H. Chapter 8 Producing the ‘good citizen’ through ‘good governance

CHAPTER 8

Producing the ‘good citizen’ through ‘good governance’: Barcelona, Spain

‘…lo que molesta a nuestros intelectuales burgueses no es la miseria o la marginación, sino tener que verla.’ -Manuel Delgado. El Pais. 9/9/2005

‘Som una metròpoli amb unes grans perspectivas de futur. I seran més viables i més fiables si disposem d’un govern metropolità legamente insticucionalitzat, definitivamente reconegut i plenamente desenvolupat. Parlem del territorio més dinàmic del país i de prop de 4 milions de persones. L’Area serà l’instrument perfecte per esdevenir la metròpoli referente del sud d’Europa en matèria de la nova economia i també d’un model social i urbà renovat. Tothom hi surtirà guanyant, sobretot, i principalmente, els ciutadans i les ciutadanes dels municipis metropolitans. -Jordi Hereu. L’Alcalde de Barcelona Marc 2010. i Barcelona. www.bcn.cat. Núm.136.

Introduction

Urban neoliberalization is an expression used to name a historical geopolitical series of deregulative shifts and reforms which in turn are reflected in particular types of restructuring of city spaces and forms of governance. Just as there is not one form of neoliberalism, urban neoliberalism refers to trends in urban geopolitics which share particular similarities across geographies as well as exhibit specific forms in particular city spaces. The urban interventions associated with neoliberal urbanization are justified and promoted by particular discourses which also have similarities across geographic regions as well as local differences . These discourses forward their projects by constructing particular ‘urban realities’ with particular histories, subjectivities and spatial relations. In this section we will use examples of political discourses in Barcelona, Spain to illustrate examples of how urban discourses produce certain types of spaces and power relations as well as consider how these discourses contribute towards the production of various forms and shifts of governance. In this section we use discursive excerpts from Barcelona, Spain to explore how city space and citizenship are being produced, how various interest groups utilize particular discourses and strategies to forward particular agendas, and where the edges of neoliberal urbanization appear on the frontiers of contrasting logics and social resistance? We were interested initially in isolating two kinds of discursive dimensions; one being the so called official stories by those who promote the city’s urban interventions, the other being the relationship between this ‘dominant’ discourse and its antagonisms and criticisms. The second dimension uses Foucault’s notion of antagonisms between institutional strategies and opposing as a means to explore how they relate to the reproduction of power relations. BARCELONA, SPAIN Neoliberalizing Barcelona ‘The modern’ city was both a product of and helped to produce a science-based technology enabling unprecedented numbers to be accommodated in dense settlements: medical science controlled the disease, engineering supplied pure water and sewage systems, new forms of transport and communications enabled people to be moved, fed and employed on a massive scale’ (King, pg 24, 1985) Much attention has been paid to what has become internationally known as the ‘Barcelona Model’ which describes the intensive urban restructuring which the city went through to ‘modernize’ helping it become a more widely recognized tourist and business center in Western Europe. Yet we agree with Delgado, that the transformation which Barcelona went through beginning with its preparations for the 1992 Olympic Games was acceleration rather than a shift in the direction of its urbanization. Barcelona has an extensive contemporary history of urban planning beginning with the Cerda plan in 1858 and continuing to the present day. There has been widespread international acclaim for the cities urban planning and rapid acceleration since the 1992 Olympic Games into a cosmopolitan Western European city along with criticism for what some view as the commercialization and privatization of the city to cater to foreign investors, tourists and developers. The critique of the ‘Barcelona Model’ has been articulated extensively by several authors and for our purposes we will only highlight certain general characteristics as a backdrop for locating our textual examples in context. Horace Capel (2005) wrote ‘El Modelo Barcelona: un examen critico’ in which he outlined how the progression of urban development since the mid-1980’s in Barcelona should be seen as polemic conflicts over varied agents and interests; examined not as a ‘model’ to be transposed, but a particular historical political urban example to be examined critically in context. Manuel Delgado (2007) also wrote a critical examination of urbanization in Barcelona entitled ‘La Ciudad Mentirosa: Fraude and miseria del ‘modelo Barcelona’, in which he puts into question the fundamental motivation and objectives of the way in which political and private sector agents have developed the cities urbanization since the 1980’s. Neoliberal strategies Rather than summarize these critiques, we will list a few of the major characteristics they outline as strategies of creating what we agree is a neoliberalizing of the city: 1. Attracting foreign investment Neoliberalization of the city implies competing in increasingly unprotected markets in which the city must attract investors to keep economically viable. Barcelona again makes it well known that it is interested in attracting large business investors and has turned many area of the city into successful (or not) investment sites including the Forum constructed for the Olympics of 1992, the renovations of a poorer immigrant community (Raval in 1990), or the construction of ‘modern’ architectural creations which have become show pieces for the city. 2. Large scale projects and monuments Vignette: The Agbar Tower Seeing how space, place and time are productive in citytext can allow us to separate levels, to see what assumptions are being forwarded, often through absence, but assumed objectivity. Barcelona is not London, but the Agbar tower seems to be almost identical to the Gherkin tower in London. The history and stories, including the architects, are different, but the image is similar, it speaks to a moment in history of the cities, a representation of presence and popular cosmopolitan status. Interpretation in terms of citytext is of place and space, reflecting the particulars of the Gherkin’s history in the dynamics of London or the Agbar’s in Barcelona, or the relationship between the two as an expression of spatial relations. Do they symbolize something in particular about the cities, or Western Europe? Interpretations could emphasize time dimensions; why they were constructed in this period of the city?, what images are seen as cosmopolitan in any given period, and the history and dynamics surrounding the places they were constructed. Our point is that we can use the dimensions of space, place and time to problematize existing discourses and to see what types of ‘spaces’ and relations are being produced. Urban projects and their related discourses are not fixed, they may be popular or not, and seen or justified as necessary for technical reasons, but they are produced and both create and represent the politics of relationships as such. The Agbar tower in Barcelona by French Architect Jean Nouvel (left) The Gherkin tower in London designed by Lord Foster (right) In the cities negotiations with large developers and foreign investors the question of citizen based participation is an important concern. Residents in Barcelona complain that decisions are often made with no public consultation or participation and then handed to the residents as proposals of which they never have the opportunity to make alternative proposals. Participation can be relegated to a kind of passive political activity in which the only party that ever gets to negotiate with the private sector is the city government when it is interested in a particular development project. 