Cities and Mobilities Seminar Series #2 | Cities, Mobility and Diversity
The aim of this seminar series is to develop a conversation on how mobilities shape cities as well as to foster exchange and collaboration between scholars from different disciplines and practitioners working on urban mobilities at UvA and beyond.
In the second seminar, we’ll focus on mobility and diversity. Guest speaker Adrian Favell (Chair in Sociology and Social Theory at the University of Leeds) will provide a talk on “Diversity and Mobilities in Eurocities: The Case of London and Brexit”.
Dynamic global city
London in the 2000s was the Eurocity par excellence. It was the destination of choice for a generation or two of Eurostars (Favell 2008): young, professionally mobile, post-national populations from Europe, West and East, who thrived in the cosmopolitan, non-discriminatory atmosphere of the largest and most dynamic global city, in a Europe of open borders. Will Brexit change all that?
Consequences of Brexit
For sure, there will be a new natural experiment as regards the regional economic and cultural fortunes of London’s binary twin, Paris, which declined markedly in the shadow of London from 1997-2010. Other competing cities, such as Amsterdam and Berlin are also clearly benefitting. The presentation will also focus on theoretical issues about the limits of mobilities in a still nationalised and colonially ordered world. One of the great attractions of London was its “superdiversity”, a legacy of ethnic and racial diversity with deep roots in British colonial domination. Free moving Europeans and Black and Asian Minority (BAME) British, were widely thought be in tension. Yet Brexit has revealed the underlying racialised and colonial logic of British (English) island nationalism, which has re-cast all of these mobile, transnational and diasporic populations as subordinate “immigrant” foreigners to be nationally “integrated”—or else. The limits of cosmopolitanism have also been revealed by the sharp intercession of national sovereignty in the shape of a referendum, which ostensibly restored to “the people” the power to politically reject the legitimacy of economic and cultural mobilities that were thought to be constitutive of a global society; literally to reduce “demography” to “democracy”.
Adrian Favell is Chair in Sociology and Social Theory at the University of Leeds. He is the author of various works on multiculturalism, migration, cosmopolitanism and cities, including Philosophies of Integration: Immigration and the Idea of Citizenship in France and Britain (1998), The Human Face of Global Mobility: International Highly Skilled Migration in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific (with Michael Peter Smith, 2006), and Eurostars and Eurocities: Free Movement and Mobility in an Integrating Europe (2008). A collection of his essays, Immigration, Integration and Mobility: New Agendas in Migration Studies, including more recent work on East-West migration and anti-EU politics in Britain, was published by ECPR Press (Jan 2015). He also writes about urban development and politics in Turkey, and Japan as a model of the “post-growth” society, particular in terms of its contemporary art and architecture.
Opening by Anna Nikolaeva (CUS, organizer of the seminar series)
14.10 – 15.10
- Cosmopolitan capital, flexible ethos and social skills: the making of the cool creative migrant in the new urban cultural economy, by Vanessa Cantinho de Jesus, AISSR/UvA.
- Afrostars and Eurospaces: West African movers Re-viewing ‘Destination Europe’ from the Inside, by Joris Schapendonk, Radboud University, Nijmegen.
- Diversity and Mobilities in Eurocities: The Case of London and Brexit, by Adrian Favell.
Comments and discussion by Virginie Mamadouh, CUS/UvA
For the abstracts of all presentations and more information about the seminar series, please check: www.citiesandmobilities.com.
Seminar is free and open to anyone. Please let us know if you are coming by sending an e-mail to Iris van der Doelen: I.vanderDoelen@uva.nl
Location: REC J/K B.25
Roeterseilandcampus - building J/K
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