- Between global and local: a new dialectic of political expression for the twenty-first century
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The rapid growth of cities during the industrial revolution gave rise to movements like social hygiene in the in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was preoccupied with the ways in which deficiencies in the physical and social environment caused epidemic, endemic, and occupational illnesses. Therefore, the solution to health problems and new technologies demanded radical spatial and social reforms. This led to the creation of modern urbanism, an epistemic field linked to science and public service and aimed at achieving the common good through a new urban structure predicated on changing the form and operations of the city.
Many models of the ideal twentieth-century city have been produced since then, seeking to overcome health problems and social injustice, and rectify the imbalance of urban living conditions imposed by the industrial revolution. Due to the colonial incursions in much of the rest of the world, racially-based adaptations of these ideologies informed the building and regulation of urban cores that served the colonial administrations. The principles of the charter sought a new city to ensure citizen justice and equality and a uniformity of composition and structure that would contribute to social homogenization.
In theory, application of these guidelines would solve the problems of the industrial city through functional relationships grounded in a new idea of circulation and standardized serial housing construction. However, consistency between the principles that inspired the charter and the problems they were intended to solve was never achieved politically and these values were invariably molded to suit the political and economic interests of elites who sought to use regulation as an instrument to secure their interests and discipline potential dissent from the poor and working classes.
Furthermore, urban planning and regulatory regimes were used to safeguard and promote real-estate driven accumulation which demanded a system of land speculation through zoning linked to the construction, automobile, and appliance industries. The democratic and inclusionary potential of planning was usurped to ensure a specific mode of accumulation. Among the side effects of functionalist urbanism, which led to the instrumentalized modern city,  was the negation of the benefits of a dense, compact city; the subordination of the street and public life to buildings; repudiation of the public in favor of the private; large-scale gated high-rise housing complexes; transformation of the city dictated by highways; a loss of regional scale, and the proliferation of suburbs, among others.
Due to the earlier onset of colonial independence in Latin America, very similar processes can be observed in those urban systems. However, Africa and Asia remained marked by truncated and bifurcated colonial regulatory regimes but absorbed similar dynamics in the post-colonial era after the Second World War. Inevitably, the contemporary city is a heterogeneous mix of parts of the traditional city, its historical center, modern bits, contemporary global corporate headquarters, disconnected parts, abandoned areas, marginalized peripheries, settlements devoid of urbanity, urbanized rural sections, urban fractions scattered throughout the countryside, autonomous or dependent suburbs, etc.
This contributes to the constitutive heterogeneity and incompleteness, but it also explains why the built environment generates inequality, marginalization, segregation, immobility and unsustainability. The scale of these negative features raises the question whether urban planning can possibly solve urban problems so as to create cities that benefit all and remain within environmental guardrails WBGU We must recognize the duality of the city.
On the one hand, it has contributed to the evolution of society as a whole, while simultaneously remaining a major obstacle to social equity. A quick scan of urban development challenges in both developed and developing contexts reveal that all cities have many old or inherited problems to overcome, and are now confronted by a host of new and inter-related challenges such as rising inequality, inequity, climate change and inclusive social progress Sassen a, Sassen , Sassen b.
In response to these dynamics, scholars, professional urbanists, activists, and practitioners experimenting with alternatives are expending enormous effort to understand and address these challenges. In the wake the global policy and research discussions that informed the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement of , the centrality of cities have come to the fore. Also, urban actors from various sectors and interest groups are landing on a shared focus on urban sustainability  as the core imperative to address the legacies of extractive and functionalist urbanism.
In shorthand, this translates into a research and policy focus on the compact city that intimates the dense, mixed, intensive, open, and diverse city, has a positive impact on society and sustainability. Another key aspect is the metabolic efficiency of cities in terms of resource and materials consumption. Sustainable urbanism draws attention to the performance of the built environment in terms of urban form and metabolic dynamics. Due to the unique histories and investment trajectories of cities in different parts of the world, the specific implications of sustainable urbanism will vary enormously from country to country.
