Ecumenopolis is a word invented in 1967 by the Greek city planner Constantinos Doxiadis to represent the idea that in the future urban areas and megalopolises would eventually fuse and there would be a single continuous worldwide city as a progression from the current urbanization and population growth trends.
The neoliberal transformation that swept through the world economy during the 1980’s, and along with it the globalization process that picked up speed, brought with it a deep transformation in cities all over the world. For this new finance-centered economic structure, urban land became a tool for capital accumulation, which had deep effects on major cities of developing countries. In Istanbul, which already lacked a tradition of principled planning, the administrators of the city blindly adopted the neoliberal approach that put financial gain ahead of people’s needs; everyone fought to get a piece of the loot; and the result is a megashantytown of 15 million struggling with mesh of life-threatening problems.
Armed with new powers never before imagined, TOKI (State Housing Administration), together with the municipalities and private investors, are trying to reshape the urban landscape in this new vision. With international capital behind them, land plans in their hands, square meters and building coefficients in their minds, they are demolishing neighborhoods, and instead building skyscrapers, highways and shopping malls. But who do these new spaces serve?
The huge gap between the rich and the poor in Istanbul is reflected more and more in the urban landscape, and at the same time feeds on the spatial segregation. While the rich isolate themselves in gated communities, residences and plazas; new poverty cycles born in social housing communities on the prifery of the city designed as human depots continue to push millions to desperation and hopelessness. So who is responsible for this social legacy that we are leaving for future generations?
In 1980 the first plan for Istanbul on a metropolitan scale was produced. In that plan report, it is noted that the topography and the geographic nature of the city would only support a maximum population of 5 million. At the time, Istanbul had 3.5 million people living in it. Now we are 15 million, and in 15 years we will be 23 million. Almost 5 times the sustainable size. Today we bring water to Istanbul from as far away as Bolu, and suck-up the entire water in Thrace, destroying the natural environment there. The northern forest areas disappear at a rapid pace, and the project for a 3rd bridge over the Bosphorous is threatening the remaining forests and water reservoirs giving life to Istanbul. The bridges that connect the two continents are segregating our society through the urban land speculation that they trigger. So what are we, the people of Istanbul, doing against this pillage? If cities are a reflection of the society, what can we say about ourselves by looking at Istanbul? What kind of city are we leaving behind for future generations?
Ecological limits have been surpassed. Economic limits have been surpassed. Population limits have been surpassed. Social cohesion has been lost. Here is the picture of neoliberal urbanism: Ecumenopolis.
Ecumenopolis aims for a holistic approach to Istanbul, questioning not only the transformation, but the dynamics behind it as well. From demolished shantytowns to the tops of skyscrapers, from the depths of Marmaray to the alternative routes of the 3rd bridge, from real estate investors to urban opposition, the film will take us on a long journey in this city without limits. We will speak with experts, academics, writers, investors, city-dwellers, and community leaders; and we will take a look at the city on a macro level through animated maps and graphics. Perhaps you will rediscover the city that you live in and we hope that you will not sit back and watch this transformation but question it. In the end this is what democracy requires of us.
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Tagged AKP, architecture, belgesel, capitalism, capitalismo, city, cityscape, deforestation, depletion, development, documentary, dokumentär, ecology, ekümenopolis, Enlargement, environment, europe, gap, globalizacion, globalization, injustice, istanbul, kapitalismus, kapitalizm, küreselleşme, neoliberalism, politics, türkiye, the poor, the rich, Turkey, turkiet, urban, urban planning, urbanscape
Ever since the break with Stalin, Tito and the communist leaders led Yugoslavia on a new path not following the typical communist patterns – they were indeed pioneers in that aspect. The break paved the way for an opening up of the external borders as the internal ones were already transcended. But it was not just the opening up of the borders which was new, the dissemination of power after 1974′s constitution was another thing that did not occur in the other communist states. The result of this was that the regional leaders from their new positions started to make decisions that would benefit their regions and not the federation as a whole, which is one of the reasons why the union slowly began to crack. Some more years would pass until the war would break out and the official split would come about.
The aim of my research paper is to convey how symbols have been used as tools of reinforcing already existing identities but also as tools of alienating the “Yugoslav brother republics” from each other, thus establishing clear national and religious borders. I will use the text of chapter 4 in Donnan and Wilson’s Borders – Frontiers of identity, nation and state, but also Strüver’s article ‘Everyone Creates One’s Own Borders’: The Dutch–German Borderland as Representation as frames for what kind of information and material I will search for and analyse. And I have also chosen to use Cabak Redei’s article when analysing the material for my study, as the concepts of Ego-culture and Non-culture are very relevant in this case which will discuss identity boundaries between the different nations and how they can be conveyed by analysing different symbols.
