It Could Happen to You 2: Insurgent citizenship, democracy, and the city

With Professor James Holston, University of California Berkeley, JUNE 13, 2019, 12:30-13:45 Berlagezaal 1, BK

Organization: Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy & DDfV Delft Design for Values


In the first event promoted by SPS and DDfV (Delft Design for Values), we discussed the rise of far-right politics, Patricia Schor from Amsterdam University College talked about colonialism, race and gender, Danniel Gobbi from Berlin Free University talked about the suppression of pleasure as a tool for political control and explained the rise of far-right politics and Edin Elgsaether from the Netherlands Institute for Multi-Party Democracy talked about democratic institutions and how they are being shaped around the world.

In the second event of the series, Professor James Holston from UC Berkeley will talk about insurgent citizenship, democracy and the city.

In this second iteration, Professor James Holston will talk about a possible “antidote” to far-right politics: the rise of insurgent democracy and how it is being built by grassroots movements all around the world. The concept of insurgent citizenship helps us understand how citizens are negotiating their rights to have rights and their ‘right to the city’ in face of oppressive neo-liberalism and populism. Holston is at the forefront of discussions on how engaged citizens can shape their cities and how this exercise contributes to democracy-building.

Professor James Holston, UC Berkeley

JAMES HOLSTON is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also founding director of the Social Apps Lab at CITRIS and former co-director of Global Metropolitan Studies. He is a political anthropologist whose work focuses on the city as a strategic site for the emergence and erosion of new citizenships, popular sovereignties, and democratic innovations. He is committed to an anthropology of both critique and experiment. At the Social Apps Lab, he produces software platforms for mobile and web-based applications that address social problems by reformulating the terms and scales of democratic assembly and deliberation, civic action, and urban knowledge. His books include The Modernist City: An Anthropological Critique of BrasíliaCities and Citizenship, and Insurgent Citizenship: Disjunctions of Modernity and Citizenship in Brazil.  He is the recipient of many research awards, fellowships, and book prizes. His software projects include and which engage people in direct democracy, participatory budgeting, and community-based arbovirus vector control.  He has conducted extensive research in Brazil and is also currently engaged in collaborative research projects in Nicaragua, Paraguay, and the United States.

This event is OPEN AND FREE for all who wish to attend.