This demands a closer look at differential patterns of urbanization in different world regions and at different scales. How do we understand the patterns and trends of urbanization globally? A comprehensive review is impossible and therefore we adopt a different method — a mutli-scalar reading. First, we open with macro-data at the global level that speaks of urbanization across regions. We shift scales again to the nation, and use the example of Turkey to highlight patterns of urbanization that are often omitted in macro-understandings by looking at the refugee as an urban resident.
We then look at a particular city — Medellin in Columbia — to understand a specific story of urbanization at the city scale. In conclusion, we return and mix scales, comparing cities at a global scale. Each of these modes allows us insights into urbanization trends and patterns while reminding us of all that data does not say in addition to what it offers.
Our intention here is to suggest that diversity of patterns and forms that underlie global urbanisation with illustrative examples to aid readers to remember that such disaggregation will be necessary in their own contexts. Urbanisation has taken different spatial and historic trajectories in different parts of the world. The regions that we broadly define as the global North went from predominantly rural to predominantly urban between — in lockstep with modernization and industrialization Satterthwaite Clear distinctions between status and trends are immediately visible here.
Despite all the imaginations of its teeming megacities, South Asia remains one of the lesser urbanized regions in the world implying that its urbanization is yet to come. Figure 2 gives a snapshot of the comparative rates of change, pitting sub-Saharan African growth rates against those in the LAC region to show how starkly different the dynamics will be in the 21st century. How do we understand the character of this urbanization and its relation to social progress? The answer is complex. Certainly, in Africa, India and — to some extent — China, urbanization is rising rapidly at low, low-middle or, at best, middle income status.
Even leaving aside the colonial forms and legacies of urban development for a moment, this implies critical challenges for the assumed relationships between urbanization and development. Urban expansion is not necessarily being led by a strong, embedded, and employment-absorbent economic structure in low and low-middle income countries.
Add to this the constraints of persistent poverty and thus segmented consumption and labour markets as well as low tax and revenue bases, deficient and inadequately expanding infrastructure as well as uncertain state capacity to direct resources and investments. Urbanization — at this pace, in this fore-shortened period — becomes an arena of significant struggle for social progress.
Many of the urban challenges in Africa and South Asia — slums, widespread economic informality, unequal rights to the city, weak fiscal structures and diminished local governments — are evidence of this struggle. Latin American urbanization points differently to the ability of cities to expand opportunity and human development through strong local government after a period of economic expansion. Yet a new set of challenges — of scale, altered consumption, and persistent inequality — remain. In Europe and North America, after decades of growth, the sustainability of urban economic development has come into question as intra-city inequalities often marked on identity-based exclusions have become political contestations, demographic shifts with falling birth rates and changing immigration patterns are altering the composition of cities, and a new global financial system suggests the shifting of global economic production to other sites.
Distinct from the trends and rates of urbanization, questions of the form of this urbanization are also important. Figure 3 shows one end of the settlement structures of world urbanization: the mega-city. We argued above that rapid urbanization in low and low-middle income countries represents tremendous risks as well as opportunities for the relation between growth and development.
This is particularly true in the way this urbanization spatializes. One such element of spatial patterns is the mega-city. Continuous urban agglomerations of 10million residents or more, with settlement that extends beyond any administrative boundaries in the city-region, mega-cities can, on the one hand, exemplify the gains of agglomeration and economies of scale, being resilient against economic fluctuations because of strong and diverse local economic circuits and create a reliant fiscal base for redistribution.
On the other, if they grow with a dominantly income-poor population, they represent enormous challenges in governance, infrastructure, management and equity.grupoavigase.com/includes/219/6842-contactos-sexuales-en.php
Between global and local: a new dialectic of political expression for the twenty-first century
In both cases, they ask unanswered questions about food, ecological footprints and sustainable growth. Empirically, we are dealing with the latter case. This is an important facet of urbanization trends to consider. Furthermore, the spatial concentration of the global economy illustrates the disproportionate importance of the megacity in both economic and political terms. See Box. Tokyo, the oldest megacity after New York, is expected to remain the largest of all the megacities in It faces a plethora of challenges that many other emerging megacities are experiencing or have yet to experience.
