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Urban change and citizenship in times of crisis. Volume 1, Concepts and theory (2020)

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Abstract

Urban Change and Citizenship in Times of Crisis addresses the fact that in the beginning of the twenty-first century the majority of the world's population is urbanised, a social fact that has turned cities more than ever into focal sites of social change. Multiple economic and political strategies, employed by a variety of individual and collective actors, on a number of scales, constitute cities as contested spaces that hold opportunities as well as restrictions for their inhabitants. While cities and urban spaces have long been of central concern for the social sciences, today, classical sociological questions about the city acquire new meaning: Can cities be spaces of emancipation, or does life in the modern city entail a corrosion of citizenship rights? Is the city the focus of societal transformation processes, or do urban environments lose importance in shaping social reality and economic relationships? Furthermore, new questions urgently need to be asked: What is the impact of different historical phenomena such as neo-liberal restructuring, financial and economic crises, or migration flows, as well as their respective counter-movements, on the structure of contemporary cities and on the citizenship rights of city inhabitants? The three volumes address such crucial questions thereby opening up new spaces of debate on both the city and new developments of urbanism. The contributions toTheories and Conceptsoffer new theoretical reflections on the city in a philosophical and historical perspective as well as fresh empirical analyses of social life in urban contexts. Chapters not only critically revisit classical and modern philosophical considerations about the nature of cities but no less discuss normative philosophical reflections of urban life and the role of religion in historical processes of the emergence of cities. Composed around the question whether there can be such a thing as a successful city', this volume addresses issues of urban political subjectivities by considering the city's role in historical processes of emancipation, the fight for citizenship rights, and today's challenges and opportunities with regard to promoting social justice, integration, and diversity. Consequentially, theory-driven empirical analyses offer new insight into ways of solving problems in urban contexts and a genuine approach to analyse the Social Quality in cities.