Migration and Spatial Urban Order under Conditions of Neoliberalization
Mathias Rodatz | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Vortrag am 28.2.2012 im Rahmen der AAG 2012 in New York
The paper focuses the development of administrative problematizations of migration under conditions of the normalcy of urban neoliberalism in Germany. In the 1970s, urban administrations started governing migrant districts as »concentrations of foreigners«, problematizing them as signs of disintegration and urban decay and introducing policies aiming at their dissolution. In contrast, experts of city development have started to discover migration as an urban resource in terms of »diversity« in recent years, referring to arguments and policy models informed by the work of Richard Florida among others. Corresponding programs are suggesting that German cities should give up their policies of desegregation and, following policy models from more traditional immigration countries, start to view migrant districts as productive sites of »diversity« featuring resources for the »local economy« and »civil society«.
The paper will discuss the strong reservations public administrations have expressed against these changes as well as examples of successful policy implementations. It will argue that the implementation of such changes in urban migration policy depends on the degree of normalization of neoliberal urban development in other policy areas. The new policies may be interpreted as a neoliberal delegetimizatidon of ethno-centric conceptions of urban order. As such, policies of »diversity« are introducing the idea a of a cosmopolitan urban society but — under neoliberal conditions – are most likely to spell out as an uncertainty of urban belonging for specific categories of »migrant communities«, whose otherness must continuously prove not to be a risk to the neighborhood, but a means of productivity.