IMER Lunch: Lisa Kings and Vanja Lozic

April 28, 2015 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
UNI Rokkan centre (6 etg)
Nygårdsgaten 5
5015 Bergen

Lisa Kings: Contesting urban management regimes: The rise of urban justice movements in Sweden

Addressing segregation, racism and welfare transformation, a new form of grassroots mobilization among young adults is emerging in the peripheries of Swedish cities. The common denominator is that they define themselves as urban justice movements– with place as the social ground for mobilization. Witha Gramscian perspective, the article analysis the rise of urban justice movements in relation to contemporary urban policies in Sweden. We argue that Swedish urban policies during the last 20 years have created a hegemonic urban management regime underpinned by area based programs with a focus on network steering and new forms of partnership between civil society and public institutions. The emergence of urban justice movements is here understood in relation to firsthand negative experience of– and later active revulsion from– having participated in activities and issues related to the urban management regime. These experiences and the later proclaimed autonomy of the movements have been a key condition for the beginning of a broader struggle that merges local rootedness with wider structural-institutional conditionality. (co-authored by Aleksandra Ålund (Linköping University) and Nazem Tahvilzadeh (KTH Royal Institute of Technology).

Skjermbilde 2015-02-17 kl. 13.51.26LISA KINGS holds a PhD in Sociology at Søderthorn University College. Her researh interests are urban theory, social movements, inequality and everyday life.  (

Vanja Lozic: Problematizing parents, governing troubled youth

The paperfocuses on current debate on troubled youth, living in socio-economically deprived suburbs in Sweden, and particularly discourses on problems of alienation, crime, arson and anti-social behaviour among youth. In the paper, interviews with the representatives of different organisations involved in managing the youth problem are analysed. One recurring theme in the interviews is problem discourses representing the parent as a problem. Departing from Foucault´s understanding of governmentality and the formation of subjectivity, we analyse the construction of problems, problematization, and conceivable solutions, as depicted by the interviewees. The problematizations recurring in the interviews are the deficiency of urban space, dysfunctional family relations and parents as being passive and culturally different. On the basis of such problematizations the interviewees propose solutions in various ways fostering the parents to become responsible and active subjects, who have internalised current norms and values. Other central solutions emerging in the interviews are the development of various forms of communicative skills as well as a range of pre-emptive measures targeting the parents. An important conclusion in the paper is that this way of developing possible solutions to the problems of suburban youth tends to focus on the transformation of individual parents, while structural dimensions get out of focus. What appears is a desire to foster parents and thus to produce a certain kind of subject, namely an active, responsible and cooperative individual, involved in the local community. (The paper is co-authored with Magnus Dahlstedt.)

Skjermbilde 2015-02-17 kl. 13.53.40Vanja Lozic holds a PhD in history and issenior lecturer in Science of Education at Kristianstad University, Sweden. His research deals with issues in education from the perspectives of ethnicity, multiculturalism, gender, disability, youth cultures and work integrated learning. At present, he is participating in a research project “Cooperation, education and inclusion in multi-ethnic urban settings”, which concerns the connections between institutional restructuring, youth resistance and strategies for social inclusion. The aim is to investigate the measures for social inclusion within schools, local institutions and civil society actors in socioeconomically deprived areas of large cities in Sweden