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Uitermark, J. (2014) Integration and Control: The Governing of Urban Marginality in Western Europe, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38 (4), 1418–1436


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Drawing on the figurational sociology of Norbert Elias and the Foucauldian governmentality approach, this article outlines the political rationalities and governmental technologies pertaining to the territorial governance of urban marginality in Western Europe. Whereas many authors have suggested that segregation is key to the governing of urban marginality in the USA and perhaps the post-industrial city generally, I suggest that, at least in Western Europe, marginality is governed through integration. The argument is illustrated with examples from the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium.
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Integration and Control: The Governing of
Urban Marginality in Western Europe
Drawing on the figurational sociology of Norbert Elias and the Foucauldian
governmentality approach, this article outlines the political rationalities and
governmental technologies pertaining to the territorial governance of urban marginality
in Western Europe. Whereas many authors have suggested that segregation is key to the
governing of urban marginality in the USA and perhaps the post-industrial city generally,
I suggest that, at least in Western Europe, marginality is governed through integration.
The argument is illustrated with examples from the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium.
During the decades after the second world war, the state and its guardians could view and
frame the challenges to their authority in deprived neighborhoods as expressions of
residual social problems which would disappear as the welfare state expanded and urban
renewal proceeded. William H. Whyte (1956: 67) captured the mood in his The
Organization Man: ‘The big questions are all settled; we know the direction, and while
many minor details remain to be cleared up, we can be pretty sure of enjoying a
wonderful upward rise’.
The modernistic renewal plans of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s exemplified the
ambition to achieve order by design. Any remaining deprivation or deviation could be
seen as the residue of a bygone era, soon to be swept away.
The onslaught of neoliberalism has changed this situation as the prospect of resolving
marginality through social and employment policies has become increasingly unrealistic.
Contemporary urban marginality is not residual but ‘advanced’. Advanced marginality
results from ‘a macrosocietal drift towards inequality, the mutation of wage labour
(entailing both deproletarianisation and casualisation), the retrenchment of welfare
states, and the spatial concentration and stigmatisation of poverty’ (Wacquant, 1999:
1639). Advanced marginality represents a daily burden for its immediate victims but this
article’s premise is that it also poses problems for governance actors. As neighborhoods
degenerate into zones of relegation, the state’s monopoly over symbolic and physical
violence (Bourdieu, 2000: 186) is increasingly challenged. Recent large-scale rebellions
in the UK and France spectacularly demonstrate the state’s inability to enlist consent or
enforce order in deprived areas. The failure to properly govern also expresses itself in a
myriad of other, more mundane ways — when people shrug as they hear politicians
speak, when teachers cannot make their pupils listen to them, when youth claim public
spaces, when trash litters the streets or when welfare agencies fail to process their case
loads. In everyday conversations and media reports, the government is questioned as it
fails to deliver on the promise of defending order, setting into motion a continuous search
I would like to thank Neil Brenner, Walter Nicholls, Bahar Sakizlioglu, Loïc Wacquant and the IJURR
referees for their comments on earlier drafts of this article.
Volume 38.4 July 2014 1418–36 International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
© 2013 Urban Research Publications Limited. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4
2DQ, UK and 350 Main St, Malden, MA 02148, USA
for attempts to gain or regain control over populations and territories that somehow
escape the state’s grip. The areas and their residents come to be seen as disconnected
from society, as places that lack civilized manners and people. Thus, the starting point for
this article is the proposition that advanced urban marginality and the social phenomena
with which it is associated — criminality, apathy, unemployment, rebellion, deviant
norms and values — have to be governed in one way or another and that such governance
necessarily involves the organization of space.
One common response to the threat posed by marginalized urbanites is the
intensification of repression. A number of authors have charted the global rise of
revanchism (Smith, 1996), a resentment against the (black) urban poor that fuels the
‘rolling out of the gargantuan penal state’ and ‘redraws the perimeter, mission, and
modalities of action of public authority when it comes to managing the deprived and
stigmatized populations stuck at the bottom of the class, ethnic and urban hierarchy’
(Wacquant, 2010a: 74; Macleod and Johnstone, 2012; Powell, 2013). It has been argued
that we have abandoned disciplinary society and entered a control society (cf. Deleuze,
1995). Deprived subjects are no longer observed and disciplined to transform their
attitudes and behavior but merely to neutralize them. The organization of urban space
plays a pivotal role in these modes of surveillance and repression as the stigmatized poor
are removed from zones of affluence and forced into areas of relegation. As competition
in the housing market creates a segregated and stratified residential pattern, the state
takes on the role of policing boundaries between segregated areas and containing the
threats posed by disenfranchised urbanites. Residential segregation is part of a more
comprehensive mode of governance by which the poor are controlled through enclosure.
Wacquant (2010b: 204) speaks of a strategy of ‘punitive containment’ that offers ‘relief
not to the poor but from the poor by forcibly “disappearing” the most disruptive of them,
from the shrinking welfare rolls on the one hand and into the swelling dungeons of the
carceral castle on the other’. Many authors foretold a future of dual, quartered or divided
cities where territorialized surveillance and boundary enforcement are used to keep
marginalized populations in check (Marcuse, 1989; Mollenkopf and Castells, 1991;
Sennett, 1994: chapter 7; Wacquant, 2010b: 199).
However, while there is no doubt that repression and segregation have intensified in
recent years, it is doubtful that ‘punitive containment’ captures all modes of governing
urban marginality, even in the case of the USA. The large majority of urban poor black
people do not reside in areas that are fully segregated along the lines of class and race
(Small, 2008). The Chicago South Side has been key to theorizing about segregation by
Wacquant and others but it is in many ways an outlier (Small, 2007). More importantly,
the singular focus on segregation may distract from qualitatively different ways of
governing marginality. In the last decades, the US government, far from harnessing
market-induced segregation, has been following an aggressive agenda of dispersal and
deconcentration (Goetz, 2011), which is a clear sign that the relegation of dangerous
classes is not the only — and perhaps not even the dominant — mode of spatially
governing urban marginality.
This is even truer for the countries of Western Europe. In these countries, deepening
segregation is not only inevitable in conditions of increasing class polarization; it is also
unbearable to states seeking to retain the monopoly of symbolic and physical violence.
When segregation results in the spatial concentration of defamed and deprived groups,
this creates tensions in the everyday management of territories, urging the government
and its partners to develop strategies to promote integration. The exact meaning of the
notion of ‘integration’ varies strongly but its omnipresence in political and policy debates
signals a fear that the concentration or enclosure of stigmatized and deprived groups may
undermine the stability of society. Areas where these groups concentrate have become
key sites for attempts to integrate marginalized groups into society’s mainstream. While
the government and its partners may have lost, willfully or not, the capacity to curb
inequalities and prevent marginalization through macro-social policies, they have
developed a range of conceptualizations and measures to deal with marginality in situ.
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This article takes on the task of analyzing these modes of (re)territorialized
governance with the help of figurational sociology (cf. Elias, 1978; 1994) and the
governmentality approach (cf. Foucault, 1991). The goal is not to undertake detailed
comparisons of how marginality is governed in different countries but to provide a
general analysis and identify governmental technologies and political rationalities that
are found across different countries of Western Europe (and perhaps elsewhere). The first
section briefly sketches the theoretical background to the analysis and argues that
integration, like segregation, represents a mode of governing marginality. The second
section then examines the development of urban policy in three different countries — the
Netherlands, Belgium and the UK — and suggests that these policies can be understood
as attempts to gain control over deprived and defamed urban neighborhoods and their
inhabitants. The third section illustrates the argument by examining rationalities and
technologies of integration. It identifies how governance actors conceive and create
social and institutional infrastructures to exercise control over territories where the state
is challenged. The final section sums up the analysis and identifies the contours of a
regime for governing urban marginality in Western Europe.