3. Private/Public development corporations Cities are produced at all levels; materially and socially; the city is being constantly remade. Power relations in the city are never static or fixed; they only exist by being reproduced constantly, day by day in the manner in which we reproduce hierarchies of order and knowledge. This is arguably encouraging in terms of considering the possibilities for social change given that what appears as fixed or immovable in terms of power relations is actually only as strong as their ability to reproduce themselves. Barcelona, Spain is a example of a city that has recreated itself to be competitive in the new ‘neoliberal’ economy. Urban politics in Barcelona represents the efforts of a city that after a 35 year dictatorship ended in 1975 entered an intense period of renovation. This acceleration created particular types of urban politics which have been met with great enthusiasm and appraisal as well as strong resistance from various sectors of the population . Critics of the city´s urbanization strategies over the past 30 years have claimed that the city has increasingly promoted types of ‘neoliberal’ urbanization which are justified and promoted through discourses speak falsely of the ‘participatory’ nature of its political process. The resistances and contestations over the ‘Barcelona model’ have also promoted their own discursive strategies and legitimizations to counter the agendas of the city´s urban planning schemes and renovations. We select various examples of text taken from Barcelona city officials to open questions related to how the city rationalizes and justifies it´s urban strategies. The ‘miraculous transformation’ of Barcelona Barcelona’s transformation over the past thirty years has been remarkable. At the end of Franco’s dictatorship, it was a little known backwater with inadequate public spaces, poor infrastructure and major shortcomings in terms of services. Today it is a modern and dynamic city, full of life and vitality, whose distinctive character is recognised the world over. Barcelona has been voted one of the world’s favourite places to live and is among the top four European business destinations. It is already the southern gateway to Europe. Now Barcelona has set its sights on becoming the capital of the emerging Euro-Mediterranean region. This “miraculous” transformation is the result of a process that began with the Olympic project of 1992, which led to spectacular changes both in urban planning and the city’s economy. The games were also a springboard for international tourism. But it was the city’s progressive policies that maintained this momentum and generated Barcelona’s capacity to innovate and continually adapt to change. Today there are new challenges. In particular, we need to improve the quality of human relations within the city and achieve greater social cohesion. We will need determination to meet these challenges (and to turn them into opportunities for the future) while still protecting our cherished identity . -Jordi Hereu. Mayor of Barcelona (2008) From the mayors point of view, Barcelona is a ‘miraculous’ story of the successes and progressive improvements of modern day life, the results of quick thinking urban planners and developers whom have taken advantage of the modern economic tides, and the ideal place to be a ‘model’ for the preservation of quality and modernity. What has been clear since the 1980’s when the city was transitioning from the Franco dictatorship and making a rapid ascension into global competitiveness stimulated by hosting the 1992 Olympic Games is that Barcelona was taking on and creating a new city discourse to justify the urban renovations that were taking place. City discourses in neoliberal economic climates often use the expression ‘global’ which carry a multitude of assumptions that create and define a sense of what the society is and is going to be in the future. Cities in Western Europe became central points of reference as part of a global system of power since the beginning of the colonial era. Each region and each city has had its own political dynamics and histories which have made their own urban development unique. Just as Foucault considered the formation of pathology as a discursive formation from its historical trajectory beginning with the church to its current ‘scientific’ form in medical psychology, it is important to consider the historical discursive production of urban capitalism and the political citizen in the Western context. There is nothing new about this idea, but its implications for understanding the discourses of neoliberal urban restructuring are significant. By this we mean that historically there was a unifying project, a coherent project that began with the colonial period to produce the western city within a ‘globalized’ world, and thus both the city and the ‘globalized’ world were related and dependent projects. As Foucault has described the interdependence of capitalism and psychology as they were produced in relation to and dependent on a shared discursive system, so the urban discourses of the western European city and the ‘globalized’ world work to produce a relational geopolitical context from which there is a shared coherent discursive structure , as can be seen in contemporary terms within the discourses of ‘globalization’. As we will discuss, the backdrop of ‘globalization’ works also to produce the modern ‘neoliberal’ citizen of the Western European city, the type of political character which the ‘good’ citizen has and which defines the boundaries of ‘participation’ in turn ‘resistance’. ‘Globalizing’ Barcelona ‘…In the eighties everything was waiting to be done. There was a need to set in motion a process of transformation which would allow the rebuilding of public spaces to bring dignity to the outlying neighbourhoods, and there was a need to build a global project for the city, to incorporate those sectors which had been put to one side not only in urban terms, but also in social terms’ ‘….Barcelona in the world, the world in Barcelona. These have been the motivating forces which have shaped the last few years: we have a city which is generally recognised and situated within the major cities of the world, while at the same time we have felt, in Barcelona, the effects of globalisation and social, demographic and economic changes which all the major world cities are experiencing’ -Jordi Hereu (2007) Mayor of Barcelona. Investiture speech Many of Barcelona’s city politicians have made a concerted effort over the past 30 years to present the city both internally and externally as a model for urban development, an upcoming ‘global’ city that also retains its quality as a ‘liveable’ urban environment for its residents. It has won awards for its innovative urban planning and is known for using North American cities at times as a basis for its planning projects . The city government has had no shortage of publicity campaigns since the large renovations initiated by the 1992 Olympics aimed at justifying to the citizens of the city why particular directions for urbanization are in their best interest. One of the foundational assumptions of these discourses is based on the ‘inevitable’ changes brought about by ‘globalization’. As we mentioned earlier, there are few contemporary geopolitical ideological expressions used more frequently than ‘globalization’ to justify urban planning schemes. In relation to geo-spatial identity, the conception of the ‘competitive city’ in terms of the new global economic market has become deeply embedded and normalized in most Western urban discourses. Yet, what is the ‘global’ project for the city of Barcelona’? In the urban planning certain levels are explicitly stated, yet the ideological and central assumption often remains unproblematized in relation to what kind of city is being produced in relation to particular types of power relations with private foreign investors, international economic trade partners, and with international and European based political and economic bodies. In other words, Barcelona is not only reacting to shifts in the global economy, it is producing particular types of economic and social power relations which then set the external and internal structures in which the city develops, in other words Barcelona’s type of ‘globalization’ project. The choices Barcelona is making in terms of what future the city is creating remains largely unnamed. These discourses of ‘globalization’ are total and produce a type of totality; Barcelona is constructed as a city within one economic system (neoliberal capitalism) which essentially erases space as a differentiated political and cultural field of relations, as there is no space if there is only one universal space. The city is positioned as a nodal point, a ‘major’ competitor in the global market, recognized and important. The city is positioned as a ‘player’ in a market that has only choice which is to ‘win or lose’ in the global competition. The city has no political system, no ideology, no differentiation and nothing is explicit as to what constitutes this large global competition, political system or logic. Barcelona is ‘in’ the world and the world is ‘in’ Barcelona, yet Barcelona is not the world, it doesn’t create the world, it is a player in the world’s competition with leaves only a reactive position that the city can take, to win or lose. In the mayor’s terms, Barcelona is a city which ‘has succeeded’ in becoming famous for its character and vitality, as well as a place in which people love to live and do business. This creates a context in which Barcelona is emblematic of positive progress and business is directly linked with the cities desirability. In this sense Barcelona is constructed as a winner and that everyone is reaping the benefits of this success. Barcelona is not alone in facing such challenges. The effects of 21st century globalisation are most obvious in cities; they are where both the problems and the opportunities are revealed most clearly. The great majority of the global population lives in cities so, in a world of increasing uncertainty, they become our most fragile and vulnerable places. But they are also the most suitable spaces to find solutions. Cities are intimately connected with the daily lives of people, therefore you hear about their needs and demands first hand. This proximity encourages creativity and innovation in the search for solutions. In this sense, the “local” dimension is fundamental to the design and implementation of urban policies. I would go as far to say that nowadays policies are either local or they don’t exist at all. -Jordi Hereu. Mayor of Barcelona (2008) What we see from this example is that firstly the new economy is ‘global’. Global means in this case that the economy is more interconnected, that the city must define itself in a global rather than regional sense, and that it is something that you can only adapt to successfully or