With a population of 45 668 million inhabitants (as of September 2011, ) spread over 603,700 km2, Ukraine represents one of the largest East European countries. In the course of centuries, it served as a very important link and strategic crossroute between East and West falling under political and cultural influence from both sides. This summer signaled the 20th anniversary of independence for a state and its always a big day for a whole society when everyone can feel the unity. However, in my essay “Ukrainian East-West Dichotomy” I want to point out the differences between the Eastern and Western Ukraine and its respected inhabitants. Since the course is deals with the borders, boundaries and frontiers, I will use this concepts as a framework for my analysis. Ukraine is a one, independent state, without any internal borders, but I argue in my article that there is certain issues and moments that allows to say that there is a “border in mind“ or invisible border lying between east and west. As an examples of such diversity I will analyze many issues, among others are: language, ethnicity, religion, political preferences, economical development, role of local elites in influencing regional population. I continue the analysis, arguing that such a discrepancy and REGIONALISM leads to such processes as decentralization and disintegration. It also leads to the question of national cultural identity, which is very vague. We can look at the Ukrainian/Russian linguistic, cultural and political dichotomy as both a major problem and major opportunity for development. The rational solution of this issue might create the common civic national (community/cultural) identity that would embrace all indigenous peoples and national minorities. The problem is that till now none of these two major cultures has the sufficient potential to become the dominating and to assimilate other cultures. My main question to examine is where is boundary, that make regions so diverge, lies and point to aspects and reasons that constitutes such boundaryes. I will provide historical background in order to see, how differently the east and west of Ukraine has developed and what is the situation now, referring for data related to the issues of Orange Revolution, which in my view, only widened the gap between East and West Ukraine.
An immense quantity of work about border studies has been done the last decade. Influenced by globalization, Europeanization, and terrorism, authors from different disciplines; geographers, political scientists, sociologists, economists and information scientists are split between those who favor the concept of a borderless world and those that reject it and are very skeptical.
Etienne Balibar, one of the principal theorists of European border studies, who combines the study of borders in Europe with the questions of identity, the meaning of transnational citizenship, and the democratic deficit of the EU, maintains that borders change in a lot of different ways. According to Balibar, borders can be found where we don’t expect to find them, they are multiple, diffused and polysemic. There is no clear line drawn between the interior and the exterior. He also claims “a border can take many forms and operate on different groups in different ways” (Rumford, 2008, p.41).
Moreover, Rumford agrees with Balibar, and adds that one should no longer focus on national borders but instead look into the multiplicity of new borders and bordering processes. He maintains that Europe´s borders are becoming progressively cosmopolitan and that the EU sometimes also seek to influence the other side of its own borders, which it has no formal jurisdiction over (ibid p.53). Besides he suggests that the “borderwork” of Europe is a business that includes different actors.
Following this line of ideas I will analyze the shift and the making of the European Union´s exterior borders by taking the Moroccan-Spanish border as a case of study. The aim is to analyze how the “borderwork” at the Spanish-Moroccan border has been, and is being, conducted, and also in which directions it could/should develop in the future.
The period immediately following the end of the Cold War has challenged many nation states of the former Eastern bloc. The dissolution of the Soviet Union created power and identity vacuum .The process of simultaneous changes in social, political and economical has started and resulted in transformation of geographical space as well.
The burden of Soviet`s past became more visible and gave rise to many ethnic conflicts in the former Soviet space. On the eve of presidential elections in 2012 Vladimir Putin has made a statement that his main ambition is the creation of Eurasian Union. This initiative is regarded by many as the way to re-consolidate borders of the former Soviet state. In my opinion it can be considered as renewed attempt to deal with the multiethnic problem after many failed efforts to solve it.
In my paper I want to examine the way in which the culture, territory and identity is conceptualized and represented in official political rhetoric of the Eurasian Party and in non-official discourse in periphery. In my opinion there are dichotomies between top-down official political discourse of the center and the horizontal level of peripheries when dealing with the perception of the identity and culture. I argue that there is a lack of coherent cultural policy on the official level in Russia today. My aim is to reveal the strategies and techniques used in order to consolidate and centralize political power which I see as tools in order to legitimize imperial ambitions of contemporary Russia. Alternatively it can be seen as a strategies of survival of the nation state in the struggle for power in the globalized world. I will use the theories of poststructuralism, discourse analysis and Gramsci´s hegemony theory.
Since the entering into force of the Schengen agreement, EU has enlarged to a great extent, thus expanding and making its external borders all the more permeable. But along with amenities that Schengen brought, there were problems as well, mostly related to increasing waves of migration from third countries. The abolishment of EU internal borders put a lot of stress on its external ones, problems that have become all the more relevant especially after 9/11 and recently the Arab Spring. In order to coordinate the operational cooperation between Member States in the field of border security[i], EU established a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the EU Member States (herein after FRONTEX).