Integration as social control
A number of authors have noted that national governments have lost or handed over the
capacity to steer economic and social processes. The state has been ‘hollowed out’(Jessop,
1994) and ‘the social’ has been eroded (Rose, 1996). As the nation state functions less as
a container for economic, social cultural and political processes (Taylor, 1994; Hajer,
2003), the state reterritorializes at subnational and supranational levels (Brenner, 2004).
The development of urban policy has been key to reorganizing relations between different
levels of government and among various governance actors (Jacquier, 2005).
While there are important differences between countries and over time, a striking
general trend is the growing salience of the urban neighborhood as a governance site
(Aalbers and van Beckhoven, 2010). The neighborhood has become, on the one hand, a
laboratory for the development of new modes of deliberative planning and social
innovation (Moulaert et al., 2005) and, on the other hand, a prime site for experimenting
with new modes of repression and surveillance (Schinkel and Van den Berg, 2011). In
many countries and at the level of the European Union, policies have been developed to
promote the integrated development of deprived urban neighborhoods (see below). The
increasing salience of the neighborhood as a governance site has been remarkably
undertheorized. Although much attention has been given to the growing salience of
cities and supranational entities, few scholars have addressed the growing salience of
Figurational sociology can help to begin to make sense of this development. The
figurational sociology of Norbert Elias provides a basic set of concepts to grasp the
connection between civilizing processes and state formation (Elias, 1978; 1994;
Wacquant, 1997). Instead of locating the explanation for certain interventions in the
benign or revanchist motives of elites, figurational sociology directs attention to the
webs of interdependencies in which processes take place. The basic premise informing
Elias’s study into civilizing processes is that the extension and intensification of
interdependencies result in greater self-control through various mechanisms. One such
mechanism is state formation. As interdependencies increase in scope and intensity,
formal and informal institutions develop to regulate conduct between interdependent
territories and strata. As the pressures towards normalization intensify, deviancies are
created and reinforced — what first was regarded as normal or at any rate not noteworthy
becomes redefined as a public problem to be solved through public action (De Swaan,
These insights help us to understand the role of the state in deprived and defamed
areas. The society as a body may be a functionalist fiction but the state does have a
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nervous system of sorts in the form of interdependencies that link peripheral urban
territories to the centers of bureaucratic management and symbolic production. The
reason for the strong interest of Western Europe’s governments for deprived
neighborhoods is that they, or rather the governance actors that have a stake in them, are
strongly connected to the surrounding environment (Uitermark, 2005). In the centralized
welfare states of Western Europe, strong interdependencies exist between governance
actors in deprived neighborhoods and central governments. Education, housing, police,
welfare and care are typically organized through institutional and professional networks
that traverse neighborhoods and are funded — at least in part — by and through the local
and central state. High crime rates, dropout rates, health problems, unemployment, social
tensions and so on may be felt first by local schools, precincts, welfare offices, party
chapters or associations but they find their way through institutional conduits that
channel irritations at the political and bureaucratic edges to the centers of bureaucratic
management and symbolic production.
The entanglement of interdependencies between (governance actors in) deprived
areas and (governance actors in) their environment means that problems cannot be
spatially contained or resolved through relegation. These interdependencies form the
basis of the integrationist mode of governing marginality:
The kind of ‘triage’ and purposive desertion of urban areas to ‘economize’ on public services
that has befallen the American metropolis is unimaginable in the European political context
with its fine-grained bureaucratic monitoring of the national territory. At the same time, there
can be no question that the capacity of European states to govern territories of relegation is
being severely tested and may prove unequal to the task if recent trends towards the spatial
concentration of joblessness continue (Wacquant, 1999: 1645).
Developments in urban policy in Western Europe over the last 20–30 years can be seen
as a response to this challenge to effectuate more control with fewer resources. While
governments lost or delegated control over the macro processes generating inequalities,
they intensified their efforts to locally manage the pernicious effects of such processes.
Although urban neighborhoods obviously are not state spaces in the same way that
nation states are, recurrent rounds of urban policy have transformed neighborhoods into
‘power containers’ (Giddens, 1987: 15–17) where specific tasks and functions are
organized. At the neighborhood level, the development of an infrastructure for remedial
and preventive intervention constitutes an alternative or complementary form of social
control to segregation and repression (Cohen, 1985; Castel, 1991; Neocleous, 1996;
2000). The integration of potentially dangerous groups into political and administrative
communities whose self-regulating capacities can be enhanced and capitalized upon
constitutes one historical example of this model (Cohen, 1987; Cruikshank, 1999:
chapter 3). In fact, both strategies — which can respectively be labeled as
‘segregationist’ and ‘integrationist’ or, in Jock Young’s more imaginative vocabulary,
‘bulimia’ and ‘cannibalism’ (Young, 1999) — have been used throughout history and
already figured in Foucault’s analysis of the governmental responses to the plague and
leprosy; while the first disease was contained through exclusion, the second was
controlled through surveillance (Foucault, 1977: 198).
While Elias provides insights into the extent to which governments will feel called
upon to civilize deprived and defamed areas, Foucault’s work allows us to understand
how governments act as it bears directly on the organization of space and the
management of populations, highlighting the ways in which disciplinary measures and
governmental techniques combine to generate particular state forms (Foucault, 2009). In
his seminal text on governmentality, Foucault (1991) distinguishes two lines of political
thought. The first line of thought, associated with the medieval Polizeiwissenschaft,is
called ‘pastoral’ and aims to integrally control the entirety of society. The second line of
thought emerges during the Enlightenment and is referred to as ‘liberal’ because the aim
is no longer to configure each of society’s elements in the right way but to allow society’s
different spheres to self-organize. Whereas pastoral modes of governing view the people
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as a herd to be guided by the sovereign, liberal modes of governing view society as a city
capable of organizing itself. As Colin Gordon argues, ‘The focus of Foucault’s interest
in modern governmental rationalities consists, precisely, in the realization of what he
calls the “daemonic” coupling of “city-game” and “shepherd-game”: the invention of a
form of secular political pastorate which couples “individualization” and “totalization” ’
(Gordon, 1991: 8). Contemporary policies toward deprived and defamed neighborhoods
signal the prevalence of pastoral and liberal modes of governing: while governments
develop ‘integral’policies to govern areas and populations, they also rely on citizens and
civil society to take an active part in the governing of their habitats. Governmentality
researchers take seriously what administrators say and do. Instead of viewing their
discourses as mere expressions of deeper structures, they investigate how state
administrators conceive the problematic of governing: how are particular problems
framed, how do subjectivities form, what are the modes of observation that enable
administrators to rule from a distance and how are interventions conceived and
practiced? In this understanding, the state is not a monolithic entity but rather ‘a mobile
effect of a regime of multiple governmentalities’ (Foucault, cited in Jessop, 2006: 36).
In the case of the governance of urban marginality, these diverse governmentalities
are generated in constant interactions between professionals working in deprived
neighborhoods, administrators seeking to govern these areas, and policy experts and
academics providing the intellectual tools to conceptualize areas and their inhabitants in
such a way that they become amenable to governmental action. While there may not be
a singular policy discourse, the various strands of policy discourse have some level of
‘strategic coherence’ (cf. Rose, 2000a) that is also expressed in shared declarations on
urban policy, such as the Vienna Forum or the Leipzig Charter (see Table 1). There is
thus a more or less coherent way of thinking regarding the social forces in urban
neighborhoods and the ways in which policy can seek to intervene in these areas. Though
each discipline, country, city or profession retains idiosyncrasies, the last two decades
have seen the convergence of forces pertaining to the governance of urban marginality
into a regime composed of heterogeneous governmentalities (Dean, 1999: 211).
