Seminar Series

Territories and Informality in Cities

Prodig coordinators: Marie Morelle and Jérôme Tadié
Gecko coordinator: Jean-Fabien Steck

In a comparative perspective, this seminar series aims at studying the government of cities. It originates in the assumption that it results from the coexistence, sometimes the confrontation, of a great variety of power brokers. The seminar will analyse “informal” practices (the meaning of this notion is to be clarified) of production, administration and management of urban territories. It gives greater importance to the spatial entry — a key factor to understand the diversity of political and social relationships. Urban territories, in their diversity and organisation, not only reflect diverse, more or less institutionalised, systems of government, , but they also take part in their making and reproduction.
This seminar intends to bring together researchers and practitioners concerned by themes regarding informality, in particular its role in the governance of cities and in the reshaping of territories. It takes place three to four times a year. Each seminar is centred on a a presentation, which is supplemented by readings.

The Other Side of Cities

« The Other Side of Cities » seminar series focuses on the various ways cities are managed, both in First and Third World countries. It stresses the role of informal processes in the constitution of urban space. It is part of the Inverses (Informality, Power and the Other Side of Urban Space) Program. The aim of the series is to study the daily governance of cities, both within and outside the official frameworks. It hopes to shed light on the role of negotiations within civil society as well as between inhabitants and authorities. In such processes, laws are often bypassed by several types of stakeholders, whether public or private, firms, mafias, government or private citizens. Such informal practices as clientelism, violence, collusion, resistance or collective mobilisation combine with official policies in the production of cities and the construction of urban structures of power.
This seminar series is based on films, documentaries and public conferences. It aims at creating debates and sharing the findings of the Inverses Program. It will take place in Paris in 2014.