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The Post-Political and Its DiscontentsSpaces of Depoliticization, Spectres of Radical Politics$
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Japhy Wilson and Erik Swyngedouw

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748682973

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748682973.001.0001

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Insurgent Architects, Radical Cities and the Promise of the Political

Insurgent Architects, Radical Cities and the Promise of the Political

(p.169) 8 Insurgent Architects, Radical Cities and the Promise of the Political
The Post-Political and Its Discontents

Erik Swyngedouw

Edinburgh University Press

Under a variety of generic names like Occupy!, Indignados, the Outraged, and others, a wave of deeply political protest is rolling through the world’s cities, whereby those who do not count demand a new constituent process for producing space politically. The heterogeneous urban gatherers are outraged by and expose the variegated ‘wrongs’ and spiralling inequalities of autocratic neo-liberalization and actually-existing instituted democratic governance. The celebrated era of urban social movements as the horizon of progressive urban struggles seems to be over. A much more politicized if not radical mobilization, animated by insurgent urban architects, is increasingly choreographing the contemporary theatre of urban politicized struggle and conflict. It is precisely the aftermath of such urban insurrections that provides the starting point for the arguments developed in this chapter. From a radical political perspective, the central question that has opened up, after the wave of insurgencies of the past few years petered out, revolves around what to do and what to think next. Is there further thought and practice possible after the squares are cleared, the tents broken up, the energies dissipated, and everyday life resumes its routine practices?

Keywords:   Urban politics, Repoliticization, Insurgent Cities, Radical Movements, Democratization, Urban Commons

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