My argument is that the relatively strong interdependencies between central state
and deprived neighborhoods have created conditions under which segregation and the
development of no-go areas are regarded as major threats, not just to the residents of
areas of relegation but to entire societies. In response, local and national administrators,
in conjunction with their partners, have developed a range of governmentalities to frame
and curb these threats. What ties these heterogeneous governmentalities together is the
idea and aspiration of integration, both of lower-class minorities and the territories where
they reside. Over the last decades, the concept of integration has become absolutely
central to policy discourses of the governments of Western Europe (Favell, 2003;
Schinkel, 2007; 2008; Uitermark, 2012). Immigrants who have entered the national
territory are regarded as a possible threat to the integrity of the nation, especially if they
(are thought to) cluster together in residential or social environments (Finney and
Simpson, 2009) or inhabit parallel life worlds (Phillips and Harrison, 2010: 224). While
comprehensive frameworks have been set up at the borders to regulate the inflow of
migrants (Joppke, 2007), the fear that society’s integrity is under threat also finds its
expression in civilizing missions in deprived areas (Macleod and Johnstone, 2012).
Ethnic and religious minorities in particular are deemed to be ‘outside’ of society
(Schinkel, 2010). They have to be brought in — they have to integrate, to participate and
to respect the norms and values embodied in the state.1To put it as tersely as possible,
I propose to study integration as social control.
1 In the USA, such a process might be referred to as assimilation (Ruiz-Tagle, 2013: 399). However,
whereas the meaning is similar, the way the notion is used is not. Assimilation is today used mainly
as lay and scholarly concept in the USA. In contrast to ‘integration’ in the context of Western Europe,
assimilation is not at the center of political rationalities and governmental technologies (Glazer,
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Analyzing efforts to promote integration as attempts to gain and exercise social
control may raise some objections. A first objection considers the motives of authorities
— is it not cynical to assume they want control? The obvious answer to the objection of
cynicism is that the dominant framing of minorities and deprived areas is not that they are
the result of exploitation or racism but rather that they suffer from a lack of civil morality
and too high concentrations of problem groups. But when authorities and professionals
are primarily interested in helping poor minorities, they still need a measure of control
— they need to be able to identify these groups, reach out to them and incorporate them
into programs, all of which requires considerable statecraft. Understanding these forms
of statecraft is what I intend here. A second objection is that analyzing interventions in
terms of control appears to suggest that residents do not benefit. Residents may very well
benefit because authorities and the majority of residents in deprived areas share an
interest in promoting civilized conduct. There is rarely, if ever, a clear opposition
between communities on the one hand and authorities on the other. Sometimes residents
suffer as they are subjected to surveillance or displacement; at other times residents
appreciate or even call for more comprehensive and intrusive governance of their living
environments. But the precise balance of advantages and disadvantages for different
groups of residents is of no relevance when we want to analyze the forms governance
takes on. Policies are the result of struggles. They are, as a rule, messy and contradictory.
The point of the present exercise thus is not to judge whether policies are good or bad
(they are necessarily better for some than for others) or to test policy assumptions (as if
there were a policy theory akin to a scientific theory) but to identify the rationalities and
technologies that structure the field in which urban policymakers operate. These
rationalities and technologies are not centrally imposed but emerge through interactions
among policymakers as well as between policymakers and the areas they seek to govern.
They structure the range of thinkable and doable options.
A third objection could be that concepts like ‘integration’ and ‘segregation’ are
complex and ambivalent and therefore should be clearly defined. However, here I am
interested in the territorial governance of urban marginality, not in developing the
concepts of integration and segregation analytically or arguing how integration should be
achieved (see Ruiz-Tagle, 2013). Both concepts are indeed elusive as they can refer to
cultural, political, economic and moral dimensions in different areas ranging from
workplaces and public spaces to neighborhoods and life worlds. Underlying these many
different concepts, however, is a sentiment, widely held by policymakers in the field of
social and urban policy, that — to paraphrase a motto attributed to Margeret Thatcher —
‘there is such thing as society’ that is at risk of falling apart and therefore requires
patching. In the broadest possible sense, segregation refers to those forces that pull
society apart while integration refers to the forces that keep it together. While these
general notions guide policies, they take on different guises in different countries and
policy fields. The polyvalence of the concept enables policymakers at different
administrative scales and policy domains to use it as a guiding rationality for exercising
control over marginalized areas. Rather than clarifying or elaborating the concepts of
integration, my purpose is to identify the contours of an integrationist regime that spans
different scales and policy domains.
Urban policy and the integrity of the nation:
the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK
The emergence of integrated neighborhood development is a broad trend evident across
(and beyond) Europe (see Table 1). To focus the discussion, I provide a brief examination
of urban policy in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK and suggest that interventions
within deprived urban neighborhoods can be understood as attempts to gain or regain
control over these areas. The next section then discusses technologies and rationalities of
control pertaining to the governance of deprived urban areas in more detail.
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In the Netherlands, the government first started experimenting with integrated
neighborhood development in the 1980s. It was widely felt that the influx of immigrants
eroded social cohesion and degraded the image of these neighborhoods. Governance
actors within these neighborhoods, like local administrators and housing corporations,
argued that they became increasingly difficult to manage. Moreover, it was feared that the
privatization of the housing market would intensify residential segregation and the
formation of concentration areas (Priemus, 1997). Public and policy debate considered
these neighborhoods as frontlines where the discontents of multicultural society were
manifestly visible. In the 1990s and 2000s, policies to improve social cohesion and
economic integration were complemented by physical restructuring and tenure
conversion (from the social into the private sector). The overall goal of the policy is to
prevent a ‘downward spiral’ of neighborhoods at risk by improving their housing market
Table 1 Territorial and integrated policies in different European countries
France Développement Social des
Neighbourhood social
development policy
Développement Social Urbain Urban social development policy 1988
Politique de la Ville Policy for the city 1990
Zone Urbaine Sensible Sensitive urban zone policy 2003
The Netherlands Probleemcumulatiegebiedenbeleid Policy for problem accumulation
Sociale Vernieuwing Social renewal policy 1990
Grotestedenbeleid Big cities policy 1994
Stedelijke Vernieuwingsbeleid Urban renewal policy 1997
Wijkaanpak Neighborhood renewal policy 2007
UK New Life for Urban Scotland 1988
City Challenge Programme 1991
Single Regeneration Budget 1993
New Deal for Communities 1998
Housing Market Renewal
Germany Die Soziale Stadt 1999 The social city 1999
Nationale Stadt Entwicklungs
National urban development
Sweden Utsatta Bostadsomraden Development of underprivileged
Metropolitan Development
Belgium Sociaal Impuls Fonds (SIF)
Social impulse fund 1996
Grootstedenbeleid/Politique des
Grandes Villes
Big cities policy 2000
European Union Vienna Forum on Sustainable
Urban Development in the EU
Leipzig Charter on Sustainable
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position, livability and safety (Uitermark, 2003). More recently, policymakers have been
more explicit in their ambition to ‘reconquer’ deprived neighborhoods through a mix of
repressive and social policies (see Engbersen et al., 2006; Uitermark and Duyvendak,
2008). Integrated neighborhood development thus came to be seen as a central
component in a larger effort to curb the negative side effects of immigration of
Mediterranean and postcolonial immigrants. This is symbolically reflected in the
decision to have minority integration and urban policies fall under the responsibility of
the same minister (since 1998). Promoting civil order in these neighborhoods —
enforcing the law, instating norms of sociability, increasing civic involvement — thus
came to be seen as a central component of a larger struggle to protect or restore the
nation’s integrity.
