Annual RC21 Conference 2011

The struggle to belong. Dealing with diversity in 21st century urban settings
Amsterdam (The Netherlands), July 7-9 2011

Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research – Urban Studies
University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands

4. The End of Urban Neoliberalism (as we knew it)?

The recent credit crunch (2008-09) has given rise to an unprecedented economic recession in the context of contemporary globalization. Urban economies are central to the ongoing recession, not only because the crisis was initially triggered by the residential mortgage default in the United States, but also because the urban effects of the economic downturn are particularly visible: 'ghost towns', abandoned construction sites, anemic housing markets and public expenditure cuts affecting local services. National and global macroeconomic responses to the crisis are reproducing conventionally neoliberal patterns of public sector downsizing, expansion of market forces, reinforcement of financial capital elites, and diminishing social rights for the many. At the same time, politico-economic elites are also seeking allegedly innovative ways of getting out of the crisis of accumulation and regulation, while grassroots and neighbourhood-based organizations are experimenting with alternative pathways of (post-capitalist?) development. This session looks for papers exploring urban responses to the crisis in Europe and elsewhere, touching on the following issues:

  • Landscapes of despair: the spatial effects of the urban crisis
  • The new urban outcasts: the societal effects of the urban crisis (unemployed migrants, displaced and evicted residents etc.)
  • Ownership society and the crisis of residential capitalism
  • The policy dilemma: reproducing urban neoliberalism vs. resurrecting Keynesianism as a way to tackle the recession
  • ‘Big Society’ and the rise of the new paternalism in the post-neoliberal state: urban governance implications
  • Building resilient economies in the post-crisis city: green, knowledge-based and creative strategies
  • Coping with the urban crisis: community-based responses and the urban politics of the common

Ugo Rossi, Università di Cagliari. Email:
Stijn Oosterlynck, Universiteit Antwerpen. Email:
Sara Gonzalez, University of Leeds
Ramon Ribera Fumaz, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

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21 December 2011
Deadline for abstract submission

10 January 2011
Notification of selected abstracts

1 March 2011
Registration open

15 May 2011
Deadline for early bird registration and for (some) hotel options

15 May 2011
Deadline for paper submission

15 June 2011
Papers online

7-9 July 2011