This paper will attempt to comprehend the role of FRONTEX as a tool for securitizing migration. It will do so by analysing the origin, tasks and practises of FRONTEX and how these fit (or do not) with securitization theories. Since its creation in 2005, FRONTEX has been given more and more power and money (from € 6.2 million in 2005 to approximately € 90 million in the recent years)[ii]. I will argue that the Agency’s practises accompanied by this budgetary increase can be considered as securitizing moves.
The methodological approaches used in this paper will be policy and discourse analysis, mostly because securitization is regarded as a speech act by scholars of the Copenhagen School such as Wӕver et al[iii]. Nevertheless, activities carried out by FRONTEX make it important to employ a sociological approach towards securitization, as defended by the Paris School of Security Studies[iv].
[iii] Buzan, Barry, Waever, Ole, de Wilde, Jaap (1998), Security a new framework for analysis, Lynne Reiner Publishers
[iv] Bigo, Didier, International political sociology in Security studies; an introduction, Williams, Paul (ed), 2008, Routledge, pg. 117-128
By Paul Bongers
Ever since the Maastricht Treaty of 1991 European politics have been serving ambitious visions of a far-reached European integration. The unstoppable drive for enlargement and internal unification – such as the invention of Euro-zones – to create an inclusive togetherness based on false illusions of reinvented traditions have opened borders has – if the optimist academics are to be believed – resulted in a steady fading or blurring of border areas. These areas have become once more what made them so genuinely attractive during the middle ages: intercultural meeting points instead of heavily guarded lines of demarcation. Or are they?
I agree with Redei’s explanation of the Tartu school tradition in defining identity. Culture, whether individual or in a group, is based on its counterpart – non-culture. The ego-culture of an individual would not admit to non-culture when it gets exposed to it, but it would rather reinforce. As people in porous European border areas are increasingly exposed to ‘the other’, they would naturally intensify the exclusion of ‘the other’ and thereby continuously reaffirm the own identity to the extreme.
In my paper I will attempt to show that under the influence of the current economic, political and social crises solutions to the ‘identity question’ should not be looked for in the ‘inclusion/exclusion’ equation of national versus supranational, but rather in the cosmopolitan logic of both/and – following the theory of Ulrich Beck and Edgar Grande. It should not be the task of the EU to socially integrate EU member states, but rather to create understanding, tolerance and respect for other cultures. Demarcation lines between cultures should be left intact – but crossable.
 Anna Cabak Rédei, Germaine de Staël’s Autobiographical Travel Accounts. An Inquiry into Cultural Semiotics (Lund 2007) 51-52.
 Ulrich Beck and Edgar Grande, ‘Cosmopolitanism: Europe’s way out of crisis’, in: Journal of social theory nr. 10 (2007) 67-85.
Borderlands are problematic as they fall between two sovereign states with different legislation. In the Øresund region, the most common pattern of interaction at the grass roots is of Danish citizens living in Skåne and working in Denmark as well as Swedish people residing in Skåne and working in Denmark. From these two groups there is only one being marginalized as even though being citizens in Denmark they cannot vote in governmental election because they reside outside Denmark (Act No. 107 of 08/02/2011, chapter 1), even though the political decisions ruling over their working conditions, pensions, holidays, health system as they pay taxes from their income in Denmark. On the other hand a Swedish residing abroad can vote for governmental elections.
Structures of power limit the individual’s citizen rights as Danish people living in Sweden cannot vote for governmental elections either. My point with the article is that minorities living in borderlands are often marginalized in political decisions which affect the directly as they are in a grey zone not belonging neither here nor there.
It is furthermore important to inspect how the people react to this legislation and limitations. Since many are benefiting from exactly from being extorted from them i.e. Danish citizens marrying citizens of non-European countries and being neglected the possibility of residing with their spouses in Denmark and thereby moving to Sweden. Is it problematic that they lose their voting right, under which grounds are they excluded and do they perceive it as being so?
Even though there will be four more years before next elections, I hope this paper can set precedent to what I consider to be unjust, unfair and undemocratic!
The ‘modern nation-state’ as classically understood was born from the coupling of three elements: community, polity, and territory. This essay will largely focus on how institutions and policies have shaped the ‘glue’ binding these three elements in 19th-early 20th century nationalism, and, more importantly, how the de-coupling of these elements with the onset of globalization has led states to restructure their institutions and policies to accompany newly understood conceptions of ‘territory’ and ‘community.’ Special attention will be given to immigration policies and programs from the 1960’s-present in Sweden.