In Belgium, the central and regional governments have been traditionally favoring
rural and suburban rather than urban areas (De Decker et al., 2005) but since the 1990s
different territorial policies have been developed. As in the Netherlands, stigmatized and
deprived urban neighborhoods were considered as the frontline of multicultural society.
The extreme right party Vlaams Blok (now called Vlaams Belang) achieved its first
major electoral victories in these areas. Flanders’ political establishment was shocked
into action and funded local actors, in particular welfare agencies, to engage in civil
renewal — by funding neighborhood centers, job programs and community initiatives,
the government hoped to change the conditions giving rise to the Vlaams Blok
(Loopmans et al., 2002). When, in the late 1990s, the Vlaams Blok also had considerable
success outside the urban core, urban policy shifted gears: while initially the focus was
on strengthening social cohesion and emancipation of disenfranchised groups, since the
late 1990s the government is, at least rhetorically, more committed to integrated
neighborhood development, including the promotion of gentrification (Loopmans et al.,
2010). Although the conditions in Flanders were very different from those in the
Netherlands — which lacked the anti-urban political history as well as the prominence
of an extreme right party based in cities — the policies in both countries converged to the
degree that in Flanders, too, the civilizing of neighborhoods was key to a more
comprehensive project to restore the unity of the nation. As in the Netherlands, the
Flemish government worked with local partners to restore civil order in these
neighborhoods to reduce or limit their role as incubators of norms and values dangerous
to (the establishment’s view on) the nation’s integrity.
In the UK, as in the Netherlands, the government has over the last three decades
unleashed market forces in various domains of society while simultaneously developing
ambitious strategies of physical and social renewal in areas with weak market positions.
The exact way this paradox played out depended upon the balance of power between
urban and national administrators. While Conservative governments have developed a
number of urban policies, the Labour government has been most ambitious in its
attempts to activate communities in deprived urban districts, invest in ‘regeneration’ and
promote ‘housing market renewal’. Governmental interest in deprived areas has been
driven at least in part by the actual or potential violence emanating from these areas, in
the form of large-scale clashes in areas like Brixton or Bradford or in mundane
expressions of animosity and antipathy. As in the Netherlands, the perceived failure of
national models of integration (race relations and multiculturalism) has inaugurated a
search for alternative frameworks around community cohesion that prioritize the
integration of poor minority groups through their incorporation in neighborhood and
cities (Amin, 2005; Worley, 2005).
There are clearly important differences between these countries but they also share
interesting commonalities. In all cases, governments nominally committed to facilitating
market forces develop comprehensive programs for integral neighborhood development.
The unfolding of comprehensive urban policies can indeed be seen as an example of
roll-out neoliberalism (Peck and Tickell, 2002) when privatization goes together with the
creation of institutions that absorb the shocks that might arise from unfettered market
forces. Deprived and defamed neighborhoods thus become sites where pastoral and
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liberal politics coalesce. It is feared that tensions within these neighborhoods —
especially multicultural tensions — may dislocate society as a whole. Because of the
interdependencies between what goes on in these areas and the nation, the tensions are
more than a local affair. Cities and nations are perceived to be in a symbiotic relationship.
In line with this, segregation and divisions are considered important threats for cities but
also for society, implying that territorial policies aimed at regeneration serve as curative
or preventative interventions that save the nation as a whole from degeneration. To
counter the development of ‘parallel life worlds’ (as in the UK; Phillips and Harrison,
2010), prevent ‘concentration neighborhoods’ (as in the Netherlands; Uitermark, 2003)
or stop people from turning their backs on democracy (as in Belgium; Loopmans et al.,
2002), central governments formed coalitions with local partners. Incorporating deprived
neighborhoods into the nation and neutralizing the threats arising from them became a
central, perhaps the overarching, theme of urban policy. By territorializing policies —
i.e. designing policies for specific, designated areas — urban marginality came to be
governed in specific ways. The following section discusses how marginalized
neighborhoods are governed and how territorialization performs crucial roles for
managing — as opposed to solving or ignoring — social problems.
Rationalities and technologies of integration
Political rationalities refer to ‘practices for the formulation and justification of idealized
schemata for representing reality, analyzing it and rectifying it — as a kind of intellectual
machinery or apparatus for rendering reality thinkable in such a way that it is amenable
to political programming’ (Rose, 1996: 42). In analyzing political rationalities pertaining
to advanced marginality, I focus on notions that may be popular among some segments
of policymakers in different parts of the world but can be considered hegemonic in the
West European context.
Community cohesion
In their conceptions of deprived neighborhoods, authorities combine pastoral with liberal
politics in the sense that they reconfigure and draw upon communal and family relations
to exercise control and promote discipline beyond the state (Donzelot, 1979; Cohen,
1985). The popularity of a concept like ‘social capital’ fits with the trend that
governments aim at and rely on relations and institutions beyond the state. Engaging the
neighborhood community in governing efforts has been key to urban policies throughout
Western Europe. The SIF in Flanders aimed to improve social relations among
neighborhood residents in an attempt to involve them in the management of their
neighborhoods and prevent them from turning their ‘backs to democracy’(the code word
for extreme right sympathies, as used in Vlaamse Raad, 1995: 23). In the Netherlands,
large-scale attempts to increase social capital in neighborhoods and especially between
different ethnic groups started with the social renewal policy and then various rounds of
neighborhood-oriented policy (e.g. Verhoeven and Tonkens, 2011). The ambition to
involve neighborhood communities is most explicitly expressed in British urban policy,
starting with the ‘New Deal for Communities’ (Lawless, 2004) and resurfacing with
recent attempts to construct the ‘big society’ by empowering local communities to
manage their affairs (Blond, 2010).
Communities are considered important ‘partners’ in all kinds of state projects while at
the same time the nature of these projects — aiming to increase ‘social capital’, promote
social interaction, enlarge ‘social cohesion’ and so on — suggests communities are
inherently fragile or even non-existent. While governance actors seek to include and
involve ‘the local community’, the paradox is that the very reason for the interventions
is that these communities have lost much of their former cohesion as a result of social
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fragmentation and symbolic splintering (Wacquant, 2008: 244–6). The ‘neighborhood
community’ can, however, become a productive myth if enough people believe and invest
in it (cf. Anderson, 1991). There is a concerted effort on the part of governance actors to
construct communities and subsequently mobilize them through quasi-representative
organs. Community involvement thus becomes a governmental project (Marinetto,
2003). Authorities are interested in fostering those forms of social capital they can call
on in their efforts to govern territories and populations. By calling on communities —
especially when it is unlikely that spontaneous mobilization will occur — a new
collective identity (the neighborhood community) is attached to the new unit of
government (‘the neighborhood’). Rather than mobilizing already existing communities,
governance actors in deprived neighborhoods attempt to construct and shape
communities towards specific ends (cf. Cruikshank, 1999; Rose, 2000b). One of the
major reasons that the governing of neighborhoods takes on a paternalistic and
disciplinary form is that the formation of communities is now something that is achieved
through governmental programs directed at neighborhood communities rather than civil
action directed at governments. After a period of strong resident activism in the 1980s,
states have first co-opted antagonistic neighborhood organizations (Mayer, 2007) and are
presently creating new coalitions in which select groups of residents and associations are
incorporated as ‘partners’ for government (Nicholls, 2006). Thus, the neighborhood has
emerged as a site where the promotion of cohesion aids attempts of governance actors to
constitute and mobilize communities that coincide with the unruly territories they seek to
Social exclusion and citizenship
Social exclusion has become a key term in discourses regarding poverty and deprivation.