Tokyo thus can serve us well as natural experiment: it is a megacity, its infrastructure and people are aging fast, but unlike many other megacities, it has resources and a long, well-established central planning tradition. The rapidly aging and declining population is pressuring the city to move away from the conventional growth model of the post-WWII decades and to seek a new model of shrinkage or contraction.
By carefully examining the future of this megacity, we could be able to imagine the future of megacities, that is, the future of cities that will be home for a good share of the urban population in the world. Among the questions we must ask are 1 How can we envision the future of a city? In , Hiroo Ishikawa led a research project on the future of Tokyo as vice-chairman of its steering committee. With the collaboration of a broad range of experts in these sectors and the collection of wide-ranging data to analyze the current situations of the city, three key factors were identified to set up possible scenarios of the future.
Although all of major sectors are highly relevant to the prediction of the future trajectory of a city, three of them, Environment, Technology, and Urban Space, seem to have a direct influence on the shape of the future city. In what follows we use the case of Tokyo to explore its possible futures through these three dimensions. There are several possible future scenarios that await Tokyo.
The city now seeks to develop low carbon emission buildings for homes and offices and replace the conventional vehicles with energy-efficient cars. There are, clearly, other major issues: Non-fossil energy, reduction and optimization of final disposal amount, restoration of ecological system, civil activism, and government leadership.
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Of special interest is the way the locally specific demands in Tokyo arising from a shrinking population, disaster prevention, and elderly healthcare will lead to a particular technological development -assisted lifestyle. This subject is further developed in the section on Technology and the City. With a rapidly declining population, low economic development, and a high risk of natural disasters, Tokyo will need to find the possible public-private initiatives to maintain and renovate the old infrastructure.
Other issues to be considered are the reduction of natural disaster risks, the making of attractive space, efficient mobility, universal design, sustainable infrastructure, sustainable buildings, counter measures against heat-island phenomena. Yet outside the megacity, the other end of the settlement structure reminds us that urbanization is also growing through vast and changing peri-urban interfaces and edges. Urbanization in Africa is most rapid and prevalent in what the OECD calls the urban-rural interface zones where one can observe a continuum of rural areas, villages, towns and cities of fewer than inhabitants.
This phenomenon is particularly evident in the agrarian and late urbanizer countries. New York: United Nations. The distribution of the urban population in predominantly smaller urban settlements is a reminder that academic and policy literature on cities are highly skewed towards the larger cities — megacities, large cities and capital cities even when the predominant urban experience has a very different scale and quality. The size of a city also holds important implications for the potential to transform urban life towards more sustainable patterns, as explored towards the end of the chapter.
Regional data on African obscures enormous variation across the African Continent. Conventionally these differences are best captured by the acute intra-regional differences. West Africa is a veritable mixed bag. Some prominent countries like Nigeria largest African country by population are past the 50 per cent tipping point whilst Ghana reflects more the African average of 39 per cent.
This typology better reveals the diversity of conditions and trends across Africa. Table 5. They are also close to completing their fertility transition with total fertility ratios of three or fewer children per woman. Nine countries fall into this category distinguished by progress in their urbanization and fertility transition without having been able to diversify their economic base. The eleven countries that fall into this category are pre-dominantly rural yet have begun their urbanization and fertility transition and structural transformation more recently.
In contrast to the early urbanizers, they are located in East Africa and include Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Less than a third of their population typically lives in urban areas. Their total fertility rates are four to six children per woman. Interestingly, two relatively authoritarian countries, Ethiopia and Rwanda has demonstrated an impressive capacity to diversify their economic base over the past decade, albeit off a low basis. This cohort is pre-dominantly rural countries that are still at a very early stage of their urbanization and fertility transition.
