Thursday 27th February, 15.30-17.00, D3c, Geography & Planning Building
Research Seminar from Dr. Ryan Centner, Assistant Professor of Urban Geography, LSE
Dr Centner is an urban and development scholar, engaged in ongoing projects that investigate urban social change, transformation of the built environment, and their connections to larger political struggles – from Latin America (especially Argentina and Brazil) to the Middle East and Southern Europe (especially Turkey).
This seminar will examine Dr.Centner’s recent research into urban sociology and citizenship in Latin America, and is open to all staff and postgraduate students.
South America hosts several national leftist experiments proclaiming ‘another world is possible’ in a turn against neoliberalism, yet with divergent political trajectories manifesting urban rights struggles. Case studies from Caracas and Buenos Aires, positioned in critical dialogue with the landmark São Paulo case, highlight the how ‘the right to the city’ (RTC) is discursively prominent yet the locus of divergent, conflicting claims. Compared to the Anglophone world, a longstanding, broad-based engagement with Lefebvre’s ideas in the region has made RTC a normative yet malleable policy, often with implications dramatically at odds with the idea’s radical origins. I trace the repercussions for urban struggles over citizenship – another subject of Lefebvre’s work, rooted in his understanding of RTC. In ‘another world,’ the RTC and emboldened citizenship may feature as rhetorical goals, but there are significant, even perverse failures in their realization. Despite broad strokes of a leftward shift in South America that prioritizes urban belonging, there is enormous political maneuverability in these imaginative elaborations of what ‘another world’ entails on the ground, reorienting the original revolutionary formulation of the RTC, while pointing to the ongoing relevance of Lefebvre’s critical insights across ostensible left-turn contexts.