The genesis of the contemporary usage of the term ‘social exclusion’ can be found in the
French republican discourse of citizenship (Atkinson, 2000). In principle, this concept
allows policymakers and analysts to trace back deprivation in a specific socio-temporal
context to processes operating on a larger scale and it therefore potentially focuses
attention on general processes rather than their specific outcomes. However, after the
term had been adopted and disseminated by European policymakers, it gained a larger
number of narrower meanings (ibid.). The term was increasingly understood as a
condition of individuals rather than as a feature of social processes. Thus, it became
possible to talk about social exclusion as a phenomenon that occurred more in some
places than in others. There is a strong relation between the popularity of the concept of
social exclusion and the increasing popularity of a neighborhood-based approach to
social problems. The founding of the British Social Exclusion Unit in 1997 is
emblematic in that it framed social exclusion as processes that affect individuals and
neighborhoods (Social Exclusion Unit, 2001). The central idea is that various kinds of
problems accumulate and reinforce each other in neighborhoods which therefore become
the preferred site of intervention. While the Social Exclusion Unit was transformed into
the smaller Social Exclusion Taskforce in 2010, the emphasis of policies combating
exclusion has remained at the level of neighborhoods (rather than, for example, industrial
districts). The Netherlands, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden and Belgium have also
adopted neighborhood-based programs to fight social exclusion. Arange of agencies and
institutions have been set up that administer these rights and obligations. Thus, the
neighborhood has emerged as the scale on which a range of specific measures can
effectuate a sort of surrogate citizenship: the networks and processes from which
deprived households are excluded may operate far beyond the neighborhood yet the
neighborhood has become a site where compensation for exclusionary processes could
be provided through a range of specific projects and programs. These neighborhood
programs are supposed to provide residents of deprived neighborhoods with the civil,
political and social rights that had been administered through the nation state (Marshall,
1950) but with a vengeance as it is now believed that these rights come with obligations
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that have to be enforced. For this reason, neighborhoods are sites where people can claim
their rights, and even more so, sites where the government organizes tutelage and
guidance — the modalities of pastoral politics — to enforce these obligations.
Technologies of integration
The previous section identified political rationalities of integration, showing how
neighborhoods, their populations and especially the excluded segments of their
populations have been cast as objects and subjects of governance. While political
rationalities serve to perceive reality in such a way that it becomes possible to enact
programs of government, governmental technologies are the actual means by which
programs of government take shape. ‘Technologies of government’ refer to ‘strategies,
techniques and procedures through which different authorities seek to enact programs of
government in relation to the materials and forces to hand and the resistances and
oppositions anticipated or encountered’ (Rose, 1996: 43). Like rationalities, technologies
are only effective to the extent that they can be general and specific: measures have to be
developed that are sensitive to local conditions and contingencies while allowing
specificities to be expressed in a uniform vocabulary. The four technologies discussed
here — monitoring, local–central exchange, social mixing and integral policymaking —
enable central authorities and local governance to jointly perceive and act on the diverse
realities they are confronted with in various localities.
To intervene in neighborhoods, they first have to be legible. Any central authority seeking
to enact government in a large number of different localities is confronted with the fact
that at each particular moment there is an endless variety of problems within its
jurisdiction. Central authorities and their local partners therefore constantly search for
concepts and measuring devices suitable for coding the unique combination of
circumstances in various localities in such a way that it becomes possible to develop
standardized responses. Measuring and mapping instruments play a pivotal role in
translating local realities and problems on the ground into codes that are mobile, stable
and combinable, thereby making it possible to govern from a distance and on the spot
(Latour, 1987). One example is the livability monitor (the leefbaarometer) developed by
Dutch housing corporations and adopted by the government, which condenses the
complex realities of neighborhoods into a single score (Uitermark, 2005). Another
example is the so-called ‘safety index’ that the municipality of Rotterdam developed in
the wake of the electoral victory of the Pim Fortuyn’s populist right-wing party Leefbaar
Rotterdam (Noordegraaf, 2008). Obviously such translations involve biases. In these
cases, high shares of low-income or minority groups are counted as negative indicators
of livability and safety, revealing that the housing corporations and government consider
a neighborhood livable or safe when it consists of native Dutch middle-class households.
Monitoring thus very clearly reflects the interests and views of authorities that use
proxies to discover which neighborhoods might require intervention.
Similar instruments have been used in other countries to monitor the national territory
and areas in which locality problems may occur. The goal is to detect worrying
developments or threats, though what counts as such obviously depends on national
circumstances. In Belgium, for example, policymakers on a local and national level have
produced ‘poverty atlases’ that show which areas are in need of territorial interventions.
The poverty atlas was developed in response to the electoral victories of the Vlaams Blok
which drew its support largely from deprived urban neighborhoods (Loopmans et al.,
2002). The poverty atlas embodies a discourse that links the support for xenophobic
voting to the living conditions in deprived neighborhoods. These procedures have the
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effect of territorializing, and to some extent reifying, social problems. They carry the
promise that social problems do not require a fundamental reconsideration of how
society is constituted but can be managed through targeted interventions in areas where
they manifest themselves. Often the goal is, as was the case with the UK New Deal for
Communities, to discover through statistical analysis to what extent and on which issues
deprived communities score relatively low and then to take measures to change them
(move them closer to the average) (Lawless, 2004). These monitoring technologies thus
represent the technological counterpart to rationalities framing the neighborhood as a site
for intervention because they standardize local specificities in ways that make territories
understood and therefore amenable to programs of government (cf. Latour, 1987).
Local–central exchange and cooperation
To intervene in local realities, central authorities have to enlist local actors. The most
important technology used for this purpose is a contract between the central government
and the local government in which the former agrees to provide financial support on the
condition that the latter meets certain criteria. The central governments of the
Netherlands and Belgium have, as a rule, agreed to whatever plans local governments
have put forward. There are no cases of cities being refused funds or having to pay back
funds because they failed to meet their demands. The UK bid formula is somewhat more
demanding as cities are expected to compete for the same funds.
While in some countries, notably the UK under Thatcher (Imrie and Thomas, 1999),
tensions have been evident between local and national governments, the contract formula
has facilitated a more cooperative relationship between different government levels.
Contracts and negotiations serve to create a situation in which local and national
governments can mutually adjust their plans and ambitions (Raco and Imrie, 2000; Raco,
2003). Decentralization does not simply involve a shift of power from one level to the
other but rather a process of ‘enforced self-regulation’ (Crawford, 2006) when the
requirement to develop coordinated responses induces local governance actors to
cooperate and self-organize on the basis of local relations and identities. Moreover,
central authorities enlist local governance actors; and local governance actors call on
central authorities to assist with managing territories. In other words, local–central
relations, in the present advanced liberal policy context, do not have a zero-sum
character. When the strategic interests of central government and local governance actors
are brought in line with each other, their joint capacity of exercising control over
deprived neighborhoods increases.
Social mixing
Apart from legibility and coordination across scales, governance in neighborhoods
requires the presence of a civil society that acts in line with rather than against
government. As policymakers feel that residents of deprived areas lack the competence
or will to perform such a role, they have attempted to reconfigure the neighborhood
composition. Such reconfiguration often goes under the name of ‘social mixing’. Social
mixing or the creation of ‘balanced neighborhoods’ is a central objective of governments
throughout Europe (Smith, 2002; Musterd, 2005). In the Netherlands, the restructuring
policy, initiated in 1997 and continued in various forms since, aims to retain or bring in
middle-class households by promoting homeownership (either through the sale of social
housing or the replacement of old social housing with new owner-occupied dwellings).
In the UK, the ‘HMR Pathfinder program aims to regenerate “failing” neighborhoods and
housing markets through selective demolition and housing improvement’ (Phillips and
Harrison, 2010: 228). The central government in Belgium does not have the same
resources at its disposal as the Dutch and UK governments, but nevertheless tries to bring
about social mixing by selectively upgrading the stock in deprived neighborhoods
(Loopmans et al., 2010).
