Videoclips on research by CUS members

Every year, members of the Centre for Urban Studies shortly present outcomes and thoughts about their research on the Harvest Day of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research. Below you can find the short video clips concerning their research.

AISSR Harvest Day 2016

Willem Boterman - Women and urban change 

Cities are transforming rapidly. Wealthier inhabitants move into new areas where we witness the rise of cafes, art exhibits, nicer street. So far studies explain the transformation of urban space mostly from the perspective of social class. The rise of a new middle class explains the process of gentrification because this middle class prefers cities to live in cities. In Willem Boterman's research on gentrification he acknowledgec the importance of class. But adds a dimension that has been largely ignored. He explicitly analyses the role of gender in the production of urban space by using the perspective of parenthood. Parenthood is a key phase in our life courses and reproduces class and gender relations, especially of women. Willem Boterman combines qualitative, quantitative and spatial analysis to investigate how residential practices are related to both class and gender charateristics. How do class and gender intersect in the production of urban space? 'In my research I argue that women are the key drivers of urban change'.

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Rivke Jaffe - Public-private security assemblages 

Across the world, we see processes of security privatization and pluralization. Increasingly, people’s lives and property are protected by uniformed security guards, by voluntary neighborhood watches, and in many cases also by armed vigilantes. These private security providers don’t necessarily compete with public security forces such as the police. Often, they collaborate. Together, they are central to what we call public-private security assemblages. Protecting citizens and maintaining public order have traditionally been seen as core state functions. The monopoly on the legitimate use of violence has been central to definitions of the state. So what does it mean when the state actively shares this monopoly? Focusing on security assemblages, my research team is looking for new ways to understand transformations in governance and citizenship. We ask: what happens to governance when private security providers take on a public role? But also: how does this impact the relationships between citizens and the state?

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Nanke Verloo - Everyday security in the urban realm

Security is increasingly practices locally. Governments seek to securitize our streets, squares and other public spaces from loitering youth or crime. In doing so, security practices enter our everyday lives and our communities. But governments are not the only practitioners of security, also citizens perform security.
In Nanke Verloo's research on urban conflicts, she observed how a well intended formal security practice had unforeseen and paradoxical consequences for the informal social fabric of a neigbourhood. She thus wonders, what is the relationship between formal and informal structures?

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AISSR Harvest Day 2015

Marco te Brömmelstroet - Urban cycling and the potential of the integrated bike train system

An entirely new form of transport emerged in the Netherlands that is much more than the sum of it parts and should –therefore– be on the radar of policy makers worldwide: the integrated bike-train system. Bike use has dramatic implications in spatial and social terms.How can an integrated bike-train system offer a competitive alternative that can bridge these different environments and social arrangements? And what are additional societal effects of this?

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John Grin - The health care agenda, health practices and governance

Globally, and most particularly in the northern hemisphere, we witness two shifts. A shift in issues dominating the health care agenda: from infectious diseases to non-communicable, often chronic diseases like diabetes, heart failure, cancers and Alzheimer's disease. And declining birth rates and increasing life expectancy yield an increase in the number of economically inactive people. Ageing also yield a higher demand for care. Existing health systems appear hardly able to meet these trends. What changes in health practices and governance are needed?

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Virginie Mamadouh - The European Union as geopolitical actor

The European Union is quite a puzzle: Once it was a dull puzzle, now it is everything but boring. We don’t really know how it functions, what it means for its inhabitants, how it copes with its internal diversity and the inequalities between its member states and its regions. Still, its relations with the rest of the world are even more difficult to grasp. Does it make sense to look at the European Union as a geopolitical actor?

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Olga Sooudi - Japanese immigrants in New York

My research is on contemporary Japanese migration. I’ve conducted fieldwork amongst Japanese in New York City and in Tokyo. New York has one of the biggest overseas Japanese populations in the world. These individuals are among thousands of middle-class, often college-educated Japanese who leave home. They commonly go abroad for several years or decades. They migrate to a place where they know no one, don’t speak the language, and have no work or connections. Why are these middle-class people moving, when they have no clear, straightforward incentive to do so?

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Justus Uitermark - Cities and social movements

Justus Uitermark talks about the forthcoming book he wrote with Walter Nicholls, "Cities and social movements. Immigrant rights activism in the United States, France and the Netherlands, 1970-2015" (Oxford, Blackwell, 2016) . Given the hostile climate facing immigrants and governments’ frenzied attempts to secure their borders, one might have expected immigrants to adopt survival strategies that would allow them to remain hidden and under the radar. However, rather than hunker down and turn in on themselves, many immigrants have asserted their rights to have normal, visible, and equal lives through demonstrations, occupations, and hunger strikes. While the general evolution has been in the direction of greater restrictions, some mobilizations have successfully swum against the tide and achieved important wins including large-scale regularizations. How to make sense of these seemingly irreconcilable developments?

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Darshan Vigneswaran - States, borders, control and developing cities

Governments can’t dictate where people go or where they live. This is a fact that were once again waking up to, as European governments scramble to cope with the large numbers of people fleeing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East. We’ve struggled to grapple this problem because we’ve tended to focus all of our attention on a thin line in the sand where states are at their most powerful – the border - and more specifically the European and US border. And in doing so, we’ve failed to look at the state’s glaring weak spot within - the fact that the moment you leave any border post or checkpoint – most governments wont know where you are, let alone be able to control where you go. Does this mean that people can move wherever they want?

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Published by  CUS

28 February 2017