not. Although regional prosperity is the goal, the ‘globalized’ economy implies a larger system that requires very particular types of competition to be successful in. In this scenario a city economy that is reactive is created and has doesn’t control the rules of the game, only whether they are will win or lose. This as a foundational ideological mechanism in neoliberal discourses in that it creates a position and identification for the city as a business. The global economy is constructed as a kind of historical progression that is both produced collectively by all the economies of the world, and is unquestioned in relation to its value, or better yet, assumed to be positive and progressive. Cities since their inception attempted to create images of being economically successful, yet over the past 30 years in Western Europe the expansion of the deregulated economy and shifting role of the state as a means of insuring social welfare has ‘freed’ the city into more of an independent unit in the global market. By naturalizing ‘globalization’ as progress and progressive in terms of human civilization, the particular interest groups that are creating this system are unnamed and invisible to the larger public, they are less seen as the active agents of globalization as the contestants who just happen to be profiting from the system . In this way as Parker points out, ideology in discourses work more powerfully by absence as power is hidden into benign and unidentifiable entities, thus invisibilizing its existence. Those that benefit from neoliberal urban restructuring use these global discourses to say in effect, ‘we are just one city in a global market’, implying that the city must restructure in certain ways otherwise it will economically not survive. What is unnamed are the multinational and national corporations that are profiting from particular types of restructuring and the realities of how these projects benefit only a select group of business interests. What is also invisibilized by naturalizing neoliberal urbanization are discussions related to alternative economic choices, citizen based urban governance, or the fact that the cities are agents of making types of globalization and thus are the producers rather than simply players in the larger economy. Cataluña is one of the economic drivers of Southern Europe and, as such, is currently immersed in the transformation process affecting the world economic structure, basically due to the expansion of the European Union and globalization.….One of the concerns expressed by the companies participating in this study was the need for more government policies designed to support business. To this end, the Catalan Government has created the Catalan Investment Agency to support the needs of Catalan and foreign companies in their investment processes. -Josep Maria Rañe. Catalan Minister of Employment and Industry. http://w3.bcn.es/fitxers/bcn-negocis/quadangl.403.pdf. It is interesting to note the expression ‘due to….’, the emphasis being on what has to be done now that globalization is happening, not what is globalization, who is in power, and how the city relates to the interests assaulting them, but it is a sense, like the weather, that the city had to adapt and the conclusion being that the government (tax payers money) has to be spent on supporting the businesses being competitive. It is as if the city faces a challenge and the citizen is supposed to rally to the efforts with the business community. ‘Globalization’ rather than an external force that wants to change the city in certain ways and must be confronted and negotiated collectively as a city and region process, it is relegated as a economic inevitability that determines the future. This construction of the city as a passive body creates a dynamic in which the government can appear to be doing the best thing in light of this inevitability is also foundational in the strategies of neoliberalism. The decision about what type of city is to be created in a sense is already made for the citizen, and from there the business and city government are doing there job by being economically competitive. The debate about who has particular decision making power and the right to define urban development never occurs and thus the citizen, like the city is left to compete or ‘perish’. What is critical to consider when looking at various scales of analysis is that if neoliberal colonial/capitalism is normalized, evident, accepted as the only viable or even existing epistemological and economic option, then the choices that are presented to the citizenry are limited to choices within this direction, which reproduces the neoliberal system itself. This point is central in understanding the ideological mechanisms of urban political discourses and points to a means to analyze urban resistance. Great opportunities ‘I wanted to call this talk “Barcelona, a great opportunity” because I'd like to state what those of us here believe is a great opportunity in Barcelona. I said that in January, a great opportunity, first of all, to combat the crisis because designing the Barcelona project is the best response for combating the crisis. It's the response a city can give. The world, Europe, Spain, Catalonia, they all have to respond in a big way to the crisis. The response from a city is to create, to believe in a great project and to carry it out. This is Barcelona's great response. But Barcelona is also a great opportunity at a time when the world is considering old and new challenges in every field. For example, deciding whether diversity is leading us into confrontation or to build unifying projects that bring cohesion; whether diversity is a great opportunity or a great threat. And Barcelona is a great opportunity for showing from the city perspective how we can design a splendid project imbued with the future, counting on this new diversity. This is the message we ought to be giving out to every city and to Europe . (Jordi Hereu, Mayor of Barcelona. June 15, 2009). To help us understand the productivity of this narrative, we read it as a imaginary type of world, and can then ask; what kind of a world is this? Who are the protagonists in this world, what are the challenges to be faced and what are the strategies will be used to meet these challenges?, What are the different scales in which things occur? What aspects are stated, what aspects are inferred? Who is included and excluded in these power relations? And lastly, what kind of time and space does this world inhabit and how do these come together to form a coherent system of power relations? The voice of a city government tells this story, in this case, the mayor. The mayor speaks for and simultaneously produces not only a city, but a world in which this city is embedded. Implied are the necessities and demands in which this city must respond to survive in this larger context. So we are interested in the voice that identifies itself as capable and is given the capacity to speak, as well as what world with what objects and subjects it produces. As we can imagine, a women from Ecuador who has no legal papers and has recently arrived to Barcelona, ‘lives’ in a different city than the mayor and would likely tell you a different story, produce a different city and world, with different dimensions in terms of subjects, objects, histories, times and spaces. The mayor tells a story about an enthusiastic city which is both a ‘project’ and an opportunity for ‘all’ referring to those who live in this city. This city faces and responds to a ‘crisis’ by ‘designing’ itself and there is the suggestion that all the cities in Europe and the world should respond accordingly, in a ‘big way’ to this ‘crisis’. Obviously these terms are very general but are filled with meaning and associations which are historically contextualized, yet the vague and undifferentiated nature of these expressions is meaningful in itself. The world of this city is facing an unnamed crisis, and it is suggested it respond in a big way, this creates an emotional response with no detail, it is a world in which ‘ghosts’ exist which are to be met and handled by a lot of activity. It resonates more as in the sense of a sports match, an unknown but ominous challenge to be met. Then there is a shift towards a situation described as revolving around ‘diversity’. ‘Diversity’ is undefined again, but implies a city with different groups in it, often times implying a racially, culturally, language based difference. The city is like all cities in that it has to face a decision about how it will deal with ‘diversity’; to make a choice between confrontation and cohesion. This is interesting in that the city in this story see’s itself as having both the right and obligation to ‘deal’ with, ‘act on’ diversity, as a phenomena in which must take a position. Then available options are ‘cohesion’ or confrontation which creates a polarity and sets a boundary in a sense. The boundary is implied, what is the difference between cohesion and confrontation? In this world these are the options, one sounds conflictual and antagonistic, full of difference and possible strong feelings. The other sounds solid, as if a group is moving together towards a common goal. The city chooses cohesion as the future when it comes to differences in groups and people. Whatever confrontational relations mean they are less favourable than cohesive ones. This city is going to show the world how it chooses cohesion, and will create a ‘splendid project imbued with the future’ in relation to ‘diversity’. The city