Urban Co-Production of Social Rights and Public Welfare

Conflict and Cooperation between Urban Movements and Local Administrations

Urban movements are increasingly claiming influence in shaping social rights and active civil society participation. To this end, they cooperate more and more with local actors in order to facilitate material, political and cultural rights and participation. This cooperation co-produces new understandings of social rights and public welfare. The research project investigates such negotiation processes in three thematic fields (housing, migration and environment) in Berlin. Three case studies were selected for this project, in which cooperative processes already take place between urban movements and municipal administrations. For each case study, a partner from urban movement and administration is involved in the conception and implementation of the project. Case studies from Barcelona, in which cooperation processes between administration and civil society groups have become a hallmark of local politics, will be examined in parallel. Leading questions are: 1) Which actors take part in cooperation processes over demands of social rights on the urban level? 2) To which new demands of material, cultural and political social rights do the new governance processes lead? 3) Are references to public welfare and the common good articulated as a form of legitimation? The aim of the research is to better understand how urban movement demands contribute to changing the fulfillment of social rights and the understanding of public welfare in institutions of the welfare state and which governance arrangements are emerging thereby. On a practical level, the project aims to support and accompany cooperation processes in the three thematic fields and to their scientific reflection.

The reesearch project is carried out in cooperation with the Leibniz-Institut für Raumbezogene Sozialforschung (IRS), Erkner. The case study on housing is located at the IRS, the case studies on migration and environmental justice at the Institute for European Urban Studies (IfEU).  The Project is run by  Dr. Laura Calbet, IRS, and Dr. Lisa Vollmer, IfEU.