Accepted Paper:

The structure of informal authority in Danish alternative community Christiania  
Linas Svolkinas (UK)

Paper long abstract:

In 1971 antiauthoritarian movements occupied an abandoned Danish military base in the center of Copenhagen and established so called alternative community Christiania. Christianites experienced their social lives in a context of a perpetual crisis situation. 40 years of conflict with the state authorities only have managed to produce multiple unsuccessful attempts to reach a legal settlement (the last one - the normalization law adopted in 2004). Hereby I am presenting and discussing an ethnographic case that will demonstrate how Christiania community first timer settlers operate as figures of informal but legitimate authority (local elite). I suggest that community old timers' imaginative acts have a necessary capacity to bridge abstract alternative ideals with concrete everyday realities. At the same time, these practices strengthen the internal rift between community new comers and old timers and the local political game in practice is about how to avoid conflicts.

Panel W079
Elite groups, crisis and imagination