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Governing for Sustainability: Between Post-political Participation and Apathy in an Argentinian Neighbourhood

Nielsen, Emilie Rønde LU (2015) HEKM50 20152
Human Ecology
Abstract
Despite the increased focus on sustainable urban development both within academia and in urban planning practices, authors seem to agree that we are mostly continuing business as usual and are not embarking on different socio-environmental trajectories. On the contrary, such urban sustainability practices can often lead to processes of displacement and gentrification, thus worsening the conditions for the already vulnerable urban residents. Through this thesis I have therefore set out to critically examine how a decentralised municipal initiative for sustainability in a marginalised neighbourhood in Rosario, Argentina, is being governed, by investigating which forms of participation are encouraged and expected, in order to assess whether... (More)
Despite the increased focus on sustainable urban development both within academia and in urban planning practices, authors seem to agree that we are mostly continuing business as usual and are not embarking on different socio-environmental trajectories. On the contrary, such urban sustainability practices can often lead to processes of displacement and gentrification, thus worsening the conditions for the already vulnerable urban residents. Through this thesis I have therefore set out to critically examine how a decentralised municipal initiative for sustainability in a marginalised neighbourhood in Rosario, Argentina, is being governed, by investigating which forms of participation are encouraged and expected, in order to assess whether the initiative has an emancipation potential in a meaningful political dimension for the people of this neighbourhood. With especially Erik Swyngedouw’s key understandings of the post-political condition, I argue that the initiative’s use of post-political techniques of governing invokes particular forms of participation where the responsibility for sustainability is put upon the individual and becomes a moral act. This is played out in a consensual techno-managerial approach where radical dissent is being evicted from the political arena. I therefore argue, that these governance processes all work to draw awareness away from the properly political issue of unequal power relations in society; the structural mechanisms that produced the environmental ‘bads’ and the socio-economic exclusion in the neighbourhood to begin with. However, these participation strategies are dependent on the goodwill and voluntary actions of the people in the neighbourhood which has not been easy to gather. Instead, there is a widespread distrust, apathy and vandalism towards the sustainability initiative, which can be interpreted as a way to resist accession to the post-political nature of participation, in other words, as a form of antagonistic resistance. (Less)
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author
Nielsen, Emilie Rønde LU
supervisor
organization
course
HEKM50 20152
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Urban Sustainability, Critique, Post-political conditions, Governance, Apathy, Participation
language
English
id
8045624
date added to LUP
2015-11-06 14:05:12
date last changed
2015-11-06 14:05:12
@misc{8045624,
  abstract     = {Despite the increased focus on sustainable urban development both within academia and in urban planning practices, authors seem to agree that we are mostly continuing business as usual and are not embarking on different socio-environmental trajectories. On the contrary, such urban sustainability practices can often lead to processes of displacement and gentrification, thus worsening the conditions for the already vulnerable urban residents. Through this thesis I have therefore set out to critically examine how a decentralised municipal initiative for sustainability in a marginalised neighbourhood in Rosario, Argentina, is being governed, by investigating which forms of participation are encouraged and expected, in order to assess whether the initiative has an emancipation potential in a meaningful political dimension for the people of this neighbourhood. With especially Erik Swyngedouw’s key understandings of the post-political condition, I argue that the initiative’s use of post-political techniques of governing invokes particular forms of participation where the responsibility for sustainability is put upon the individual and becomes a moral act. This is played out in a consensual techno-managerial approach where radical dissent is being evicted from the political arena. I therefore argue, that these governance processes all work to draw awareness away from the properly political issue of unequal power relations in society; the structural mechanisms that produced the environmental ‘bads’ and the socio-economic exclusion in the neighbourhood to begin with. However, these participation strategies are dependent on the goodwill and voluntary actions of the people in the neighbourhood which has not been easy to gather. Instead, there is a widespread distrust, apathy and vandalism towards the sustainability initiative, which can be interpreted as a way to resist accession to the post-political nature of participation, in other words, as a form of antagonistic resistance.},
  author       = {Nielsen, Emilie Rønde},
  keyword      = {Urban Sustainability,Critique,Post-political conditions,Governance,Apathy,Participation},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Governing for Sustainability: Between Post-political Participation and Apathy in an Argentinian Neighbourhood},
  year         = {2015},
}