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From territorial stigma to territorial justice: a critique of vested interest urbanism

School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 from 18:30 to 19:45 (GMT)

From territorial stigma to territorial justice: a...

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13th David M Smith Annual Lecture

From territorial stigma to territorial justice: a critique of vested interest urbanism

Dr Tom Slater, Reader in Urban Geography, University of Edinburgh


Summary

In Geography and Social Justice (1994) - a book written for an undergraduate course of the same name that I had the privilege to take in 1997-98 - David M Smith argues persuasively that social justice should not be left to the free market, as “the claim to generate social justice depends on the justice of the distribution that already drives the system." Accordingly, this lecture draws upon 20 years of close engagement with Smith's remarkable body of scholarship to expose, analyse and critique the arguments of free market think tanks vis-a-vis housing, poverty and social welfare in UK cities. These think thanks, as non-state institutions, often purport to be independent, but they rely on donations from corporations, institutions and individuals with clear political agendas, resulting in the mobilisation of state power to reinforce free market rule. I argue that the huge influence of think tanks in shaping the fate of cities can be explained not only by their mastery of what I call 'decision-based evidence making', but by their activation and amplification of territorial stigma. The ways in which noxious representations of specific geographies are produced, diffused, and harnessed in the field of power to produce a vested interest urbanism raises important questions about justice, care and responsibilities to those living in stigmatised places. These are questions that lie at the heart of David M Smith's scholarship, and particularly his concept of territorial social justice, which I position against territorial stigmatisation to analyse the role of symbolic structures in the production of inequality and marginality in the city.


Biography
Tom Slater is Reader in Urban Geography at the University of Edinburgh. His undergraduate studies in the School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London (graduated in 1998) triggered research interests in the institutional arrangements producing and reinforcing urban inequalities, and in the ways in which marginalised urban dwellers organise against injustices visited upon them. He has written extensively on gentrification (notably the co-authored books, Gentrification, 2008 and The Gentrification Reader, 2010), displacement from urban space, territorial stigmatisation, welfare reform, and social movements. Since 2010 he has delivered lectures in 18 different countries on these issues, and his work has been translated into 8 different languages and circulates widely to inform struggles for urban social justice. For more information, see www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/tslater


This public lecture is open to everyone. It is also part of a wider reunion for former geography, geology and environmental students and staff in at QMUL 
(www.qmul.ac.uk/alumni/events/geographyreunion). 


A wine reception will follow the lecture. 

Do you have questions about From territorial stigma to territorial justice: a critique of vested interest urbanism? Contact School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London

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When & Where


ArtsTwo Lecture Theatre, Queen Mary University of London
Mile End Road, London
E1 4NS
United Kingdom

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 from 18:30 to 19:45 (GMT)


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School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London

The School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London is recognised internationally for its theoretically-informed, empirically-grounded and politically-engaged research. We are recognised as a leading department for geography and environmental science; ranking 5th in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) for our research outputs and 11th overall. 

The School prides itself on its teaching and has a particularly good record of working with students to achieve their highest potential. Undergraduate students choose from a flexible, challenging and interesting set of modules taught in a friendly atmosphere. A growing postgraduate cohort chooses from an attractive range of masters programmes that reflects the distinctive research strengths of the whole School, while PhD students are an integral part of the School's research culture.

School of Geography

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From territorial stigma to territorial justice: a critique of vested interest urbanism
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