is going to be an example to the world, a model of cohesion in relation to diversity. This is implied as part of its project. The idea of ‘project’ is an interesting choice of words; we have to ask ‘what is a project’ in contrast to other possibilities? A project is something you ‘work on’, you make plans on how to go about, and you implement. It is something you create and produce. The city government’s project is at least in part, cohesion, not confrontation. This narrative creates a story from a linear and ‘doing’ perspective, a body that works on things and makes progress, demonstrates things as a model to other ‘cities’. It is an artistic type of venture and proposes that it’s a part of a larger European and global project. The enlistment of the global discourse is important because it positions ‘cities’ as together facing challenges, larger than itself, and having to manage these to produce cohesive societies. A society is created which can be managed, can be cohesive, and can rally around a political leader such as a mayor or city government. It is a society which values cohesion and less so, confrontation. It is confident of its goals and content with what it has done and will be doing. It is a state of progress in contrast to other potential states such as ‘a period of reflection, of halting, of destructing forms, of supporting conflict and of unknowns. It is the voice of a path that has been taken and has been successful, a path that faces new and old challenges but will proceed as it has been going, to include difference into a cohesive form. In terms of time and space, what can we say about this narrative? Time is forward and backward, linear and there is an implied potential ‘improvement’ in relation to the future. The present has challenges that relate to the past and present, and the future is an ‘opportunity’. Yet diversity is a concept which tends to frame the present as a matter of getting along rather than addressing what has occurred in the past. So the choice of naming the challenge as one of ‘diversity’ automatically implies as kind of closure, a kind of world in which present time is valued more than past, and the future is based on moving on from the past. We emphasize this particularly as a common aspect of Western discourses from anglo-saxon political bodies in relation to non-white populations. Time is in a sense, from now-on. The past is over, and not to be addressed. Progress began here a long time ago, it is headed in the right direction and this is the next project, to form cohesion from difference. In terms of space, the space is the city governments space, as it has the right to speak for it, direct it and make it a cohesive society. The white politicians are speaking to other ‘populations’ of the city. In a sense they are saying `we are the cities voice and are speaking to you about what we are going to do to make all of us a cohesive unit’. The declaration is that it is not only the governments opportunity, but it’s ‘your’ opportunity – you meaning the ‘diverse’ populations of the city. We can imagine what discourses overlap here and are being forwarded, the existing city government structure, the voice of authority of the mayor, the use of ‘diversity’ as a name for other cultures and people who are not part of the dominant, in this case ‘Catalan’ political structure. So we can open up debates concerning power relations and their production through the ‘objectifying’ of the narrative. Nacen y crecen al abrigo de conflictos locales, pero en los últimos tiempos el fenómeno de las plataformas vecinales se ha globalizado. Cada grupo se mueve por motivaciones diferentes, pero poseen un lenguaje común. En su retórica se combina el rechazo a los abusos urbanísticos y un apego por la vida de barrio. En Internet han encontrado la mejor plataforma para conocerse y darse a conocer, intercambiar información y programar encuentros. Son los agitadores de un panorama asociativo en el que las entidades vinculadas a la Federación de Asociaciones de Vecinos de Barcelona (FAVB) siguen disfrutando de un papel privilegiado como interlocutores con las administraciones . In relation to the second level we mentioned, western power relations are produced within the frictions between their dominant discourses (official stories) and their resistances. Foucault was clear that you needed to understand power relations outside the institutions, where you find the ‘agoims’ to the institutional discourse. Because resistance in a sense is the ‘other half’ of the institutional text, without it the ‘official story’ has no power relations, it has only continuity and its own linear (in the western case). The institutions repeat official stories which to some small or large degree need to censor, eliminate, or invisibilize power relations, to maintain a kind of myth or projected fantasy, so that in terms of actual relations you have no points of reference. Through resistance is where the fantasy meets reality and where alternative (other utopias) meet their ‘maker’. Imagine a large projections screen in the middle of the central plaza of the city, projecting a discourse concerning the city and its promising future. In the streets the people look at this screen and may to one degree or another agree or not with this tale of the city and the world and may also to one degree or another be part of its reproduction or resistance. Yet if one is interested in the power relations that exist in this city, one must look to the relationships between the ‘screen’ versions of the city and the alternative resistances which ‘talk’ back to the screen either directly or indirectly. One important level of a dominant discourse or ‘official story’ is its discourse about resistance itself. How or whether resistance is included in a dominant discourse presents interesting questions particularly in relation to dynamics related to inclusion, access, and ‘who speaks for who?’ It presents the dilemma which Said worked on in Orientalism in his conceptualization of the construction of the ‘other’. One option in relation to resistance itself then is for it to express itself in relation to ‘its’ own construction by the dominant discourse, in other words to ‘play’ on its own subjectivity in the official story. PRODUCING THE CITIZEN Citizens, as cities, are produced. As we have discussed the ‘modern’ European citizen is produced within the discourses of ‘democracy, freedom, and participation’. The introduction of foreign investors and the increasing privatization of city space has resulted in many effects which have met with both acceptance and resistance, depending often on class differences. Neoliberal cities require neoliberal citizens and what makes a citizen neoliberal can be found in the official discourses of the participating citizen as well as the new civic laws which outline the correct and acceptable behaviour of a ‘good citizen’. In the outline of a ‘good citizen’ or ‘civic’ citizen we should also be able to understand neoliberal power relations more clearly and its discourses by looking at resistance, or what makes up a ‘bad’ citizen or a ‘non-civic’ one. 1. The participating citizen Barcelona és un referent mundial i un model pel que als processos participatius. La realitat de la ciutat no s’entendria sense conèixer els compromisos de participació de la seva ciutadania a través dels múltiples consells sectorials i territorials que la ciutat té. El Consell de Ciutat, màxim òrgan de participació, és el màxim exponent d’aquesta força democràtica exemplar.El Consell de Ciutat és el gresol on es fonen, per aconseguir un millor govern, els diferents corrents socials i econòmics que formen el teixit ciutadà, i on aconsegueixen un punt de trobada i de debat únic, fort i estructurat que irradia solidesa a les decisions de la ciutat i serenor en els seus objectius de futur . (ALEJANDRO GOÑI. Vicepresident segon del Consell de Ciutat. President de PIMEC-Comerç) In many Western European cities the city governments base their political ‘ideologies’ on various democratic terms, one of which in particular has been used intensively in the city of Barcelona to describe what it considers its urban politics to be based upon. The discourses surrounding the expression of ‘participation’ in terms of urban politics constellate a type of ‘formation’ in which a particular image of the ‘good citizen’ is merged into particular forms of political activity, in other words what the ‘participating’ citizen does and how, as well as marking the limits to participation and what is considered ‘bad’ political behaviour. The popular expressions of ‘participatory’ urban political campaigns must be examined within this framework, in relation to the limits of its discourses, what is thinkable and not thinkable, or available for debate and excluded to understand how urban governance is working. As we discussed in an earlier section the ‘free’ Western subject is free within limits, it chooses among limited ranges of options and challenges to these limits are met with various degrees of regulation and control (Rose,…..). These limits are reproduced in different forms at various scales; neighbourhood, city, region and national levels. Barcelona hace años que trabaja para construir la participación ciudadana, el reto cada vez más presente es trabajar desde una visión global, explicitando valores i sabiendo articular intereses y planteamientos sectoriales. Barcelona cuenta con la máxima participación e implicación de todos los actores sociales, cívicos y económicos de la ciudad para fortalecer el gobierno municipal. Goza de una forma de gobierno que sabe reconocer el papel vital de las asociaciones, el valor del diálogo, la confrontación de ideas y el beneficio colectivo que representa el saber trabajar todos juntos por unos objetivos compartidos. Es decir, con la participación ciudadana. Pensamos en la participación ciudadana como un valor diferencial de las políticas públicas, que permite distinguir entre unas opciones y otras. La ciudadanía quiere ejercer la democracia cada día, cotidianamente, esto es lo que en esencia entendemos por democracia participativa. En este sentido, y desarrollando las Normas reguladoras de la participación ciudadana, se crea el Consejo de Ciudad . (Jordi Hereu i Boher. Presidente del Consejo de Ciudad). 