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Urban segregation, inequalities and local welfare: the challenges of neoliberalisation


Urban inequalities have become more important because access to key resources, from facilities to public and private services, have become essential in the definition of living conditions. Urban segregation shapes spatial inequalities into urban social inequalities. Recent research has shown that segregation, and therefore urban inequalities, are more complex than the widespread dualist vision. Their analysis require a detailed attention to the changing occupation structure shaped by the economy and to its interaction with changing ethnic patterns. In European cities particularly, the analysis of urban segregation and inequalities inevitably interacts with that of local welfare arrangements, in the wide sense including not only local public policies but also local effects of national or supranational ones, family forms of social reproduction, private actors such as mutual organizations, associations, etc. Urban segregation and inequalities are partly conditioned by the effects of those local welfare arrangements; but they also in turn contribute to define and transform those welfare arrangements in complex ways, which need to be investigated more deeply. In that respect, some of the recent policy changes associated to the agenda of neoliberalization have urban impacts that may be more brutal than the progressive transformation that we used to consider for policies expressing rather long term embedded economic, social and institutional structures. But again, changing occupation structures and residential patterns may produce urban social structures, representations and practices that are not mere outcomes of neoliberalization and may challenge it, either with constructive new forms of social mobilization and solidarity, or with disruptive outbursts of violence.


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hal-01743598 , version 1 (26-03-2018)



Marco Oberti, Edmond Préteceille. Urban segregation, inequalities and local welfare: the challenges of neoliberalisation. Western capitalism in transition, Manchester University Press, 2018, 9781526122414. ⟨hal-01743598⟩
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