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The inclusion of ‘cities and communities’ as a target goal (11) in the UN 2030 agenda is positively endorsed. When it comes to WHAT needs to change, the new urban agenda recognizes cities not only as problems, but also as opportunities (Barnett and Purnell 2016). However, when it comes to the HOW, the call to make cities “safe, resilient, sustainab...
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A sharp increase in racism and xenophobia, alongside an increase in philanthropy and charity, mark Europe’s Janus-faced reaction to the social consequences of the economic crisis. This paper goes beyond the racism/xenophobia vs. charity/philanthropy dualism, arguing that these seemingly antithetical responses have more in common than we may think....
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The paper extends the empirical and conceptual scope of Social Reproduction Theory by bringing it into dialogue with debates on financialization. We call for the need to document and theorize the “lived” dimension of the financialization and marketization of social reproduction infrastructures, and of healthcare in particular. Our argument draws em...
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This article documents and juxtaposes two side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on refugee health, housing, and living conditions in Greece. First is the intensification of state-led practices of what is increasingly known as "campisation," hyper-isolation, and ultimately the stigmatisation of refugee populations. Second is the intensification of r...
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This article documents and juxtaposes two side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on refugee health, housing, and living conditions in Greece. First is the intensification of state-led practices of what is increasingly known as “campisation,” hyper-isolation, and ultimately the stigmatisation of refugee populations. Second is the intensification of r...
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Although the role of the housing sector in the unfolding of the 2007-08 Global Financial Crisis has been studied extensively, the post-crisis nexus between housing and finance has not received equal attention. Grounded in a comparative case study between Canada and the Netherlands, this article adds situated knowledge from mortgage market professio...
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Over the years, cities have figured as exemplary places for neoliberal urban policies which tend to appropriate the right to the city through city-branding policies. However, as this article demonstrates , there are important claims of the right to the city raised by newly arrived refugees in the city of Athens. Although most refugees reside in ove...
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The article explores the extent to which the pressure to upscale grassroot planning initiatives can lead to the loss of their innovative potential. We advocate for the need to acknowledge the differentiated demands between community-involving pilot initiatives and grassroots initiatives when it comes to upscaling and argue that upscaling grassroots...
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Urban political ecology (UPE) focuses on unsettling traditional understandings of ‘cities’ as ontological entities separate from ‘nature’ and on how the production of settlements is metabolically linked with flows of capital and more-than-human ecological processes. The contribution of this paper is to recalibrate UPE to new urban forms and process...
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The article exposes attacks on infrastructures of social reproduction as a prime gentrification strategy, but also as an effective focal point for community resistance. We exemplify this through the conflict over Ancoats Dispensary, a Victorian hospital at the heart of one of the UK's most deprived communities in East Manchester, which faced demoli...
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Even before officially sanctioned as a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene conquers the imaginary and is reified as awareness-raising, inspiring, universalist, capitalist-technocratic, dangerous. As critical scholarship discerns in this name-nomination an opportunity to rethink the human/more-than-human/environmental nexus, debating the Anthropo...
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The Habitat III Conference’s New Urban Agenda hails a “paradigm shift” for pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the new call for “safe, resilient, sustainable and inclusive cities” remains path-dependent on old methodological tools (e.g. indicators), techno-managerial solutions (e.g. smart cities), and institutional framework...
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The paper focuses on two largely understudied and interrelated aspects of the post-2008 economic crisis: how the politics of austerity influences the dynamics of environmental conflict and how the environment is mobilized in subaltern struggles against the normalization of austerity as the hegemonic response to crisis. We ground our analysis on two...
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FULL TEXT OPEN ACCESS LINK: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tran.12126/epdf The paper expands the conceptual framework within which we examine mortgage debt by reconceptualising mortgages as a biotechnology: a technology of power over life that forges an intimate relationship between global financial markets, everyday life and human lab...
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In this paper we outline the limitations of Environmental Justice theory when it comes to explaining and theorizing the politics of contemporary environmental movements. Justice, we argue, needs to be understood not as a formalised and preconceived 'thing' to be delivered or applied but as an open egalitarian ideal that movements across the world c...
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The paper explores the active yet neglected role that local class struggle over land plays in negotiating new forms of urbanity. Unfashionably shifting research focus from global elites and the "creative class" to local industrial elites and industrial workers, we show that socially embodied local struggles over land are as relevant to globalized u...
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In this contribution I sketch a framework for interpreting the parallel process of banalisation of old and proliferation of new 'iconic' corporate architecture as the Janus-faced manifestation of a qualitative shift in the relationship between capital and architecture. Highlighting the change from place-bound, place-loyal urban elites to footloose...
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he article offers an analysis of the iconography and symbolism of dam constructions at three levels: first, as embodiments of the dialectics between geographical imaginations and material practices in the process of modernization; second, as symbols of modernity's quest to conquer and urbanize nature; and third, as the catalysts for reconfiguring t...
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This article studies the western bourgeois home, and argues that its social construction as a familiar, autonomous, safe, private haven is predicated not only upon the exclusion of undesired social elements (anomie, homelessness, social conflict, etc.) but also upon the exclusion of undesired natural elements (cold, dirt, pollution, sewage, etc.)....