Many of the eleven agrarian countries are landlocked, such as Niger, Chad and Malawi. Typically less than a third of the population resides in urban areas, and women have on average at least six children. This group have urbanized with windfalls from natural resources, which have attracted labor out of agriculture.
These countries exhibit huge variations in income levels USD per capita , in the types of natural resources they produce e. Libya is predominantly arid while Nigeria is mostly rain-fed. Due to the over-reliance on natural resources they are extremely vulnerable to international market swings, which impact on the investment capacity of the state. Apart from the five countries that fall into the diversifiers category, the vast majority of African countries reflect very low levels of wealth as reflected in GDP per capita data revealing the relative level of economic development, which in turn speaks to the enormous needs these societies face.
Furthermore, the fertility rates provide an insight into the growth of demand for basic services education, health care, social security and infrastructure systems energy, mobility, water, sanitation, waste, ICT, and so forth. Low levels of wealth, and the accompanying relatively small tax bases, eroded further by predominantly informal economies, reduces the pool of resources that African governments can draw on to meet expanding demand. Such disaggregation emphasizes the need to understand the empirics of urbanization at different scales, particularly to get the grain required to understand social progress.
Shifting scales to the city allows us to not just see further specificity in urbanization but to contextualize its historical modes and processes. The 20th century for urbanization in Turkey was basically a process of industrialization, especially after the turn from empire to nation-state structure. Urban migration was related directly to this industrialization process where many Anatolian people went to Istanbul and Ankara to work in factories and settled in the urban peripheries.
Like in many cities across the global south, these were often built in tension with official norms of law and planning. Largely illegally built on state land from s, these neighborhoods got legal infrastructure and property rights in the s through populist political agendas. As they did, they changed forms and became not just self-organised housing but means of speculation in land and housing markets. These neighborhoods weaved into the urban pattern of the cities. Many citizens in the neighborhoods were working in the security, cleaning, service sectors, which were affiliated with the need of the urban centers.
The second wave from , however, saw gated communities appear back in urban center with new architecture and design projects that includes public facilities as small urban section with public spaces, shops, cinema and other facilities of needs for inhabitants. The history of gated communities from the end of s is an apt lens to show the relation of class structure and urban spaces in Turkey.
In the midst of this changing urbanization pattern at the city-scale, another form of urbanization more rarely captured is also occurring. The current refugee flow, especially as an outcome of the Syrian war is shaping the cities constantly. Future cities will be shaped with this flow with new economies, housing both design and market , security policies in urban space and everyday life is already shaping.
Are the cities ready for this? What kind of liquid infrastructures are created? How will it shape infrastructure like housing, water source, public spaces? Urbanization led by refugees marks cities from Istanbul to Paris or Berlin. Camps near the cities and towns such as in Paris or in South Eastern Anatolia create new spatial relation in terms of transportation, economy and human relations.
These influences will become important in the near urban future. For example, the cost of a rent of one tent in a camp in France creates its own micro-economy connected to larger towns in terms of human trafficking. At the other hand, the self-organized solidarity networks in Istanbul, Berlin or Athens becoming more strong in urban spaces that influences the urban knots of public spaces and usage of technology such as mobile phones.
The rent and housing market influenced by middle class refugees or refugees who can effort renting spaces. These new patterns of forced migration are built upon long histories of refugee urbanization. Zaatari camp Jordan is one of the examples of a camp that is somehow created its won active social and economical networks. Agier defines the refugee camp as a socio-spatial entity; the space of a heterogeneous everyday life and as a biopolitical space that embody networks of practices of the actors and agencies. Urbanized refugee camps are facing similar process as cities, for example types of gentrification.
