Jakarta night Bongkaran Tanah Abang

Night and the City: Clubs, Brothels and Politics in Jakarta

Article published by J.Tadié and R.Permadeli in Urban Studies, Vol.52(3), 2015, p.471-485.

This article analyses the significance of Jakarta’s night venues, defined in a narrow way (bars, clubs and prostitution complexes). They represent not only forms of modernisation and their acceptance in a city from the developing world, but they show how usual means of controlling the night have different understandings and produce different types of arrangements, regarding where one is located. We show how informal agreements are central to ordering the night and to governance processes, and how they produce different types of territories within an Indonesian context. The first part draws a topography of the night-time economy in Jakarta, showing how the evolution of the venues reflects both the growth of the metropolis and Indonesia’s different political regimes. Then the paper analyses the inner (dis)organisation of the venues and neighbourhoods in which they are concentrated, before assessing the meaning of the policies aimed at creating order in the city at night, showing how appearances of order take precedence over the effective planning of the metropolis.

For more information, see the journal’s web page here.

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CBG leaders ijurr Inverses

Community Leadership and the Construction of Political Legitimacy: Unpacking Bourdieu’s ‘Political Capital’ in Post‐Apartheid Johannesburg

Article by Claire Bénit-Gbaffou in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Studies, 38(5), 1807-1832 available here.



Apart from local monographs and normative texts on community participation, research on community leadership constitutes a blind spot in urban leadership, urban politics, social movements and urban studies. This article, based on case studies in post‐apartheid Johannesburg, contributes to theorizing community leadership, or informal local political leadership, by exploring Bourdieu’s concepts of ‘political capital’ and ‘double dealings’. Considering community leaders as brokers between local residents and various institutions (in South Africa, the state and the party), we examine how leaders construct their political legitimacy, both towards ‘the bottom’ (building and maintaining their constituencies), and towards ‘the top’ (seeking and sustaining recognition from fractions of the party and the state). These legitimation processes are often in tension, pulling community leaders in contradictory directions, usefully understood under Bourdieu’s concept of ‘double dealings’. Community leaders are required, more than formally elected political leaders, to constantly reassert their legitimacy in multiple local public arenas due to the informal nature of their mandate and the high level of political competition between them — with destructive consequences for local polity but also the potential for increased accountability to their followers. We finally reflect on the relevance of this theoretical framework, inspired by Bourdieu, beyond South African urban politics.

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FM Mars 15 La  ville et les déchets Inverses

Political economy of wastes management in Palermo : informal dynamics of local government (1950-2014), by F.Maccaglia

Lecture at the workshop: “The City and its Waste. Production, Circulation, Management and Processing”

Summary :

The dysfonctions established in the urban cleaning activities in Palermo’s city are the starting point for an analysis of informal dynamics of local government. While the concept of informality is usually associated with urban contexts of developing countries and the records of the habitat, street trade and economy, here it is mobilized to propose a reading of the local political order and its regulation process. It is, therefore, following the work of Manuel Castells and Alejandro Portes (1989), to consider informality, firstly, in its link with the political institutions and, secondly, not as a state but a process as it is a product of socio-political relations historically situated.


Program available here

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“The Other Side of Cities” Film Festival: proceedings online

The Festival « The Other Side of Cities » took place from October 16th to 21st at La Clef Theater in Paris. It was part of one of the results of the Inverses program. It proposed a journey behind the scenes of cities, of how they are administered and how their residents intervene. From the point of view of both the inhabitants, their representatives and the governments, it showed how cities are constructed by hidden moves and movements that structure the city organisation on a daily basis. Across different continents, this festival showed intrigues, arrangements, manoeuvres and resistance in an urban context. Presenting fictions and documentaries, it offered a broad reflection on the role of power, alliance and conflict in hidden, not always visible, urban arenas.

Proceedings (in French):

– « The Other Side of the City », October 16 2014, presented by Fabrizio Maccaglia and Jérôme Tadié.

– « Loi et arrangements », October 17 2014, presented by Sébastien Jacquot and Marie Morelle with Tommaso Vitale, Camille Dugrand and Arnaud Zajtman.

– « Habiter et résister », October 20 2014, presented by Nicolas Bautès, Sébastien Jacquot and Alexis Sierra with Agnès Deboulet, Matthieu Giroud and Jean-Michel Rodrigo.

– « Pratiques policières et mondes du crime », October 21 2014, presented by Nicolas Bautès and Jean Rivelois with Angelina Peralva and Laurent Gayer.

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