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At the root of the desire to achieve a social mix in deprived neighborhoods is the
attribution of desirable behavior to middle-class households. For example, it is
expected that affluent households will serve as positive role models for disadvantaged
youths. Empirical research on the effects of neighborhood composition on the
performance of individuals shows that social mixing strategies do little to improve the
social mobility of poorer households (Ostendorf et al., 2001). However, while scholars
often assume that governments promote social mixing because they believe it
counteracts negative neighborhood effects, there may be other reasons of a more
realpolitik nature to increase the share of middle classes. As pointed out above, there
is no reason to assume that government policy is intended to improve the position
of the most disadvantaged. Apart from improving the chances of social success
for deprived poor households, social mixing can perform vital roles for exercising
social control.
First, social mixing implies the reduction of groups regarded as problematic, such as
deprived households or ethnic minorities. Reducing social or affordable housing is a
comparatively cheap and efficient way for local governance actors to reduce their burden
by altering the composition of the neighborhood population (see Haworth and Manzi,
1999; Goodchild and Cole, 2001; Uitermark et al., 2007). Social mixing is a ‘means
to an end — the end being the establishment of a multifaceted system of control
in disadvantaged neighborhoods that would make these places easier to manage’
(Uitermark, 2003: 546). Social mixing is usually part of more comprehensive strategies,
enacted by broad coalitions with housing corporations or municipal governments at their
core, to prevent or punish undesirable behavior (Flint, 2003). Social mixing is, again, a
combination of liberal and pastoral politics as it is employed by governments that seek
to unleash market forces while wanting to retain their power to govern deprived and
defamed neighborhoods.
Second, middle-class households can fulfill an important role because they embody
respect for the state and therefore can extend its power. The rescaling of responsibilities
towards the neighborhood can only be successful when neighborhood residents actually
participate and help to implement and sometimes even formulate policies. Middle-class
households are expected to fulfill this role exactly; they come to neighborhood meetings,
they call the police when there is trouble, they vote more often and they exert informal
control, in all cases helping authorities to maintain social order and uphold legitimacy
(Uitermark, 2003). Therefore, the sponsoring of gentrification (see, for example, Smith,
2002) is a way to create the necessary base and infrastructure to facilitate the civilizing
areas of marginality.
Integral and joined-up policies
While in the past policy was administered through specialized and largely independent
compartments, contemporary urban policymakers feel that interdepartmental
cooperation is necessary to effectively intervene in neighborhoods. In the UK, ‘joined-up
government’ is the preferred term; in the Netherlands and Belgium, policymakers strive
for ‘integral policy’. While the introduction of market simulations in urban policy has
pitted some governance actors against each other, governance actors embrace the idea of
cooperation and try to break down walls between different departments and sectors. The
fact that so many agencies now report that government is hopelessly compartmentalized
shows us not that this problem has been exacerbated in recent years but rather that it
has come to be seen as a problem. Centrally administered, rights-based collective
consumption operates well through sectoral specialization but integral government —
the pastoral politics of governing each and all (Foucault, 1991: 92) — requires strong
coordination and shared norms among the various governance actors operating in an
area. A multiplication or strengthening of connections between different governance
actors — government agencies, quasi-governmental organizations, selected resident
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representatives — creates a constant pressure to break down idiosyncratic or exceptional
institutions that do not fit with the logic of the network in which they are (becoming)
While interactions can by themselves induce actors to develop a common language
(e.g. ‘livability’) and evaluate their actions in the norms suggested by that language, a
range of governmental technologies has put extra pressure on actors to adjust their
actions according to a mutually defined logic. One of the emblematic examples in this
context are the plans that governmental coalitions now have to make to qualify for
support from the central state. ‘City visions’ or ‘neighborhood visions’ are expressly
intended to bring local actors together to develop a common language that helps them to
synergize their efforts. Whereas central governments in the past tended to hand down
tasks, now they encourage local actors to decide which goals should be pursued and what
are the appropriate means. Different segments of the (local) government (for example,
between departments for ‘social’ or ‘economic’ affairs) are now, more than before,
encouraged to look for shared interests. Plans and visions often have to include a list of
‘strong’ and ‘weak’ points of the territory in question, forcing actors to act on a shared
geographical identity. In addition, the variety and intensity of cooperation between
different actors is often seen by the central government in and by itself as a criterion for
granting funds. Actors are encouraged to think of themselves as place based and to
articulate their interests vis-à-vis other places rather than vis-à-vis, for example, other
classes or sectors.
Apart from these interactions that simultaneously discipline and reward members of
interorganizational networks, there is a separate reason why integral approaches to urban
problems have become increasingly popular. Integral policy makes it possible to exercise
control over different aspects of an individual’s life in a coordinated fashion. Sharing
information and coordinating activities can help to ‘integrally’ control territories and
monitor individuals. This is actually an explicit goal of policies which track individuals
practically from the time they are born; they do so ‘by producing images of risky subjects
as well as images of risk geographies when “neighborhoods” are screened for risks or
when the “milieu” of risky subjects is charted and monitored’ (Schinkel, 2011: 373,
emphasis in the original). Willem Schinkel (2011) refers to such efforts as ‘pre-pression’
and charts the numerous archives tracking children and youngsters through time and
space. The neighborhood here appears as the platform through which professionals from
various sectors have discussions and intervene. The aspiration to integrally condition the
lives of individuals in disadvantaged neighborhoods is the technological counterpart of
a political rationality that has as its main focus the exclusion of deprived individuals from
multifaceted processes. The creation of neighborhood-based networks serves to
discipline and empower both agencies and deprived households, creating a sort of ‘social
panoptism’ (Wacquant, 2001) in which monitoring subjects are themselves monitored.
Relegation and repression have become increasingly salient strategies for achieving
social control over unruly groups and territories. Whereas many authors suggested that
the surveillance of borders between segregated areas is key to the governing of
marginality in the USA and perhaps the postindustrial city generally, I suggest that — at
least in Western Europe — a distinct integrationist regime for governing marginality has
emerged. The political rationalities of this regime represent neighborhoods as sites where
interventions to improve cohesion and tackle exclusion can help to remedy local
problems while protecting the integrity of the nation; the neighborhood becomes a
‘power container’ (Giddens, 1987: 15–17) where administrative and governmental
capacities are located and coordinated. Through a set of governmental technologies —
monitoring, local–central exchange, social mixing and integral policymaking — central
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authorities and local governance reconfigure neighborhoods so that they become
governable. This regime does not incorporate (all) residents completely; it is not a total
institution but represents a dynamic constellation combining elements of liberal and
pastoral politics to gain or regain control over neighborhoods where the state’s monopoly
over symbolic and physical violence is challenged.
The argument is that there is a need to examine attempts at promoting integration as
strategies for achieving control over deprived territories and populations. Target groups
may or may not benefit, but if we want to understand and explain the evolution of
policies, we need an approach that does not seek to judge but to analyze policy. To that
end, I have drawn on the work of Elias on state formation and civilizing process. Elias
helps us to understand how the civilizing offensives aimed at stigmatized and
disenfranchised groups may be explained (De Regt, 1984; De Swaan, 1988). To
understand the precise forms policies take on, it is beneficial to complement his insights
on state formation with the governmentality literature, which deals specifically with how
authorities conceive and act on territories and populations (Foucault, 1991; 2009). In
short, my argument is that policies can be analyzed by examining the interdependencies
among actors, the political rationalities they develop and the governmental technologies
through which they reconfigure neighborhoods. While I have made my argument with
reference to the countries of Western Europe, where interdependencies between strata
and territories are relatively strong, there is every reason to believe that the drive for
integration can be found in other places where neither complete banishment nor full
incorporation are likely. For instance, although the notion of ‘integration’ does not serve
as a specter for governance in the USA, the restructuring of public housing estates and
governmental intrusions into the life worlds of the urban poor (including drug testing)
may have similar origins and effects as the rationalities and technologies discussed here.
