Title: The post-political trap? Reflections on politics, agency and the city
Authors : Beveridge, Ross
Koch, Philippe
Published in : Urban Studies
Volume(Issue) : 54
Issue : 1
Pages : 31
Pages to: 43
Publisher / Ed. Institution : Sage
Issue Date: 2017
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Language : English
Subjects : Post-political city; Urban politics
Subject (DDC) : 320: Politics
Abstract: This commentary reflects on the influence of the post-political critique on urban studies. In this literature (e.g. Swyngedouw, 2014), the default position of contemporary democracies is post-politics – the truly political is only rare, random and radical. The ‘post-political trap’ refers to the intuitively convincing, yet ultimately confining account it provides of contemporary urban governance. We identify three shortcomings. First, the binary understanding of the real political/politics as police negates the in-betweenness and contingency of actually existing urban politics. By so doing, secondly, political agency is reduced to the heroic and anti-heroic. Thus, the plurality of political agency in the urban sphere and multi-faceted forms of power lose their political quality. Third, the perceived omnipotence of the post-political order actually diminishes the possibilities of the urban as a political space of resistance and emancipation. On these grounds we argue not for a rejection of the notion of the post-political per se but for a more differentiated approach, one more alert to the contingencies of the political and of depoliticisation in the urban realm.
Departement: Architecture, Design and Civil Engineering
Organisational Unit: Institute of Urban Landscape (IUL)
Publication type: Article in scientific journal
DOI : 10.1177/0042098016671477
ISSN: 0042-0980
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/16826
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Architektur, Gestaltung und Bauingenieurwesen

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