Drawing the boundaries of ‘good citizenship’ through state-led urban redevelopment in Dikmen Valley

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This article explores the role of contemporary urban redevelopment in invoking a renegotiation of citizenship. There has been a wide acknowledgement that neoliberalism is a political project involving transformations in the state–market–citizen relations. However, the scholarly emphasis on market-led principles in remaking places and people falls short of acknowledging political aspirations and struggles that intrude in processes of inclusion and exclusion at the city scale. Focussing on the case of Turkey, where neoliberal urban policies and practices have been linked to the central government’s political ambitions, the article illustrates that urban redevelopment projects help the state actors realign citizenship with the authoritarian regime. A focus on the state-led urban interventions from the perspective of bordering the ‘good citizen’ suggests that neoliberal urban redevelopment projects are mobilised by the state to promote official citizenship agendas. Drawing on in-depth interviews, photos and observations from 9-month fieldwork in Dikmen Valley (Ankara), this article ethnographically documents how the ideals of the ‘good citizen’ in an authoritarian context differ from the market-led promotion of consumerist, aspirational and active citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date12 Sept 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Sept 2022

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