If a camp remains in time in the center of the city as it is attached in the past; this city can face to a gentrification and housing value speculation. But renting and buying a house exists although there is no legal base. They remind us, again, of the need to capture and hold multiple forms of differentiated urbanization. Our final scale of analysis looks at cities as basic units but compares them on a global scale. The Global Power City Index is one way to do this. It was formulated in an effort to better organize and understand the complex system of attraction that exists for certain cities in a global economic system that makes them compete with each other as nodes.
By measuring and tracking a comprehensive list of specific indicators, the GPCI provides valuable data that can be utilized by policy makers, researchers, businesses, or even potential residents. The Introduction section made a case for cities as constitutively complex, incomplete and filled with potentiality. This serves as a reminder that cities need to be understood historically, spatially, and the product of culturally driven practices to forge a built environment in unique geo-ecological settings. In this section those starting points were further illustrated with a multi-scalar description of different dimensions of urbanization.
Across these immense diversities, it is nonetheless possible to observe a number of important convergences and consistencies. Lefebvre helps us think through what these changes mean for everyday life in the city, allowing one to grapple with the often high costs of urban changes that stem from unbridled globalization. According to Lefebvre, the city and urban space more generally are best understood as territory and as social relations.
All that is produced in our cities results from our collective making of the social though that process is never autonomous from the political economy that envelops the urban. It rescues us, humans, from being erased from the cities we build and inhabit. In this section, we look at who has the right to the city? As David Harvey has asked: What rights are we talking about?
And about whose city? Or perhaps stated in a different manner: Who defines and builds the city? This is theme that goes to the core of any notion of equity and social progress. In this section, we foreground one illustrative identity — gender — in order to indicate the kinds of exclusions and patterns of discrimination that define everyday life for many urban citizens and illuminate the relation between cities and social progress. There are many conceptual ways scholars have used to understand these exclusions: discrimination, exclusion, segregation, or fragmentation, among many.
There are multiple other axes one could have taken: sexuality, religion, ability, age, race, ethnicity, language, or nationality. Since it is impossible to cover each in limited space, our intention here is to mark the importance of reading identity-based exclusions in understanding cities and suggest a mode of inquiry and analyses that makes these evident so we can begin to challenge them. It is not the same to be poor or rich, a man or a women, a child or and adult, an elderly poor or rich, an indigenous or afro descendent, or an LGBTI person. Not all the citizens have the same material resources, neither the symbolic ones, to be able to appropriate the cities and the urban in the same way, or to transform them in accordance with their wishes or interests.
Given these profound lines of differentiation and discrimination, the Right to the City can indeed feel like a chimera. This construction varies in different historical contexts and relations of power and dominant ideologies that have crossed in its development and conformation.
To think of omitted subjects reminds us that, in each of these different contexts, we must be attentive to who is being omitted and what the consequences of this omission are. The identity marker of gender provides a useful illustrative perspective to assess urban space, time, as well as economic growth. Across numerous disciplines theory and research has been dedicated to understanding gender  dynamics.
These efforts have brought to light the subordinate positions and conditions confronting women in cities, grounded in a powerful and ongoing gender-based division of labor.
While changes are happening, it is still the case that in many cities many women perceive the city differently from many men. Due to their still strong role in the home, women use cities in specific ways. If they combine work with family life, their journeys to work are often short.
They use time in fragments: there is no full day of work and no full day of being away from children. Women are far more likely to be users of public spaces and their neighborhood streets during daylight hours , mixing with children, people with disabilities, senior citizens.
Since its modern incarnation, urban design and planning operated on the basis of the universal or unmarked citizen, but in concrete everyday life there are no unmarked users, but rather profoundly genders roles and actors. It is not just public spaces that are gendered but, equally, access to systems, services and infrastructures that determine everyday life in the city. Inequalities in access to basic services have deeply gendered impacts. For example, consider inadequate access to water for households in urban poor communities where the collection of water particularly in Africa and South Asia is primarily considered the work of women and girls.
