Workshop | Securing Housing and the Governing of Uncertainty: A Comparative Approach

Organizers: Frank Müller (CUS/UvA) and Lirio Gutiérrez Rivera (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)

29June2017 10:00 - 18:00


This workshop invites comparisons of how increasing uncertainties affect security practices and politics – and vice versa – in metropolitan areas in different parts of the world with ethnography-informed studies from Europe, Latin America and beyond.

Feelings of security

In attempting to understand how uncertainties affect livelihood of urban populations across classes and cities, our particular focus lies on exploring the critical place that the own house and neighborhood occupy. In this workshop, house/home are both a place to be protected by the residents in order to establish a "feeling of safety" and, on the other side, an object of politics and economies of securitization that qualifies political and media discourses.

Securing urban housing

Narratives and imaginations of ‘risk’ matter in reshaping politics, discourses and practices of securing urban housing: fear of terror, police violence, intimidating non-stated armed actors, political, or criminal violence, under-regulated immigration, and environmental hazards are posing diverse but coexisting threats to the own livelihood. Particularly in metropolitan peripheries a common “precaritization” (Butler 2015, Lorey 2015) acclimatizes whole populations to a growing sensation of insecurity and loss of privilege in which self-protection, privatized security services and various forms of community-policing coexist with state-led surveillance. The retreat of residents to gated enclaves, the formation of right-wing vigilante or neighborhood defense groups, the increasing employment of surveillance technologies and private security firms, as well as resettlements of “vulnerable” populations living in low-income settlements characterize this “governing through uncertainty” (Zeiderman et al. 2015: 284).


In this workshop, we expect to improve our understanding of emerging assemblages of actors, rules, regulations, architectures, and security technologies and objects both in the Global North and South. The workshop therefore aims at comparatively examining the correlation of housing and security in ever more polarizing cities.


10.00 -10.15
Frank Müller (CUS/UvA) - Introduction

Lirio Gutierrez Rivera (Universidad Nacional de Colombia) - “Right to a Safe City: Urban Planning and Gender in Medellin, Colombia”

Ana Ivasiuc (Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen) - „Class and Race (In)Securities: Vigilantism, Policing, and Domopolitical Struggles in the Peripheries of Rome“

Coffee Break

Frank Müller (UvA/CUS) & Stephan Lanz  (European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)) - “Governing the Urban Peripheries of Berlin, Medellin and Rio de Janeiro: Conviviality, Vigilantism and the Securitization of Dwelling”


Austin Zeiderman (London School of Economics and Political Science) - “Submergence: Precarious Politics in Colombia’s Future Port-City”

Fenne Pinkster (UvA/CUS) - “Urban Governance and Loss of Place in a Working Class Neighbourhood in Amsterdam”

Coffee Break

Christien Klaufus (UvA/CUS) - “Housing the Dead: the Cemetery as an Extension of Low-income Settlements”

Lior Volinz (UvA/CUS) - “Showcased habitation: Negotiated Citizenship through Incursive Security Practices“

Plenary Discussion


To register, please send an email to:

Location REC J/K 1.23

  • Roeterseilandcampus - building J/K

    Valckenierstraat 65-67 | 1018 XE Amsterdam
    +31 (0)20 525 5663

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Published by  CUS