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Political Participation: Eugene speaks at Uni Wien conference - "Vienna: Still a Just City?"

  • Mi. 06.10.2021
  • 10:00 — 22:00
  • 12 h 0 mins
  • ----
  • Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Wien
  • english
The research project "Vienna in Transition" (https://www.vienna-in-transition.org/) is curating a conference in the Sociology Department of Uni Wien. Eugene is invited to speak on alternative participation models, and his role in organising debate and dialogue in public space.

Der Titel der Konferenz ist "Vienna: Still a Just City?" und soll am 06.10.2021 stattfinden. Es wird ein Buch über das Thema präsentiert und – aufgrund internationaler Gäste – wird alles auf Englisch abgehalten werden.

Nach einer Opening Session, interaktive Workshops zu den vier Themen Political Participation, Labour Market, Housing und Environment durchzuführen.

Aufgrund Deiner Expertise und Erfahrugen möchten wir Dich herzlich dazu einladen im Workshop zu „Political Participation“ einen kurzen Input zu geben.

Der Ablauf der Workshop-Sessions gestaltet sich wie folgt:

  1. Nach einer kurzen Einführung durch die Session-Moderator*innen (Yvonne Franz) erfolgt ein kurzer wissenschaftlicher Input durch Forscher*innen des Projekts (Byeoung Ahn), welcher mit drei der wichtigsten Herausforderungen für Wien abschließen wird. Daraufhin wird es eine Möglichkeit für die Workshopteilnehmer*innen geben auf die Herausforderungen zu reagieren (Voting, Kommentare, etc.).
  2. Im Anschluss gibt es 3 aufeinanderfolgende Inputs von Wiener Wissenschaftler*innen/ Verwaltungsakteur*innen/Praktiker*innen á 5 bis 10 min, die entweder auf die zuvor genannten Herausforderungen reagieren und/oder neue Herausforderungen beleuchten können. Details dazu sollen in der weiteren Planung abgesprochen werden.
  3. Danach ist eine Gruppendiskussion mit Workshopteilnehmer*innen unter Einbeziehung weiterer (digitaler) interaktiver Partizipationsmöglichkeiten geplant.
  4. Anschließend werden internationale Wissenschafter*innen die Diskussionen der Workshops in die Plenary Session tragen und kurz am Podium präsentieren und diskturieren.
More information about the research project...

Vienna in Transition

The project ‘Vienna in Transition’ aims to enrich the academic debate about the specificity of the European City Model today, analysing the social and the policy transformations in a context traditionally portrayed as highly representative of this model. Although, the literature acknowledges several new social risks as challenges to the European City Model, the magnitude of the changes and their impact is not felt and dealt with in the same way. We will use the European city framework as a starting point in order to investigate how Vienna – in a comparative perspective with other European cities – adapts to recent urban challenges. Despite the fact that Vienna represents a prime example of a European city under growing pressure, no systematic and conceptually encompassing research has yet investigated the role of policies and institutional frameworks in shaping urban inequalities and social conditions in the city. In order to bring together the fragmented landscape of existing research and advancing the state-of-the-art, we specifically identify the following research gaps to be addressed: The lack of integration of the multiple dimensions of investigation. Rarely are labor market, housing and social policies analysis combined and related to the respective contextual conditions and their transitions. The lack of integration of the multiple territorial levels within which the city is embedded. Rarely is the interplay of supranational, national, regional and local governance dynamics disentangled. A systematic international comparison of Vienna with other European cities is widely missing. Finally, the project aims at enhancing an integrated urban development policy approach. More specifically, it will highlight the virtues and the barriers to multilevel coordination between spatial and sectorial aspects of key areas of urban policy in order to understand how the trade-off between neoliberal economic change and the capacity to govern social and economic transformations plays out in the city. Is it possible to combine socially inclusive policies, environmental protection and (socially) innovative initiatives with economic competitiveness? What preconditions are necessary?

Political Participation

The structural changes in post-industrial urban transformation have been an indispensable element of the history of citizen participation in Vienna. Since the mid-1970s, the longstanding process of the city’s administrative restructuring has engendered new norms and rules of participation in urban governance. A series of reforms toward participatory local governance in Vienna has emerged from multifaceted forms of consensus-building and dispute-resolution, which have been initiated by different stakeholders at different stages of the overall decentralization process. Incorporation of private- and civil society actors into the governance process has occurred in different social, economic, and political contexts of the city’s post-Fordist transformation, which has generated new modes of empowerment and social inclusion, on the one hand, yet also new dimensions of social exclusion, on the other hand.

The different degrees of power within the public-private partnership necessitates a closer look into the varying trajectories of participation and deliberation in urban governance, which have facilitated, but also, at the same time, limited inclusion of the private sphere in the planning- and decision-making procedure. While formal and informal participatory platforms for private- and civil society actors have continuously expanded in the past decades, the organizational structures of both top-down initiatives and bottom-up mobilizations to foster active participation have shown bureaucratic inefficiency and structural inequalities. In addition to the nebulous formulation of non-binding direct democratic devices, new modes of participation, such as petition; Local Agenda; and Neighborhood Management, have also exhibited limited inclusion of disadvantaged social groups. A disproportionate distribution of participatory opportunities in limited urban areas, such as in the inner-city districts, for example, exemplifies the spatial inaccessibility to active participation that derives from the city’s intra-urban inequalities.

Conference: (Dis-)Continuities of Urban Change in a European City

The conference aims at exploring and discussing the moment of change confronting local urban governance. It will be a forum for the discussion of global trends and challenges, which Vienna faced over the past thirty years. Speakers will elaborate the structural and institutional particularities of Vienna in the policy fields of labor market, housing, environment and political participation, and highlight path dependent processes and moments of change within multilevel governance arrangements.

Furthermore, the conference provides the opportunity for comparisons between Vienna and other European cities, and contributes to the discussion on the growing divergence of the European City Model.


Registration for this event has not yet opened. If you would like more information, please contact: michael.friesenecker@univie.ac.at