Figure 7 summarizes the gendered division of labor for water collection. In both urban and rural areas women and girls are primarily responsible for this task. Figure 5. This pattern repeats across different kinds of urban services and infrastructure. Similar patterns manifest for housing, transport, or access to adequate sanitation. There is furthermore a solid body of research that documents the ways that women are at a disadvantage in the use of urban space—be it public parks, feeling safe, or access to transport.
Thus, while there is good critical work on cities, much of it is based on neutral concepts as they relate to gendering: family, population, transport, business districts, and so on. If our understanding of cities and potential policy reforms are to enhance social progress, it is critical to revisit urban planning from a gender perspective in relation to the practical and strategic needs of women Moser One key concept shows how this can be done: to think of time in gendered ways.
Women, however, often combine work and family and need short interconnected trajectories given their fragmented uses of time. For instance, the public sphere is marked mostly masculine, so it acquires economic and social value; the private sphere, marked mostly feminine, is given only symbolic value, not even the reproductive work is recognized. The studies of time use, the distance to infrastructures, facilities, services, the time cost of transport, have a different impact in the life of women than men.
Women and girls assume the main caring role. Studies situated in Mexico INEGI demonstrate that women devote 22 hours more than men per week in terms of paid and unpaid work i. Looking at time shows us not just spatial inequalities but also economic ones that are at the core of a sexual division of labour.
Figure 8 provides a summary of these trends. This is not new knowledge. We learned from Jane Jacobs about the significance of the proximity of services and equipment for all, and for women in particular. It is important to recognize that gaps in knowledge about omitted subjects are also part of a larger epistemological question about whose knowledge is taken seriously.
Such knowledge asymmetries are at the core of the ways in which systemic inequality is reproduced. Inclusive planning must therefore take omitted subjects, and omitted knowledge, seriously when it thinks about productive and inclusive urban forms. Debates on compact versus diffused cities, or the impact of new spatial fragmentation in cities, have to be had in the context of specific identity-based exclusions and their impacts. Thus transportation, for example, takes on questions of different mobility patterns, read in relation to a multiplicity of different marginalized subjectivities and their intersections.
If this is achieved one can imagine urban economic plans that centrally feature child-care and flexible working hours for women who carry significant burdens of unpaid work. Another illustration of how disaggregation of knowledge to focus on omitted subjects can highlight barriers to social progress is to think about economic data on growth. To explore this issue, we focus on the Latin American experience. This study, led by the Global Urban Observatory of UN-Habitat, includes analyses of inputs, consumption and expenditure at the level of cities and provides Gini coefficient data for cities in 47 countries, including 19 in LAC.
The results show that with an index of 0. Any score above 0. However, this aggregate score hides further lines of differentiation, especially gender. Women with the same qualifications earn less than men in any education level, and most of them work in the low-end service sector. When it comes to the afro-descendant and indigenous population, the gaps are larger, revealing how race intersects with gender in complex ways.
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This is powerfully illustrated in Figure 9. Yet despite this growth, a paradox persists: While overall poverty diminished from This increase was particularly evident with women heads of households. Moreover, poor women have high fertility rates reflected in have twice as many children than their rich counterparts. These trends reveal the disconnect between economic growth and social progress. Yet, as we are seeing, poverty did not decrease among women. In , the correlation of numbers in the region was poor women to poor men, and in the number of poor women rose to Even within this there are important patterns of age differentiation.
In linking questions of poverty with age, education and reproduction, the Argentine Institute for Social Development IDESA has found that 8 out of 10 young women with children in Argentina, are poor. Even when an economy grows, as was the case in the region, the majority of women are unemployed and when they work they are the majority of the lowly paid service sector.
Such gendering effects often take on specific forms within a female population through ethnic, race, status, and religious variables, with certain combinations producing the most devastating effects. In South America, being a poor indigenous woman or an afro descendant produces the sharpest negative outcomes. Indeed, they are likely to be the lowest paid but also the most threatened in public space. So there are both dynamics: on the one hand, there is the struggle for transparent, sensible, meaningful local politics, but at the same time there is an awareness that the nation-state is still the framework where all this is decided and happening.
