Accepted paper:

Building an urban commons: displacement and resistance in New York City


Ida Susser (HunterGCCUNY)

Paper short abstract:

This paper based on ethnographic fieldwork in New York City, explores the history of collective movements around housing and public space since the neoliberal turn of the 1975 fiscal crisis.

Paper long abstract:

This paper discusses the early working class movements for housing and neighborhood services which emerged following the 1975fiscal crisis in New York City in the light of the city's major turn from one hundred years of progressive leadership in social services in the United States. New York City had the first free hospitals and the first free city universities and up until 1975 was among the most progressive cities in the U.S. with less people living in poverty than the average US city. After 40years of neoliberal policies, New York City is again emerging as a base for progressive politics in the election of a mayor opposed to the decades of neoliberal policies. The paper argues that this shift is based on the citywide development of oppositional movements around housing, education and other issues that have emerged to create an urban commons of the 21st century. The paper explores to what extent this growing progressive base will be able to shape the politics of the city in the future.

panel P084
The worldwide urban mobilizations: conundrums of 'democracy', 'the middle class' and 'the people'. Supported by Focaal and the IUAES Commission on Global Transformation and Marxian Anthropology