2. The civic citizen As we shall discuss in the following chapter, Barcelona passed a new civic law in 2006 to highlight its intentions to regulate citizens behaviour so that public space could be ordered and ‘safe’ for all to use. The strategy of the city to take on the project of regulating behavior in public space is not new, but the increased criminalization of particular social groups and vigilance speaks to a heightened ‘subject’ position of the ‘civic’ citizen with consequences ideologically and in terms of forms of ‘governance’. 3. The non-citizen The non-citizen stands as a subject position in which certain behaviours are categorized and ordered as unrecognizable as far as having any legal or social rights. The two most common populations that are given these characteristics are immigrants with no legal papers and those who live outside of the rules of property rights and capitalist economies. The immigrants without papers are most often produced through colonial discourses which position them as ‘poor’ people who need money and opportunity with no historical political reality. The fact that immigrants are poor from colonial past and present exploitation by Western countries is normally not considered relevant part of political debate, thus removing the city from any implications nor responsibilities. Another subject position produced by the city as a ‘non-citizen’ status are those who occupy vacant buildings. The discourses in the media through ‘surveys’ for example set up to create popular imaginations of how the public opinion thinks. ‘Okupas, No Gratos’ Los barceloneses buscan la seguridad. En la familia y los amigos, en que su casa no sea okupada, en cobrar un buen sueldo, en poder acceder a un piso, en disponer de los servicios del Estado del bienestar y sentirse seguros en las calles. El 71% de los barceloneses siente poca o ninguna simpatía hacia los okupas. 52,3% considera que es una acción poco o nada grave (ocupar una casa abandonada, 47,7% piensa que es un actuación deplorable. 55% consideran que es peor a ‘comprar un piso para no vivir, sino para ganar dinero’. 36,7% dicen que la vivienda es el problema social que más quieta en la ciudad. 28% el segunda problema más grave es la seguridad. 60% son ‘…poco o nada interesados por la política’. (La Vanguardia. 27 de Marzo, 2007. pp. 2, Vivir). The city is faced with many challenges in the new deregulated economic environment. The immigration problem is emblematic in Western European cities as immigrants come from former colonized countries of Europe which face continued economic hardship due to the continued legacy of economic exploitation now being forwarded by global transnational corporations. The immigrants whose families where once forced into slavery and transported to work for the colonizers now face economic crisis because the transnational corporate system now simply extract wealth from their countries. So as in the case of the African immigrants in Spain, they cross the Straits of Gibraltar to attempt to share in a bit of the wealth that was and continues to be stolen from their soil (See ‘China and Cataluña agreements’, 2008). With increasing privatization and commercialization of the city the city government is faced with a multitude of dilemmas that converge in a need to regulate urban space. These dilemmas occur as gentrification pushes the poor residents into overcrowded run down areas of the city, commercialization eliminates public spaces for use by young people and residents in general, and increased tourism brings wealthy tourism to the centre city while residents face increasing inequality in terms of real income and jobs. The result of the neoliberalism of urban space is that the city government must regulate more and ends up criminalizing a higher percentage of its population. The influx of immigrants from former colonial countries fill needed service labour jobs in good economic times, yet they can often only afford to live in poorer economic areas. Others from Africa sell goods on the street because they are illegal and have no working papers having to play a game of cat and mouse with the city police department as they try to sell fake designer bags to wealthy European tourists . Barcelona’s new civic law In 2006 the city government of Barcelona passed a new civic law which was designed to address what city officials considered problems which had arisen in the city in relation to the use of ‘public space’. The goals of the city were stated as follows: The new Civic Law of 2006 made it ‘illegal’ in the city to: infringe on the dignity of others by ‘aggressive acts’ such as; to paint graffiti; to pass out leaflets; to ‘play’ or perform in the street without a license issued by the city; to beg; to offer or ask for sexual services; to pee, defecate, or spit in the street; to drink alcohol; to sell items without a city permit; do other unauthorized activities such as read Tarot cards, do massages, or tattoos; the general improper use of public space in a way that disrupts the tranquillity of others; vandalism; to not follow the warnings flags for the beach; to play music to loud so that it bothers your neighbours. The fines were as follows: 750 euros for a minor infraction; up to 1,500 euros for a serious infraction; and up to 3,000 euro’s for a very serious infraction. In relation to the last prohibited area the city government website stated that: En la ciudad diversa, que es la ciudad actual, hay muchas culturas, lenguas, religiones, gastronomías, músicas, olores y –una cosa fundamental–, sobre todo, hay experiencias urbanas previas muy diferentes, lo que significa que existen varios grados de aprendizaje de la vida en ciudad. En esta ciudad diversa, el civismo se convierte en la única posibilidad de convivencia. Se trata de refrenar nuestras expansiones para poder habitar en paz junto al otro, porque es ésta y no otra la definición de convivir. Pero para que esta justicia funcione, es necesario que toda la sociedad haga una reflexión previa sobre el concepto de autoridad municipal, sobre qué tipo de autoridad y qué alcance tiene que tener, ya que, si no es así, nos encontraremos ante un vacío de legitimidad que es muy comprometido. Frente al incivismo sistemático, el incivismo interiorizado en la conducta de quien lo practica, necesitamos más contundencia que la de la campaña informativa o la mera sanción económica, dos elementos que, no obstante, no podemos dejar de lado. En una sociedad –un sistema– en la que aparecen fenómenos nuevos como las bandas juveniles, en donde crece la apetencia de las mafias y las grietas del sistema se ensanchan, necesitamos una autoridad legitimada, firme, clara y democrática que garantice el control del espacio público en nombre de la mayoría y para su propio uso. Una mayoría que, por otra parte, tiene que poder elaborar un conjunto de normas que validen las conductas públicas y, por tanto, de convivencia. Joan Clos ‘El civismo como expresión de la sociedad madura’. Publicacion of the Ajuntament de Barcelona. monogràfic núm.6 - b.mm – 2005. http://www.bcn.es/publicacions/b_mm/ebmm_civisme/004-007.pdf The language in which the new civic law is presented as a justification for the criminalization of forms of behaviour that the city government officials have found unacceptable is informative. Let us consider first the history that is being told about cityspace; En la ciudad diversa, que es la ciudad actual, hay muchas culturas, lenguas, religiones, gastronomías, músicas, olores y –una cosa fundamental–, sobre todo, hay experiencias urbanas previas muy diferentes, lo que significa que existen varios grados de aprendizaje de la vida en ciudad. En esta ciudad diversa, el civismo se convierte en la única posibilidad de convivencia. Se trata de refrenar nuestras expansiones para poder habitar en paz junto al otro, porque es ésta y no otra la definición de convivir. Joan Clos ‘El civismo como expresión de la sociedad madura’. Publicación of the Ajuntament de Barcelona. monogràfic núm.6 - b.mm – 2005. http://www.bcn.es/publicacions/b_mm/ebmm_civisme/004-007.pdf The teller of the story of the city is the city mayor who as a representative of the city as a political body claims the authority to publically tell the ‘real’ story of the city and the authority to justify a law to increase the control over the city residents. This may seem self evident, but we must consider that this authority in which the mayor speaks is not ‘given’, that it is taken, produced, and unquestioned, becomes normalized. In this case the city government representatives claim the right to tell both the history of the city and dictate how it should be regulated. This position of authority claims its legitimacy through what is referred to as ‘democracy’ or a system of representation, namely that the people of the city give these officials the