Maybe there is novel dialectic between a fresh understanding of the nation-state and a new form of local politics, as well as an awareness of the global frame of it all. DK: That may be true, but when we look at national flags, whether in Turkey or here in Bulgaria, there is the other concern: that people lack an adequate symbol, or an adequate mythology for what they want to express. The most neutral one in any eventuality is the national flag. Protest in Sofia, Bulgaria. All rights reserved. Are the differences between the various protests more important than the similarities between them?
Is there a culture-specific democracy? KO: Democracy is a universal project based on universal values. The way it is then translated into various cultural settings might differ, but I think universal values inform the protests in many ways. We said that the big questions are delegitimised and that is why some of these protest movements are also easy for the powers that be to pour scorn on.
But what we actually see is that out of local contestations you have questions emerging which are the big questions about democracy: how are we going to live together, how do we deal with our differences, how can we ensure decency in public life? That is one unifying factor for the protests. Another factor concerns the crisis of the political-economic global system we live in — the kind of neoliberalism or global capitalism that Slavoj Zizek speaks about. The way this crisis is played out in every country varies. But it is also about the level of development; Turkey is a booming economy, Bulgaria is not, Brazil is booming, Greece is bankrupt.
These are all manifestations of a new global economic system, and discontent with it brings people together, though the grievances are reflected in different issues. Globalisation was supposed to empower it over other sections of society. DK: I think what Kerem is saying about the crisis of global capitalism is absolutely true. For the first time in living memory wealth distribution is so unequal. It may be a little bit simplistic to put it this way, but when we look at how even in the US wealth distribution has changed thoughout the twentieth century, now what we have is this one per cent owning much of the US wealth.
So the middle class is also excluded from a more equal wealth distribution. They may lead better lives than the poor, but they understand this is an unjust system. The middle class is in the middle between a really, really rich minority of people and a huge majority of people who are excluded from any kind of privilege. Wealth distribution is the trigger for a lot of this. KO: In the Turkish case , what the neoliberal growth machine provided was also one of the reasons why the AKP was so successful.
It created what of course can only be a fantasy, but despite the growing income gap and massively growing inequality, everybody was actually better off. Everybody was benefiting. The number of people who made it out of poverty in Turkey is quite significant. In Turkey, the middle class has been growing, but still, as we are realizing now, the real estate sector, the construction sector, much of any capitalist development is based on bubbles.
The boom and bust — we are back to Marx, this is the constitutive character of capitalist development. When is there enough democracy, then, if we have such large forces at play? What is the benchmark of a democracy fulfilled? KO: People are becoming aware of the fact that this is a very global question. The crisis of global capitalism and democracy is also a universal crisis. When you look at the UK, which arguably has the most advanced democracy pretty much anywhere in the world, it has reached a position where hardly 40 per cent vote in elections. The choice is between two and a half political parties which have similar ideological frameworks.
That is why what is going on is also about the crisis of ideology. Even in the cradle of modern democracy things are not going that well. The consciousness that these struggles and the broader crisis are related is definitely there among the protesters. In Taksim you even had banners in support from Budapest. DK: One area of concern where the questions are a bit clearer, where the driving force is more concrete is maybe the environmental movement.
Environmentalism brings together so much of what is happening at the moment, including the exploitation of natural resources, global capitalism, migration, climate change and so forth. Nature is the last common space since everything is being privatized and parceled up. Nature becomes a neutral space, a common space which we have to defend from further erosion.
So if we are looking at the forces of the twenty-first century — and Gezi was the springboard for other kinds of protests — it started over a park. In Sofia last year, the protests started over Vitosha.
Istanbul: between the global and the local - Çağlar Keyder - Google книги
If we look at other protests around the world, they do have environmental issues at the core, which then spread out to different things. Yucel Bozdaglioglu. Nostalgia for the Modern. Arab Revolutions and World Transformations.
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