This essay will begin by focusing on territory, traditionally understood, as a ‘boundary’ facilitating self-determination, sovereignty, and citizenship – leading to the ‘essentialization’ of culture. I will then show how the Single European Act dissolved the territorial notion of ‘boundary’ by eliminating frontiers (making Europe a ‘borderland’) and creating a perceived affront to state sovereignty. The state, adapting to the SEA, instituted new institutions and policies in response to labor migration that birthed an entirely new set of frontiers – for immigrants and natives alike. The essay will then follow the transition of European ‘labor migrants’ to ‘settlers,’ whereupon the boundary between citizen and alien became blurred – a boundary necessary for self-determination. This argument will be structured around the debate concerning rights to benefits of the Swedish welfare state.
The essay will then shift to the present day, where a paradox lies between the ‘ethical universalist’ norms projected by the EU’s member states collectively, and the individual institutions and policies that necessitate exclusion and discrimination (both to immigrants and natives). I will then show how the normative values of the EU require a ‘reinstitutionalization’ by the state in order to balance international law (and EU normative values) with the ‘essentialization of culture.’ I will accomplish this end by showing how Sweden’s political discourse and immigrant-targeted programs serve to draw boundaries between the native culture and ‘the other.’ While on the surface appearing to ‘integrate’ ‘immigrants,’ these programs actually hinder the ‘assimilation’ of ‘foreigners.’ Finally, I will conclude by arguing that both the Centre-left and Far-right parties of Sweden can be construed as anti-immigration, although their political discourses, policies, and methods of institutionalization differ.
Thus, the ultimate hypothesis is as follows: The institutional erosion of territorial boundaries by the EU’s ‘open borders’ policies have led to a historical reinterpretation of ‘nationalism’ by member states, who, in response to the change of ‘labor migrants’ to ‘settlers’, have ‘reinstitutionalized’ new borders such that anti-immigration sentiments can be seen across parties, albeit through different discourses, in order to maintain sovereignty and their native ‘essentialization’ of culture.
- Michael Bossetta
Can you think of a possible scenario for Europe 50 years later? Does it still exist? Has the integration been successful? Has the enlargement ended or is Turkey still waiting on the backyard of the EU now that Ukraine is a new member of the Union? What happened after the crisis in 2010-12? Has the federalist dream of Europe been realized? It is crystal clear that there are significant challenges Europe is confronting today: the Arab Spring (read democracy and immigration), the issue of enlargement ( Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Turkey- though the EU has recently not allocated a considerable amount of its economic resources for enlargement purposes), the economic recession and the intertwined nature of both internal and external issues (pointing out to the need for effective governance) which exert pressure on the policies of the EU and individual member states. Having the abovementioned in mind, it is fair to state that predicting the future of EU seems to be a very complex job since it should be positioned within multiple contexts and juxtaposed with one another in a dynamic way. Furthermore, the policy implications for each policy area are under pressure due to the present ‘Euro’ crisis ( read both financial and cultural crisis), which points out to the need for a greater governance on the EU level.
As seen within the past few weeks, the EU has agreed upon reintroducing ‘border controls’ again. The Netherlands, a model for multiculturalism and tolerance, has reinforced its opposition to the Eastern members of the union such as Bulgaria and Romania since it does not desire to allow the mobility of people from both countries. On top of that, it has also opposed to the membership of Croatia and, not surprisingly, the potential membership of Turkey alongside with Bosnia and Serbia. The ‘expatriation’ of the Roma people from France to Bulgaria and Romania was a robust sign which violated human rights and the rule of law despite the EC’s efforts to curb the process. Nevertheless, it took place. Then these infelicitious events were followed by Denmark’s moves (introducing a restriction on the age- 24 for males- of immigrants wishing to be a part of the ‘Danish’ workforce) in relation to the migrant population and restructuring the national migration laws. Europe has made significant concessions regarding its long-standing values such as democracy and respect for human rights.
Moreover, the federalist vision of Europe and the intergovernmentalist vision of it are in conflict more than ever. Is the Greek bail-out the break of the euro and will it lead to a divided Europe? Or, will it lead to a closer Europe which will achieve political union? As far as I am concerned, the integration process will come to a halt along with the enlargement process. It is imperative that Europe speak with one voice. Nonetheless, the future path to be taken will determine Europe’s future. Other than that, it is also discernable from the current situation that a divorce is not an option for Europe as a whole since the integration process has progressed for quite a long time, and benefits will not outweigh the damages of a ‘divorce’ in Europe. In a nutshell, the dream of a United Europe seems far from clear given the current crisis Europe is trying to handle currently. Thus, it is not wrong to assert that Europe has to make a reasonable decision in relation to its foreign policy and all other policy areas if it does not desire to repeat the same mistakes again. Europe is in critical need of reinventing itself and rereading its history.