authority to both write history and to enact laws based on an assumption that the people of the city trust them to do so. A full critique of this aspect of the text would involve an ideologically and geo-political analysis of the production of the discourse of democracy within the urban context of Western colonial history. The city used the self-identification of ‘democracy’ (in contrast to ‘socialist’) to imply that it has a certain legitimacy as a representative voice and as such, have the right to create and enforce laws. What ‘democratic’ means in this text is unspoken, but evoked both as a form of power relations and of a ‘desired’ and given state of affairs. The former mayor goes on to say that the fundamental factor about living peacefully in a city is the fact that all these diverse backgrounds that city dwellers have in Barcelona mean that there are different levels of ‘learning’ about living in the city, so that the only solution to living well together, is the cities definition of ‘civic’ behaviour. People must hold back their ‘expansions’ to live with each other, it’s the only possible way to live in peace with each other. The mayor declares he is privy to the only possible way of city residents living together, and thus he not only creates a kind of omnipresent speaking position, but he also closes any form of public debate about how residents might live cooperatively together. We are to imagine a situation that requires police intervention for peace, and the potential of a community coming together to develop their own debate and solutions is not even a consideration. The cities civic law positions the police as the necessary enforcement body, which implies control by force. But this is done ‘for the good of the….good citizen’. This is a message of refrain and control, that the goal of the cities regulation is calmness through restraint, and this is the only alternative. Non adherence to these norms must be strictly enforced by the threat of fines; otherwise the residents may not follow them. Pero para que esta justicia funcione, es necesario que toda la sociedad haga una reflexión previa sobre el concepto de autoridad municipal, sobre qué tipo de autoridad y qué alcance tiene que tener, ya que, si no es así, nos encontraremos ante un vacío de legitimidad que es muy comprometido. Frente al incivismo sistemático, el incivismo interiorizado en la conducta de quien lo practica, necesitamos más contundencia que la de la campaña informativa o la mera sanción económica, dos elementos que, no obstante, no podemos dejar de lado. En una sociedad –un sistema– en la que aparecen fenómenos nuevos como las bandas juveniles, en donde crece la apetencia de las mafias y las grietas del sistema se ensanchan, necesitamos una autoridad legitimada, firme, clara y democrática que garantice el control del espacio público en nombre de la mayoría y para su propio uso. Una mayoría que, por otra parte, tiene que poder elaborar un conjunto de normas que validen las conductas públicas y, por tanto, de convivencia. Joan Clos ‘El civismo como expresión de la sociedad madura’. Publication of the Ajuntament de Barcelona. monogràfic núm.6 - b.mm – 2005. http://www.bcn.es/publicacions/b_mm/ebmm_civisme/004-007.pdf In this section it is interesting to note, that the city mentions that the residents of the city need to reflect on the question of authority and legitimacy. This is an open ended question, yet it then becomes a closed statement implying that the ‘vacancy of legitimacy’ must be filled by the city. A history is also produced, a history in which there has appeared new ‘phenomena’ of mafias and ‘cracks’ in the system that are widening and need the cities authority to fill. Even further the authority must be more than informative or a mere economic sanction, it must be authority that is legitimate, firm, clear, and democratic, that guarantees the control of public space in the name of the majority and for the majorities use; a majority that has to be able to bring together the norms of public conduct and living. Again the pattern is for the questions related to how live together in the city are reduced to a conclusion, that the solution is for the city to regulate the conduct based on an ‘unidentified’ majorities needs and desires. We see here the production of a threat to the ‘well being’ of the citizens that the city police force will protect the citizens from by instituting this new law. This is to announce a threat and a solution, like the story of good and evil and those who will save the city from evil, the police. This story creates the good citizen (also implied to be the majority) and the good city (a peacefully coexisting diverse population), which is the body being addressed; then the threat, those that wish to threaten the peace and equilibrium of the good citizen and good city; and the city itself which has the force to keep the good citizen and the good city safe. The authority that is needed is one that the city can provide; legitimate, firm, clear, democratic, and one able to protect the majorities rights. In this way the city is constructed as a body with these characteristics. Civic participation: Who decides what?, for whom? La colaboración ciudadana es un eje importante para llevar a cabo esta tarea. Una buena convivencia en nuestra ciudad requiere el compromiso de toda la ciudadanía con el devenir colectivo y su participación activa para alcanzar un cambio que rompa con la idea individualista de "soy libre, hago lo que quiero" e incorpore una lógica más comunitaria de "comparto un espacio que es de todos y lo respeto". Civismo. Ajuntament de Barcelona. www.bcn.es The city government uses an ideological critique of individualism to describe uncivil behaviour, thus positioning itself as a body interested in collective politics, one that functions in a collective rather than individualistic manner. The idea is that a civic law and the police enforcement of this law creates limits on individual expression which with everyone’s (the good citizen) support makes the city a more collective body, by respecting each others spaces and following the cities rules. This makes collective politics a matter of agreeing on rules and then following them. The city makes the rules and the citizen supports these rules and respects them. This also reproduces the common term participation in terms of agreeing and respecting the cities authority and rules and forwarding the cities power by working to improve their capacity to regulate cityspace. As we will find in our further example from the neighbourhood of la Barceloneta, ‘participation’ is a common term being used by city officials to indicate that they are an open rather than closed system, that they only are ‘doing’ what the people tell them that they want them to do. Yet participation is very narrowly defined and limited by the city to meetings in which citizens can come and hear about the cities plans, then make a statement in which the city may or may not respond. That is the large majority of the extent of what the city means when it says ‘we only do what the people want’. As we will discuss, we must consider this production of the city as a collective political body in relation to its political and economic productivity, namely in light of the critique that the cities in Western Europe are becoming increasingly neoliberal, meaning more privatized and exclusive, leaving neighbourhoods and community with little access to actual decision making power and resources. VOICES OF RESISTANCE Civic laws as a ‘front’ for neoliberal urban restructuring What is the point of talking about civic behaviour today? Why has the discourse on civic behaviour come to play such an important role in the management of many cities? The immediate response we can put forward – the one given in politicised environments - is that the new by-laws are a smoke screen. The new by-laws talk about incivic behaviour (a category that becomes a dumping ground for anything), and about regulating the problems of dirtiness... but in reality its purpose is to criminalise and persecute any activity that doesn’t fit into the model it aims to construct, that of the city-company. That’s why the by-laws are ultimately nothing more than regulations for cleaning the city (cleaning it of poor people, prostitutes, dissidents...). There’s a reason behind the claim that “it’s not about civic behaviour, it’s about cynicism). Let’s explain what we mean when we say it’s a clean-up operation: Today, the whole of society is productive, today the whole city has become an articulation of capital. That’s why we talk about a city-company. For example: leisure time is often reduced to simply consuming; strolling is a productive activity when it confers economic value on the streets that people wander along. Santiago López Petit. Civic Democracy: A new form of government control. http://www.zemos98.org/paneldecontrol/libro/01_CivicDemocracy_SantiagoLopezPetit.pdf The critique of the civic discourse by Petit states that civic laws are a form of regulation for capitalist consumption of the city. That if we take another approach to the cities concerns about violence and the disruption of ‘tranquillity’, we could think about an economic system which works to regulate behaviours which are not conductive to consumption practices or the types of public spaces which middle and upper class business classes want to live in or to be exposed to. This text of resistance also challenges the workings of the cities text on a multitude of points. As we commented concerning the cities