Article
In this paper we outline the limitations of Environmental Justice theory when it comes to explaining and theorizing the politics of contemporary environmental movements. Justice, we argue, needs to be understood not as a formalised and preconceived 'thing' to be delivered or applied but as an open egalitarian ideal that movements across the world c...
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Full-text available
L’article parteix de la premissa que es de vital importancia reconeixer que el principal impulsor dels canvis ambientals ha estat el galopant proces d’urbanitzacio mundial. De fet, la «sostenibilitat» de la vida urbana contemporania —entesa com la reproduccio ampliada de la seva forma social i natural i del seu funcionament— es la responsable de l’...
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This chapter performs an ethnographic reading of the Indignants’ occupation of Athens’ Syntagma Square during the summer of 2011. In doing so, we move beyond approaches that either demonize the Indignant Squares as an apolitical/post-post political crowd gathering or idealize them as the model of 21st century political praxis. Reading the spatial a...
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Our age is celebrated as the triumph of liberal democracy. Old ideological battles have been decisively resolved in favour of freedom and the market. We are told that we have moved ‘beyond left and right’; that we are ‘all in this together’. Any remaining differences are to be addressed through expert knowledge, consensual deliberation and particip...
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This article departs from accounts that either deify Indignant Squares as a model for 21st century political praxis or demonize them as apolitical/post-political crowd gatherings. By performing a closer ethnographic reading of the Indignants’ protests at Athens’ Syntagma Square, we depict the Indignant Squares as a consensual and deeply spatialized...
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Full-text available
Contributing to an emerging debate that brings the mobilization of land rent as a financial asset to the heart of urban analysis, this article offers a narrative of land financialization as a ‘lived’ process. Focusing empirically on Bicocca (a post-industrial area north-east of Milan that traditionally hosted the activities of Pirelli, one of Italy...
Article
Full-text available
Contributing to an emerging debate that brings the mobilization of land rent as a financial asset to the heart of urban analysis, this article offers a narrative of land financialization as a ‘lived’ process. Focusing empirically on Bicocca (a post-industrial area north-east of Milan that traditionally hosted the activities of Pirelli, one of I...
Article
Full-text available
The proliferating numbers of a new population of urban poor in the Western world—who I call here nouveau poor—is a phenomenon equally (if not more) significant as the emergence of the Indignados and Occupy movements, and calls for urgent attention from the part of critical urban studies. This phenomenon forces us to re-evaluate the analytical categ...
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Despite the seeming accumulation of natural and manmade disasters over the last decade, and increasing urban intensification across the world, there seems to be little or no actual progress in solving urban ecological problems. In exploring a way forward, Maria Kaika and Erik Swyngedouw highlight three potential approaches to urban socio‐ecological...
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Urban Metabolism Redux (Neo)liberalizing Urban Environments Urban Socio-Ecological Movements and the Struggles for Justice Urban Socio-Ecological Imaginaries: Discourses of Urban Natures Policiticizing Urban Environments: New Beginnings References
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Typically, cities and nature are perceived as geographic opposites, cities being manufactured social creations, and nature being outside of human construction. Through a historical geography of water in the modern city, Kaika shows that this is not the case. Rather, nature and the modern city are fully intertwined, with cities integrating nature at...
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Full-text available
In this contribution I sketch a framework for interpreting the parallel process of banalisation of old and proliferation of new 'iconic' corporate architecture as the Janus-faced manifestation of a qualitative shift in the relationship between capital and architecture. Highlighting the change from place-bound, place-loyal urban elites to footloose...
Article
Full-text available
In this contribution I sketch a framework for interpreting the parallel process of banalisation of old and proliferation of new 'iconic' corporate architecture as the Janus-faced manifestation of a qualitative shift in the relationship between capital and architecture. Highlighting the change from place-bound, place-loyal urban elites to footloose...
Article
Full-text available
London’s skyline is changing significantly with a new generation of iconic buildings, of which the Swiss-Re Tower is the most well known. Despite the fact that many of these buildings are located in the City (London’s financial heart), little attention has been paid to the relationship between the transformation of London’s skyline and the recent i...
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Using previously unpublished material from the LUCE archive and the State Archives in Rome, this article examines how film-making became part and parcel of the process of 'taming' nature in the Pontine Marshes under Mussolini's regime. Fascist authorities perceived the undisciplined and unproductive nature of the 'death inducing swamps' as somethin...
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The Urbanization of Nature(Un)thinking the Sustainable CityTales of Nature and the City: Taming the Urban Wilderness and “Ecologizing” the CityTowards a Political Ecology of the UrbanNotesReferences
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Full-text available
The article offers an analysis of the iconography and symbolism of dam constructions at three levels: first, as embodiments of the dialectics between geographical imaginations and material practices in the process of modernization; second, as symbols of modernity's quest to conquer and urbanize nature; and third, as the catalysts for reconfiguring...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, Maria Kaika and Korinna Thielen chart the historical development of ‘the secular shrine'—an assertion of state and corporate power that came to dominate the urban landscape from the second half of the nineteenth century. Many of the aesthetic features of this secular monumentalism can be identified in earlier sacred and classical arc...