One important question is how the economic and budgetary crises affect the
integrationist regime of governing marginality. On the one hand, it appears that states
will have fewer resources to direct at the management of deprived neighborhoods. Many
of the rationalities and technologies discussed here are typical of what Peck and Tickell
(2002) call ‘roll-out neoliberalism’ and what Brenner (2004) refers to as ‘flanking
mechanisms’. As states focus on rescuing the market and cutting their budgets, one might
expect that the forces of segregation and polarization become too overwhelming to
manage. On this reading, we may expect states to temper their ambitions and retreat from
the micromanagement of marginalized populations and territories. On the other hand, the
crises make it even less plausible than before that states can and will steer at a macro
level, thus leaving micro-level management as the only and last resort. Indeed, the recent
revolts in France and the UK did not trigger a reconsideration of macro-level policies but
rather allocated blame — and therefore the potential solution — to the groups revolting.
The ‘community’ or the ‘Big Society’ is supposed to do what the government cannot do:
remedy and manage the incivilities that plague urban habitats.
Even though the integrative measures to mitigate urban tensions compare favorably
with relegation, it is important to point out some disturbing features. At least to some
extent, the frantic governmental activity that goes on in deprived neighborhoods,
including benign and well intended actions, can be seen as a response to the failure of
states to curb the general processes that produce deprivation in particular places.
Whereas governments in the Fordist era attenuated class antagonism at the national level,
now governance actors attempt to manage the outcomes of neoliberal globalization at the
city and neighborhood level. The spatial partitioning of the urban poor and the creation
of a web of control around their living environment can be seen as attempts on the part
of all parties concerned, including select resident groups, to manage rather than remedy
disintegrating processes operating far beyond the neighborhood.
Justus Uitermark (, Faculteit der Maatschappij- en
Gedragswetenschappen, Afd. Sociologie and Antropologie, University of Amsterdam, OZ
Achterburgwal 185, 1012 DK Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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... Centraal stond "de vernieuwing van mensen en de samenleving" (politicus Winsemius in de Wilde, 2013a, p. 32) waarin culturele kwesties als normen en waarden een belangrijke rol speelden. Het actieplan was sterk verbonden met het publieke debat over het 'multiculturele drama' dat zich voornamelijk zou voltrekken in 'achterstandswijken' (de Wilde, 2013a, p. 33;Uitermark, 2014). Mede op basis van het rapport van de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid 'Vertrouwen in de Buurt' (2005) ontstond het beeld van 'achterstandswijken' waar verschillende bevolkingsgroepen langs elkaar heen leefden, gezinnen met middeninkomens vertrokken waren en allochtone jongeren zouden ontsporen. ...
... Hiermee dienen ze als symbolische verbindingen tussen het verleden, heden en toekomst van het gebied door het versterken van de oude betekenis van die objecten en plaatsen én het creëren van nieuwe betekenissen (Savini & Dembski, 2016;zie ook Yanow, 1996). Hoewel de herwaardering van plaatsen en objecten een bekend gegeven is in de praktijk van en studie naar stedelijke regeneratie, is er vaak veel minder expliciete aandacht voor de sociale dimensies ervan, zoals de relatie die gelegd wordt tussen de plaatsen en objecten én specifieke bevolkinsgroepen (met uitzondering Van den Berg, 2017;Uitermark, 2014). Stedelijke regeneratie gaat over het algemeen over de economische en fysieke herstructuring van gebieden zoals industriële erfgoedvorming meestal gaat over de materiële kenmerken van een industriële cultuur uit het verleden (vgl. ...
... De nieuwe beeldvorming over Noord wordt deels bepaald door stedenbouwkundigen, architecten, investeerders, politici en creatieve ondernemers die allemaal een rol spelen in de herontwikkeling van de industriegebieden en arbeiderswijken. Om herontwikkeling daadwerkelijk in gang te zetten, zijn er allerlei allianties nodig van publieke en private partijen waarin ook coalities van bewoners, adviesorganen en stichtingen een rol spelen die ook verzet plegen tegen visies en plannen (zie ook Coombe, 2012;de Cesari, 2012;Uitermark, 2014). ...
In the context of debates on the role of culture in the development of cities, I discuss how the emphasis on creativity and the ‘creative class’ in the regeneration of urban neighborhoods generates a dynamic of socio-cultural heritage formation. My analysis is based on ethnographic research in different former working-class neighborhoods in Amsterdam North, where the imagination of the industrial past and the lives of the workers has come to play an important role in the practices of regeneration. Government, welfare institutions and housing corporations have been focusing on the ‘social mixing’ of the ‘working class’ and the ‘creative middle class’ in recent years, in order to tackle different problems in the so-called disadvantaged neighborhoods. An important method was the use of creative professionals who tried to promote positive emotions and interactions between residents through artistic neighborhood projects that mobilized values like pride, authenticity and diversity on the basis of cultural characterizations of Northerners. During those projects, stereotypical images came about as well as apparent contradictions between ‘old North’ and ‘new North’ – the ‘working class’ versus the ‘middle class’, which contributed to practices and feelings of inclusion and exclusion.
... Urban scholarship has widely applied the lens of urban marginality to analyze the disadvantages faced by the urban poor and new settlers in accessing the city's space and resources (Uitermark, 2014;Lata, 2020). This spatial perspective on urban marginality has helped to illuminate processes of inequality by highlighting the consequences of residential segregation into disadvantaged neighborhoods (Desmond and Shollenberger, 2015;Unceta et al., 2020). ...
... This showcases how IDPs experience marginality through a dependence on the city and its distant infrastructure. Thus, urban marginality is manifested not only through exclusion, but also through the subordination of disadvantaged people to the city (Uitermark, 2014;Hammar, 2017). ...
... They may not live with other urban residents in harmony'. This indicates how stigma is used as a form of social control, to contain and abandon marginalized residents (Uitermark, 2014). Many interviews and observations revealed that Kersa farmers and service providers, such as drivers and district officials, reinforced the stigma attached to IDPs, which perpetuated the social marginality discussed above. ...
... Urban scholarship has widely applied the lens of urban marginality to analyze the disadvantages faced by the urban poor and new settlers in accessing the city's space and resources (Uitermark, 2014;Lata, 2020). This spatial perspective on urban marginality has helped to illuminate processes of inequality by highlighting the consequences of residential segregation into disadvantaged neighborhoods (Desmond and Shollenberger, 2015;Unceta et al., 2020). ...
... This showcases how IDPs experience marginality through a dependence on the city and its distant infrastructure. Thus, urban marginality is manifested not only through exclusion, but also through the subordination of disadvantaged people to the city (Uitermark, 2014;Hammar, 2017). ...
... They may not live with other urban residents in harmony'. This indicates how stigma is used as a form of social control, to contain and abandon marginalized residents (Uitermark, 2014). Many interviews and observations revealed that Kersa farmers and service providers, such as drivers and district officials, reinforced the stigma attached to IDPs, which perpetuated the social marginality discussed above. ...
