Workshop on Resistance and Alternatives to Austerity

The new Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA) at De Montfort University (Leicester) is holding a workshop on Wednesday 18th May 2016 (9.30am-4.30pm) to discuss strategies for resistance and alternatives to austerity in urban settings across the globe. See registration details at the end of the post, for a copy of the programme see here.

“…our rage will be relentless…” Petros Constantinou (Guardian 12/11/15)

Across the globe the deepening of austerity has exposed urban populations across Europe, North America, Latin America, and beyond to worsening living and working conditions, reduced access to public services, and persistent insecurity. As these deleterious effects have become more apparent, so too has the functioning of austerity as a set of policies and practices aimed at deepening and consolidating the discipline of neoliberal capitalism.

This growing clarity – in academia and the public sphere – has led to the tentative emergence of various forms of resistance and alternatives. Mainstream political parties – and even some governments – have gained growing public support from Greece to the UK to Portugal through the adoption of anti-austerity platforms. Traditional trade unions, new social movements, and activists across countries most deeply affected by these new measures have begun to mobilise in new and increasingly combative ways. From mass strikes to everyday acts of refusal, the trend of urban resistance to austerity is growing. To offset the worst of its impact or as a means to overcome the entrenched power and privilege austerity supports, some involved in these resistance(s) have begun to discuss the possibilities of alternatives to austerity – and even to capitalism. How these are manifested and how effectively they can provide tools for thinking about and acting on post-austerity and “post-capitalism”.

It is the aim of our workshop to bring together cross-national comparisons on these themes focused on local urban settings, to explore the similarities and differences in acts of resistance by urban actors, to understand the power and innovativeness of these resistance(s), and to ask how these can offer potential alternative forms of urban governance challenging austerity.

Speakers: Lisa McKenzie (LSE), Phoebe Moore (Middlesex), David Bailey (Birmingham), Saori Shibata (Leiden), Nick Kiersey (Ohio), Lefteris Krestos (Greenwich), Desiree Fields (Sheffield), Lucia Pradella (Kings), Stuart Price, Heather Connolly, Adam Fishwick (DMU)

If you are interested in attending please send an email to Suzanne Walker (swalker@dmu.ac.uk) to register your place.

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