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Radical democracy and spatial practices

Kaminer, Tahl ORCID: 2018. Radical democracy and spatial practices. Farhan, Karim, ed. The Routledge Companion to Architecture and Social Engagement, New York, London: Routledge, pp. 37-45.

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The chapter concisely studies and evaluates the political theories of Jürgen Habermas, Chantal Mouffe, Jacques Rancière, and Antonio Negri in the context of the current loose participatory movement in architecture and urbanism. This latter movement has coalesced around issues such as the democratic deficit, freedom and equality, the informal, play, and everyday life. It posits a challenge to planning institutions by delegitimizing large-scale urban developments driven ‘top-down’ and by advocating citizen empowerment. Many of the political theories, which have animated these politically- and socially-committed architects, are anchored in May ’68 and the opposition, at the time, by the radical Left to state capitalism and Keynesian economy. The chapter suggests that caution is needed in the current era, in which neoliberalism has supplanted Keynesian economics and politics have been weakened through the empowerment of the free market. Well-meaning endeavours have ended up contributing to spatial and economic segregation, gentrification and dislocation, enabling rather than curtailing market-dominance of urban development. This chapter, then, is intended to introduce certain arguments towards the formation of an in-depth critique of the threats posited by some of the excesses and misguidances of the current movement.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781138889699
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 07:18

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