In cities in the global South, internally displaced persons (IDPs) often end up in marginalized places created by uneven processes of urbanization. While IDPs experience similar disadvantages to the urban poor living in these places, they face additional vulnerabilities related to their displacement. Building on insights from urban studies and forced migration studies, we argue in this article that a multidimensional understanding of urban marginality is a useful analytical lens with which to examine the conditions of urban IDPs. Based on multi‐sited ethnographic research in Kersa and Sululta IDP settlements of Ethiopia, this study reveals how IDPs experience similar spatial, social and symbolic marginality in different urban contexts. Our findings show the relational manifestation of segregation, social distance and stigmatization that impede IDPs’ access to urban space and services. This study also highlights how these dimensions of marginality interact and reproduce an additional layer of marginality. Our research suggests the need for inclusive urban governance in which IDPs contribute to and benefit from urbanization as citizens.
... Previous research on city dwellers who are not citizens of the country wherein the city is located, have, to some extent, touched upon adjacent issues. Evidence from the UK, Belgium, Israel, and the Netherlands shows how clashes between 'insider' or 'established denizens' and 'outsider' or 'temporal' denizens, sometimes lead to the institutionalized exclusion of ethnic minorities from city services and decision-making platforms (Levin & Nahum, 2022;Elias & Scotson, 1994;Uitermark, 2014;Wekker, 2019). However, none of these studies has exposed the intra-group silencing prevalent in our study, nor have they uncovered its implications for social group members who are officially citizens, are 'insiders' in terms of their own communities, but whose low social status within these communities intentionally pushes them away from any influence on city policymaking, under the auspices of other citizens as well as policymakers themselves. ...
... In order to address this gap while at the same time contributing to strengthening the micro-macro link in this field, we link up with previous work in urban studies that use a Foucauldian governmentality approach (e.g. Dikeç 2007;Ghertner 2015;Gray 2022;Janoschka and Sequera 2016;Künkel and Mayer 2011;Raco and Imrie 2000;Roy 2009;Shlomo 2016;Uitermark 2014). While our analysis of governing strategies is largely along the lines of this literature, our main contribution consists in analysing how various forms of resistance emerge in connection with these strategies. ...
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This article contributes to the emerging body of literature in the field of urban studies that addresses the classical ‘division of labour’ between analyses of the workings of urban power at the macro- and micro-levels. Our theoretical framework aims to capture how processes of power are exercised in processes of urban restructuring. In the field of gentrification studies there have been calls for theoretical developments based on analyses of various local contexts in which rent gaps may be exploited in similar yet varied ways. We contribute to this discussion through an analysis of governing strategies and protests linked to urban restructuring in the context of the so-called Million Programme in Sweden’s two largest cities. In particular, we address the consequences of public housing companies being forced to operate according to ‘business principles’. Importantly, we demonstrate how advanced liberal government, under the influence of neoliberal ideology, has largely worked through a process of responsibilization. We discern a chain of responsibilization leading from the macro-, via the meso-, to the micro-level – ultimately involving the individual tenant; and highlight how a struggle that we call a politics of responsibility has taken place around each link in the chain.
En Europe, de nouveaux programmes de protection sociale illustrent un mouvement actuel : la tentative de gouverner par la communauté. Par la mise en perspective de trois enquêtes de terrain réalisées avec des professionnel·les et des bénévoles du soutien à la parentalité à Amsterdam, Milan et Paris, nous montrons comment cette forme de gouvernement est mise en œuvre et comment elle fait émerger de nouveaux enchevêtrements aux effets incontrôlables. Plus précisément, nous montrons comment les politiques sociales de proximité : (1) empêtrent les professionnel·les du welfare dans des réseaux locaux complexes, (2) brouillent la frontière entre les professionnel·les et les citoyen·nes ainsi qu’entre l’État et la société civile, (3) s’appuient sur des relations personnalisées et du travail affectif. La réorganisation de l’intervention sociale via des maillages territoriaux locaux produit un écheveau inextricable de réseaux et de partenariats. En outre, plutôt que de susciter des communautés résilientes qui prendraient soin d’elles-mêmes, les nouveaux programmes de protection sociale impliquent de plus en plus de citoyen·nes dans la mise en œuvre des modes de gouvernance qui les visent. Enfin, plutôt que d’être déchargé·es des responsabilités d’aide et de protection sociales étatiques, les professionnel·les à l’échelon local s’avèrent des agent·es particulièrement efficaces d’un retour de l’État social.
We examine how Danish politicians articulate views on the 'parallel society agreement' (aka, the 'ghetto-laws'), a controversial legislative intervention aiming to manage urban migration-related diversity. Through nationwide urban redevelopment aimed at facilitating residential 'mixing', the goal of the legislation is to eliminate so-called 'parallel societies'-socio-economically deprived neighbourhoods characterized by high concentrations of ethnic minorities. In-depth interviews with Danish politicians (n = 11) explored how this proposal was supported, contested or rejected in situated discourse. Following social representations theory, we focus on how 'parallel societies' were constructed in relation to differing ideas about 'mainstream society' and value-laden oppositional meaning-categories (i.e. themata). In particular, we highlight processes of socio-ethical reasoning that occurred through thematization of a shared oppositional meaning-category: 'freedom-constraint'. Views on the intervention were articulated around this oppositional meaning-category. Moreover, a connection was observed between the views articulated by individual politicians and sets of congruent ideas and images mobilized to represent 'parallel societies'. We discuss the theoretical value of taking a social representations approach to urban policy debates, and the practical limitations of dominant representations for successfully promoting intercultural dialogue and engagement-the stated goal of this intervention.
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The concept of urban living is evolving, and there is a growing interest in creating smaller, more connected, and hyperlocal neighbourhoods, where everything people need is within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. This paper challenges the concept of the ‘15-minute city’ as a panacea for urban ills, by exploring the history of utopian urban planning and regeneration aimed at creating sustainable, inclusive and vibrant communities by desegregating disadvantaged groups. Specifically, we examine social mixing policies, which are recurring top-down interventions that pathologise concentrated urban disadvantage. We trace the evolution of these policies in Europe from the Garden City movement to post-war social housing redevelopment to the current 15-minute city, which we consider to be social mix by stealth. While such policies can reduce the degree of concentrated disadvantage in the short term, they tend to be ineffective in the long term, as deprived neighbourhoods often remain so despite attempts to make them more diverse. The paper argues that the 15-minute city would be implemented through de facto social mix actions at the neighbourhood level, which are insufficient to address the deeper structural issues that perpetuate spatial inequality and deprivation. We propose that longitudinal and comparative analyses, combined with ‘right to the city’ perspectives, should be considered in future research and policymaking to understand – and more importantly address – why urban renewal initiatives that aim for equitable outcomes at the neighbourhood scale ultimately fail to deliver.
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This book is a rethinking of the state-civil society distinction via a theoretical engagement with Hegel, Marx and Foucault and an attempt to apply the argument to developments in the British state between 1834 and 1932. In the process, the book develops the concept of 'political administration' as a way of thinking through the question of state and civil society. The book can also be read as the embryonic form of later arguments I make concern the police power.
In the context of renewed debates about diversity and cohesion, this book interrogates contemporary claims about race and migration. It demonstrates that many of the claims are myths, presenting evidence in support of and in opposition to them in an accessible yet academically rigorous manner. The book tackles head-on questions about levels of immigration, the contribution of immigrants, minority self-segregation, ghettoisation and the future diversity of the population. The authors argue that the myths of race and migration are the real threat to an integrated society and recommend that focus should return to problems of inequality and prejudice.
This chapter critically discusses the significance of the urban development corporations (UDCs) as a central component of contemporary policies for urban regeneration. An overview of the main transformations in urban policy since the late 1970s is provided, particularly focusing on changes in the organisational and fiscal context of central-local government relations. An outline of the UDS initiative is given, commenting on its origins, objectives, and financing, while also providing an assessment of some of the main transformations and continuities in UDC strategy and policy since the early 1980s. The final section outlines the main themes and issues of the book by calling for more sensitized, or contextualised, evaluations of urban programmes and policies. -from Editors
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