Accepted Paper:

The social and the"cultural" in land grabbing and labor: urban restructuring and the war economy in Mardin  

Author:

Ayse Caglar (University of Vienna)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores how attracting mobile capital to revitalize the stagnant economy of a disempowered border city (Turkey/Syria) were closely enmeshed with urban restructuring, land grabbing, dispossessed labor, increased debt and the war economy, within which the “culture” plays an important role.

Paper long abstract:

On the basis of empirical material about the capital restructuring of a border city (Turkey/Syria), this paper focuses on the social and "cultural" in land grabbing and labor in the value creation processes taking place in the city. It aims to show how the efforts to attract mobile capital to revitalize the stagnant economy of this disempowered city were closely enmeshed with the urban restructuring and the war economy, within which the "culture" plays an important role. It explores the entangled processes of attracting the desired capital, achieving growth, revaluing land, but also the new forms of land grabbing, impoverishment of the population and the increased city debt. It also explores how these simultaneous processes opened new possibilities for the city residents for alliances and solidarities in contentious politics. This paper calls for a multiscalar analysis of value creation (with a special emphasis on the social of re/devaluing of land and labor), which in turn necessitates the deployment of a concept of historical conjuncture.

Panel WIM-GF02
Fictions of capital: movements and modalities