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The Urban Refugee

Space, Agency, and the New Urban Condition

Bülent Batuman (Hrsg.), Kıvanç Kılınç (Hrsg.)

ca. 104,99
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte


The presence of the refugee in the contemporary metropolis is marked by precarity, a quality that has become a characteristic feature of the neoliberal urban milieu. Bringing together essays from diverse disciplines, from architectural history to cultural anthropology and urban planning, this collection sheds light on both the specificities of the contemporary urban condition that affects the refugees and the multi-dimensional impact that the refugees have on the city. The authors propose investigating this connection through three interlinked themes: identity (informality, imagination and belonging); place (transnational homemaking practices); and site (the navigation of urban space).

In recent years, there has been a significant growth in scholarship on forced migration, particularly on the relationship between displacement and the built environment. Scholars have focused on spatial practices and forms that arise under conditions of displacement, with much attention given to refugee camps and the social and political aspects of temporariness. While these issues are important, the essays in this volume aim to contribute to a less explored aspect of displacement, namely the interaction between refugees and the cities they inhabit. In this respect, the volume underlines the specificity of the urban refugee as well as their spatial agency and investigates the irreversible effect they have on the contemporary urban condition.

The authors argue that viewing urban refugees solely as dislocated individuals outside the camp-like spaces of containment fails to understand the agency of the urban refugee and the blurred boundaries of identity that result. The term "refugee crisis" objectifies and denies active agency to refugees, homogenizing dislocated individuals and groups. The neoliberalization of the past four decades has led to the precarization of labour and the displacement of refugees, who frequently blend into the urban environment as hidden populations. Refugees are subjected to constant surveillance and the state's attempts to control them. However, these attempts are not uncontested, and the involvement of activist interventions further politicizes the urban refugee. 

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belonging, housing, displacement, precarity, forced migration, homemaking, identity, neoliberal urbanism, spatial practices, urban segregation, spatial justice, urban informality