No. 6 (2020): Politics and the City
The challenge of this special issue in finding words and coming to terms with contemporary city and contemporary politics is amplified by the difficulty to pin point what and where exactly a city is and how can we perceive political activities in its context. In making the call for contributions that are published in this special issue, I wandered into the terrain of politics with the audacity and ignorance of an architect, and searched for sticky ideas that evoke city-ness. Is politics the search for common good, or common ground? Or is it about Arendtian vision that confronts political action with social necessity? Politics, Rancière tells us, is the result of an anthropological invariant: fear that brings humans together. The questions of inclusion and participation are at the base of all political and design processes, as well as the struggle or, as Chantal Mouffe put it, agonism in public space. How could we (re)articulate modes of cohabitation that respond to the conditions of the contemporary city? Is politics human or more-than-human? This special issue presents four contributions that proceed from the panel City, Civility and Post-political Models of Freedom and Conflict panel held in November 2018 as part of the Scaffolds international symposium organized by ALICE lab from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, supported by the C I.II.III.IV. A, the Kanal Centre Pompidou, and with the participation of several institutions and university departments from KU Leuven, ULB, TU Delft, and TU Vienna. With contributions from: F. Peter Ortner (SUTD), Amir Djalali (XJTLU), Paul Holmquist (LSU) and Shintaro Miyazaki (HU Berlin).