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City of Exception: The Dutch Revanchist City and the Urban

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Abstract:  Agamben's figure of the homo sacer is much discussed and applied in various social sciences. This article discusses the limits of Agamben's perspective and illustrates the value of an amended version by a discussion of urban policy practices in the Netherlands that operate on the basis of a distinct logic of exception and create urban homines sacri. A discussion of the case of the policy practice of the Rotterdam “Intervention Teams” provides an account of how the city becomes a city of exception, and the development of such policies and of the discourses that legitimate them. We illustrate the ways in which the selection of urban zones of exception is heavily dependent both on ethnicity and on income.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; 2: University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands;

Publication date: 2011-11-01

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