own discourse, the critique is that the city in a sense has said: this is the world, and this is the city, and this is what we are…and this is what ‘they’ are (the un-civic subjects), all this is given as a statement of ‘fact’ so that the options made available are based on these facts reduce the debate to a matter of choosing between the options that the city presents all the while the ideological workings of the ‘good city’ and the ‘good citizen’. The author is making the dominant discourse a production of the capitalist city, neoliberal city, a city that creates forms of regulation which work to make cityspace increasingly dominated by rituals of consumption and private capital accumulation. The metaphor is the ‘city-company’. What this does is rework anti-civic behaviour within a conceptualization of the city as a business and thus the reason for the behaviour to be labelled as ‘bad’ is due to the fact that it disrupts the rituals of the consumptive city. This critical text then does two major things: one is it challenges the level of debate, in other words is ‘talks to the assumptions’ that are presented by the mayor; and secondly it challenges those assumptions directly in terms of the definition of the city as the ‘good city’, in contrast it is commenting that the city is being constructed to be a market driven corporate type of social structure, one that works to divide, creates greater inequality and that governs through mechanisms of control and centralization of power rather and close rather than opens political debate and decision making. Thus resistance appears and speaks to the terms of the debate or the level of debate which is presented as well as to the actual content of the debate in terms of who decides what, and for what objectives. Public space (?) In a letter to the mayor of Barcelona, over thirty collectives and civil groups stated some of their initial objections to the civic law: Dear Mayor; Queremos manifestar nuestra indignación de la aplicación de la Ordenanza Cívica en lo que se refiere al derecho al uso del espacio público, así como cuestionar las actuales políticas de participación ciudadana impulsadas por el Ayuntamiento. Desde que se aplica la Ordenanza Cívica, las organizaciones y movimientos sociales nos encontramos con toda una serie de pegas burocráticas y económicas a la hora de desarrollar acciones en el espacio público, limitando nuestros derechos de manifestación y participación social. En contraposición, el Ayuntamiento favorece cada vez más el uso del espacio público para intereses privados. http://barcelonapostiza.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/carta-al-alcalde-de-barcelona-sobre-la-ordenanza-civica-y-las-politicas-de-participacion/ The comments by these collectives refer to the fact that to occupy the street or have a public presence of any number of people requires permits. It puts into question the concept of public space and its usage. If you must have the cities permission to have a demonstration or engage in politics in the streets where you can freely access the ‘public’ then you have a closed system, a system in which the city controls the politics of public space, thus any direct resistance to the city government can be censored or at least managed in such a way as to not disrupt, or upset the city, or to draw attention to itself . The text of the city in regards to ‘public space’ is that collective space should be controlled and regulated by the city itself. Thus you have the construction of the city population as regulated and orderly according to the city governments desires, creating civic behaviour as passive obedience. The resistive text challenges this assumption and argues again for the right to make public space ‘public’ and open space in which the citizens of the neighborhoods themselves have control over how they use the public space in their areas. They don’t just reject or challenge the options given by the city but continue to push for a shift in the level of the debates surrounding the right to make decisions collectively. Depoliticizing space as pure neoliberalism: making homogenous space out of difference In a letter to the editor from Manuel Delgado , an urban anthropologist from the University of Barcelona: El civismo concibe la vida social como un colosal proscenio de y para el consenso, en que ciudadanos libres e iguales acuerdan convivir amablemente cumpliendo un conjunto de preceptos abstractos de buena conducta. El escenario predilecto de ese limbo es un espacio público no menos ideal, en que una clase media universal se dedica al ejercicio de las buenas prácticas de urbanidad. En ese espacio modélico no se prevé la posibilidad de que irrumpa el conflicto, puesto que en la calle y la plaza se presupone la realización de la utopía de una superación absoluta de las diferencias de clase y las contradicciones sociales por la vía de la aceptación común de un saber comportarse que iguala. Delgado expresses that the desire of the city to make city laws to make public space calm and tranquil again subsumes the ‘good city’ as already existing, a status of satisfaction and a type of realization of utopia, a overcoming of class differences and social contradictions. Delgado comments that the dominant discourse of civic laws subsumes a number of characteristics about the social culture of the city; namely that the goal should be the maintenance of polite behaviour in public space, because the residents are content and merely need to grant the city the right to keep their streets ‘clean’. The options the city presents are how to manage ‘bad behaviour’ so that the good city can good citizen can live in peace. One of the ways in which resistance can be theorized as we have mentioned is by the presentation of alternative versions from the dominant version presented by, in this case, the city officials. What this does is play on two different fronts, one being the dislodging of the dominant version from its own naturalization as a ‘given’ or its ‘truthful’ status, toward its productive status. This allows for the opening of the debates towards who is producing what, and for what objective. The second level is the content itself, in other words another version of what is happening in a particular context of the city provides perhaps a more egalitarian version of what is occurring. So we can look at Delgado’s comments as an alternative discourse as he is commenting that the production of certain behaviours by the city government as anti-civic and bad behaviour that should be criminalized can also be seen in a totally different light, as expressions of social needs and desires that are important and valuable to understand, rather than criminalize. If we consider this as a form of resistance, this text works to address the hidden assumptions in the discourse of civic behaviour presented by the city. This would open the debate to a broader level in which the assumptions about what is happening in the city, the broader economy, and the justifications that underpin power relations themselves. Who has what rights, privileges, access to information and resources, and the right to make decisions for ‘public space’ usage? Vinegette Each of the so called ‘anti-civic’ activities are expressions of the need for a radical change in what type of city is being created and in that, in what type of citizen is considered ‘civic’. If neoliberalizing the city and even the so called democratization of the city has been merely a type of identification that has largely destroyed the sense of the welfare state and the debates surrounding a more socialist version of society and political economy, then perhaps the dissent are the by-products and direct products of social exclusion, increasing unemployment, increasing inequality and a type of capitalistic police state. What about a city that really works to limit privatization to only operate when it benefits the larger society, to have neighbourhood committees who have the power to decide the development directions for their own neighbourhoods, to make public space a place for political meetings, creative arts expression and playing? Legal speculation and mobbing, and illegal anti-civic behaviour Por otra parte, y al respecto, cabría reconocer el descomunal abismo que, en cuanto a efectos, separa la llamada violencia urbana de la violencia urbanística. El 15 de julio, Bernat Puigtobella publicaba en EL PAÿS un merecido elogio a Destrucción de Barcelona (Mudito & Co.), de Juanjo Lahuerta, un libro que no trata precisamente del aumento de las conductas incívicas, sino de la devastación de que ha sido víctima Barcelona en los últimos años a manos del diseño urbano. Porque, si una papelera quemada es un "acto de vandalismo", ¿qué calificación convendría a esos barrios populares desahuciados en masa y destruidos por las excavadoras, a ese centro histórico despanzurrado para construir aparcamientos o a ése borrado para siempre de los restos y los rastros de lo que un día fue una de las ciudades más apasionantes y apasionadas de Europa? Delgado goes further to consider the definitions being used for urban violence, pushing for a reconceptualization from the dominant discourse to include considering the negative effects of speculation, gentrification, and tourism on the people who live and have lived in these communities, many of them for generations. The cities discourses about anti-civic behaviour invisibilize what is by far the most destructive element in the city in terms of community, security, and the eventual production of poverty, speculation