Cities have always been arenas of social and symbolic conflict. As places of encounter between different classes, ethnic groups, and lifestyles, one of the major roles they are predestined to play is that of a powerful integrator; yet on the other hand urban contexts are, as it were, the ideal setting for marginalization and violence. The struggle for control of urban spaces is an ambivalent mode of sociation, one that cuts systematically across the whole of everyday life: in and by producing themselves, groups produce exclusive spaces and then, in turn, use the boundaries they have created to define themselves. The spatial politics subscribed to by social actors at the same time shape the contour of the city's inner order and the symbolic universes of the groups living in it.
The struggle for territorial control and spatial arrangements and orders focuses some of the motives – fundamental in nature though not adequately borne in mind by social policy and social theory – apparent in all types of urban conflict.
Building on this premise, the conference will center on various mutually disruptive and reinforcing spatial politics with a view to pinpointing some old and new conflict potentials, but without losing sight of the need to identify altered negotiating processes. To put the conference in a nutshell: "acting," "acting on," "negotiating" are its thematic focuses, the aim being to conceptualize spatial politics from the perspective of
constructions of difference with the processes of compromise which they entail.
This thematic focus will be discussed utilizing the theoretical background of Postcolonialism to widen the Eurocentric perception of urban conflicts.
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