Chapter
A philosopher, ethnologist, and psychoanalyst practising in Paris, Patrick Declerck is also a sharp critic of social attitudes in the Western world towards poverty in general and towards homelessness in particular. Declerck possesses a curious distinction among his fellow intellectuals in France: his is the only citation index to rise as the temper...
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Cities, at their best, are cradles of diversity, opportunity, and citizenship. Why, then, do so many cities today seem scarred by divisions separating the powerful and privileged from the victims of deprivation and injustice? What is it like to live on the wrong side of the divide in Paris, London, New York, Sao Paolo, and other cities all over the...
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Cities are—and have always been—highly differentiated spaces expressive of heterogeneity, diversity of activity, excitement, and pleasure. They are arenas for the pursuit of un-oppressed activities and desires, but also ones replete with systematic power, danger, oppression, domination and exclusion. Mediating the tensions between this dialectical...
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When the French politician Clemenceau visited Athens in 1899, he was taken on a tour of the city and briefed on the social, political, and economic problems facing both the city and the young Greek state. Afterwards, he addressed the local political and intellectual elites, starting his speech by exclaiming: ‘The best politician amongst you shall b...
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Full-text available
This article studies the western bourgeois home, and argues that its social construction as a familiar, autonomous, safe, private haven is predicated not only upon the exclusion of undesired social elements (anomie, homelessness, social conflict, etc.) but also upon the exclusion of undesired natural elements (cold, dirt, pollution, sewage, etc.)....
Article
Full-text available
This paper is a history of the making of the European Union's Water Framework Directive (WFD). It will be followed by a second paper, which analyses the relationship between the innovations of the WFD and a range of different interest groups. This directive is of particular interest to commentators on EU policy-making because it was created through...
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This paper is an analysis of the policy innovations of the European Union's Water Framework Directive and their relationship to a range of economic and geographical interests. It follows a previous paper describing the process of the making of the WFD in relation to the new EU co-decision process. This paper argues that the innovative aspects of th...
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This paper examines the drought that hit Athens between 1989 and 1991 and analyses the role of this natural phenomenon as the “ferment” for ongoing political-economic transformations in the direction of liberalisation and privatisation of water management and allocation in Greece. The paper analyses how the drought was marshalled as an effective di...
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This article examines the intricate process of developing the European Union's Water Frame-work Directive. It sees the Directive as a response to recent economic, political and social changes related to water management, including the shift from government to governance, the liberalization of water markets and the emergence of a new set of institut...
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Swyngedouw and Kaïka explore some of the classic tensions and preoccupations of urban planners and theorists: emancipation/disengagement, global/local, social justice/neoliberalism. In particular, the authors refer us to the effects of the 'drastic re-assertion of the forces of modernity in the contemporary city. They raise the question' can we sti...
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This article provides a synthetic account of the historical development of London's water supply system within its wider national context, and addresses the current organizational setting of the water sector. Particular attention is paid to the post-Second World War period, which marked a transition towards integrated water management in England an...
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Technological networks (water, gas, electricity, information etc.) are constitutive parts of the urban. They are the mediators through which the perpetual process of transformation of nature into city takes place. In this article, we take water and water networks as an emblematic example to excavate the shifting meanings of urban technological netw...
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This paper explores a political-ecological perspective on the relationship between urbanization, sustainability, and the production and distribution of urban water. The focus is on the interrelationship between social, economic, political, and environmental processes as they are expressed in the way urban water systems are organized. The first part...
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The European Union (EU) and its member states have an urgent and important task ahead in order to achieve their stated goals of fostering innovation and moving towards sustainability. This chapter examines the case study of the European water sector using examples from the UK, Germany, and Greece and insights drawn from the analysis of the conteste...
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Thesis (D. Phil.)--University of Oxford, 1999. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 332-369).

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Projects (4)
Archived project
The Refugees’ Right To Housing: State Policies and Housing Commons in Istanbul, Athens and Belgrade Principal Investigator: post-doc Charalampos Tsavdaroglou Supervisor: prof. Maria Kaika Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development (GPIO) University of Amsterdam Duration: 1 September 2018 – 30 August 2020 Funding: EU Horizon 2020 (Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 795992)
Project
Urban political ecology (UPE) focuses on unsettling traditional understandings of ‘cities’ as ontological entities separate from ‘nature’ and on how the production of settlements is metabolically linked with flows of capital and more-than-human ecological processes. The aim of the project is to recalibrate UPE to new urban forms and processes of extended urbanization. This exploration goes against the reduction of what goes on outside of cities to processes that emanate unidirectionally from cities. Acknowledging UPE’s rich intellectual history and aiming to enrich rather than split the field, we identify four emerging discourses that go beyond UPE’s original formulation. Consequently, we make the case for a UPE better informed by situated knowledges; an embodied UPE, that puts equal attention to the role of postcolonial processes and more-than-human ontologies of capital accumulation within the context of the climate emergency. We put forth an integrated UPE agenda that is enriched, not split, by the expansion of the scope of its inquiry and well-suited to address contemporary environmental issues in theory and practice.