With cities increasingly following rigid rules for designing out crime and producing spaces under surveillance, this book asks how information shapes bodies, space, and, ultimately, policymaking.
In recent years, public spaces have changed in Western countries, with the urban realm becoming an ever-more monitored, privatised, homogeneous, and aseptic space that has lost its character, uniqueness, and diversity in the name of ‘security’. This underpins precise moral and political choices in terms of what a space should be, how it can be used, and by whom. These choices generate material consequences concerning urban inequality and freedom, or otherwise, of movement. Based on ethnographic and autoethnographic explorations in London’s ‘criminal’ spaces, this book illustrates how rules, policies, and moral values, far from being abstract concepts, are in fact material. Outlining the basis of a new urban information ethics, the book both exposes and challenges how moral values and predefined categories are applied to, and materially shape, the movement of bodies in urban space with regard to crime and security policies. Drawing on Gilbert Simondon’s information theory and a wide range of work in urban studies, geography, and planning, as well as in surveillance studies, object-oriented ontology, and contemporary theoretical work on both materiality and affect, the book provides a radically new perspective on urban space in general, and crime and security in particular. This book uses a balanced mix of theoretical concepts and empirical study to bring theory and practice together in an intertwining of ethnography and autoethnography.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars in the fields of urban studies, urban geography, sociology, surveillance studies, legal theory, socio-legal studies, planning law, environmental law, and land law.
1. Introduction 2. The Theory and Practice of Becoming-Space 3. Causality and Space 4. Ethics and Space 5. Ontogenesis and Space 6. Conclusions: Towards an Urban Information Ethics
Space, Materiality and the Normative presents new ways of thinking about the connections between space and materiality from a normative perspective. The series is concerned with addressing the use, regulation and experience of space and materiality, broadly understood, and in particular with exploring their links and the challenges they raise for law, politics and normativity.
Space, Materiality and the Normativewelcomes analyses of space–materiality–normativity links from any institutional setting (financial market spaces, organisational spaces, urban space, legal space, mediated space, architecture, etc.). Proposals can be theoretical, discussing various conceptual strategies to study the use, regulation and experience space and materiality; they can be historical, outlining changes in how spaces are governed; or they can assume a more contemporary-diagnostic approach, investigating, for example, the emergence of post-national architectures or post-capitalist urban spaces. Submissions are welcomed exploring the following themes:
The book series is intended as a critical interdisciplinary series, at the interface of law, social theory, politics, architecture, geography and urban studies.
For further information on the series, or to discuss a possible contribution, please contact the Series Editors at:
Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, School of Law, University of Westminster, email: [email protected]
Christian Borch, Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, email: [email protected]