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Accepted Paper:

When Buildings Speak: Spatial Perspectives on Corruption  
Lene Swetzer (The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID))

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on my fieldwork in Algeciras (Spain), in this presentation I will address how a long history of urbanistic corruption has affected urban relations. As I will show, the urban landscape is a powerful channel of communication between the population and the governing entities.

Paper long abstract:

The city of Algeciras, in the Strait of Gibraltar, has a long history of urbanistic corruption (Gallardo 2018). Indeed, ‘corruption talk’ (Torsello, 2016) among the local population makes strong references to the urban and infrastructural dilapidation and associated practices of amongst other embezzlement and clientelism. As I will show, the urban landscape, including its buildings, streets and infrastructure are powerful channels of communication between the population and the governing entities. Thus, drawing on my fieldwork in Algeciras, in this presentation I will address how a long history of urbanistic corruption has affected the relations of (mis)trust towards local, regional and national politics; and how it affects urban relations among the population and their relation to the city itself. In taking a socio-spatial approach, and presenting the urban environment as a communication channel, I hope to advance discussions on corruption as a “language” that goes beyond a discursive perspective.

Panel P157
Crimes of the Powerful: Past, Present and Future [AnthroCrime]
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -