Title: NEOLIBERAL_CITI. Re‐framing urban neoliberalism and neo‐liberal citizenship – Enactments of resistance and practices of protest.
Funding entity: European Commission
Funding period: April 2011 – March 2014

NEOLIBERAL_CITI was a project that brings together interdisciplinary approaches within critical urban research, citizenship studies and research about counter-hegemonic urban movements in order to provide a theoretically-inspired analysis of how contemporary city politics are imagined and negotiated among political leaders, government officials and mainstream media on one hand, and contested by activist citizens, alternative media and online social networks on the other. It provided analytical insights into the shifting geographies of the enactment of citizenship through urban movements that critically engage in an often conflictive dialogue with the mainstream society. The project evaluated the situated practice and socially shared discourses in specific conflicts such as contemporary housing struggles, the occupation of abandoned buildings as well as the appropriation of public space as key for the understanding of counter-hegemonic ‘acts of citizenship’. Such purpose includes a critical reconstruction of these ‘acts of citizenship’ in specific, locally embedded conflicts, which have become evident after the outbreak of the economic crisis. NEOLIBERAL_CITI responded to four key research questions, namely:

  • – How do subaltern social movements imagine and perceive the transformations in the ‘neoliberal city’ after the Great Recession?
  • – How do they enact the resistance to the mainstream debate in urban politics?
  • – Which alternative imaginations, appropriations and constructions of common spaces do they propose?
  • – Until which degree can the extensive neoliberalisation of the public sphere be stopped or reverted by establishing new and substantially different discourses about urban space and politics?