and mobbing by private and at times public/private entities break communities and collectives by causing working class youth to leave their communities due to high housing prices, increased tourism both legal and illegal that causes damage and noise to the point that the residents decide to leave areas of the city due to its inhabitability, and the decrease in available housing. We might ask; how is it that mobbing and speculation are not included in the discourses surrounding anti-civic behaviour? So, in various cases we see a type of ‘resistance’ appears which attempts to open urban debates towards more fundamental questions of how urbanization has developed in the city and what will and should guide future development. The resistance in both cases is towards a broader consideration of questions of power, rights, and decision making power which naturally includes what type of cityspace and relations are most desirable. This type of resistance points to contemporary neoliberal power relations are being governed by a type of closed debate, a limited focus on ‘options’ chosen by dominant institutions. What resistance pushes for in this instance is to open debates towards questions as to how options are chosen, by whom and for whose interest, with the ultimate objective in many cases to have residents have the right to create their own options and political collectivises. Yet this threatens the very root of the neoliberal governance which is based on the acceptance of its role in deciding the choices that are available. Although the discourse of the city produces the ‘free’ citizen, this ‘free’ citizen is confined to see their freedom in terms of being able to choose between the options that the city provides. DISCUSSION By representing the cities discourses and the critical voices of those opposed to these plans we attempt to highlight dimensions of mechanisms of the discourses within the debates of the city that to relate them back to forms of governance. The discourses used by the city to justify and promote the new civic law of Barcelona we believe are indicative of strategies of subjectivity which typify neoliberal urban governance. The resistance that the civic law has received challenges the subjective strategies employed in the discourse. The neoliberal city is equated with the ‘good city’ and the behaviours needed to support the continued increase in the neoliberalization of cityspace are equated with ‘civic’ behaviour. This discursive mechanism is repeated in many forms, Scott and Wieskopf discuss this by stating: Governing the autonomous subject works by providing technologies that allow the subject to reflect on possibilities and opportunities in terms of the discursive categories provided by government and diverse experts. The autonomy or the possibilities of choice are thus not so much restricted or limited from outside; rather, certain choices are encouraged and made more likely by defining the frame (laying down discursive categories) that makes choices plausible and attractive or not (du Gay 2004: 40-1) . MAKING NEOLIBERAL SPACE NATURAL AND ‘CIVIC’ The civic law is presented as the only good solution to particular problems in the city. The resident is positioned as ‘having been provided’ with the good city and thus needing to do the right thing to protect this, to give the power to the city officials and police to keep the city safe and peaceful for the residents. Since the private system is an obvious part of the city, then it too must be working well with the city atmosphere and the resident is positioned as a ‘partner’ to the city government and the private system in this protective discourse. Positioned within the larger discourse of the city, as mentioned previously, the resident is to see the new geopolitical economy, the globalized world as a competitive one, one in which the city itself has to compete to sustain and advance itself, so the citizen is made a responsible member of the future of the city. In this type of sports model of competition, Barcelona faces threats and a highly competitive environment in which it can potentially succeed or fail. The State and City need the citizen to give it the power to win by its consent, and the power to keep the city in good and safe working order. Whereas in the past the city was nationalized more, and the State was the protector of the general well being through regulation based on nationalism, now the welfare state is privatized in such a way that the international scale is the way to success, not the enemy. Attracting foreign investment, tourism, and making the city a successful product is the means to win, to the good life and the resident must join with the city, the private system, and the police to make it a winning team. Without this support the resident is decreasing the chances that the city can be successful and increasing the chances from the dangers of stagnation, lawlessness, and the inability to compete successfully in highly competitive markets upon which the residents well being relies. Criminalizing conduct with is disruptive to neoliberal space Foucault points to how multilevel interrelations reproduce power relations up and down a series of social interactions. Although in this example we are stressing ideological and subjective workings of the dominant discourse in relation to excerpts of resistance, we agree with Foucault’s emphasis that power relations in their modern form work through these series of interactions. In terms of the civic law, what is attempted to be harnessed is that the frustrations of the residents through largely media discourses, by reporting on the problems generated by prostitution, skateboarding, street parties, and graffiti. The degree to which the civic law can be paired with the frustration of the citizens, the more support it may receive. What is occurring is that social problems (lack of space for young people, increasing inequality, unemployment, speculation, mobbing, tourism, economic exploitation on a local and international level) are turning into selective criminalization and convoluted with anti-social acts of violence so that there is a suspicion that the civic law is not as much for the residents of the city, but to clean the streets so that businesses aren’t disrupted. Yet then the social issues that are bothering many of the residents are not directly addressed nor debated. There are also multitudes of layers of power relations and mechanisms that are necessary for the cityspace to be transformed. One of the significant ways of harnessing consent used by the city relates to the resident’s complaints that city life in Barcelona, particularly in the central area is too noisy, has increasing crime, and is being run over by speculation and the tourist industry. The first two points are used by the city to justify their civic law, the residents problems are given one option by the city- to create laws in which the police can monitor and regulate public space more vigilantly. The residents support the civic law to a certain degree partly due to the fact that this is presented as the only possible alternative. Yet it is not difficult to imagine many other alternatives that would not involve further policing or regulation by authorities. The tendency for city politics to end up being mechanisms of division and the lack of regulation of the private system leave residents in increasingly isolate and powerless positions. The residents reproduce these divisions and retreat into individualistic concerns as the competitive system is supported by the city, and due to its interdependence on the private system it promotes rather than regulates speculation and the further privatization of the city. So we can look at the resistance to the new civic law in terms of points of contention or friction surrounding the available options that the city is hoping to limit the residents to. The system on one hand says that ‘it’ is working and in that people should be satisfied and behave properly to let it function and develop in the manner in which it is developing. The alternatives for political involvement are the cities systems of ‘participation’, limited to voting, showing up and complaining at public city meetings, and writing letters, etc. The decision making power as to the regulation of public space is concentrated in elite political groups which the common resident has little access to and little chance of effecting. Yet the options are declared as progressive and highly desired by the same elite political bodies that protect and limit their access. The limits to the cities text relates to the level of debate which is permitted. A debate limited to the options given by one dominant body involves a type of request for inscription into all the levels of assumptions tied to these options. Resistive texts work to move the debates towards questioning the rights to frame the questions being asked and to open the possibilities for alternative futures. The civic law is a request for an enforcement system to be strengthened for the city government’s type of city, what we agree is a type of neoliberalization of cityspace. Dividing Practices: centralizing vs decentralized politics When the city government justifies the civic law by claiming that it is designed to form collective decision making and break the ‘individualism’ which un-civic behaviour represents we must reflect on the city being constructed in discourse and the actual system of power relations that exist. Although we are not attempting to analyze the actual political/economy of Barcelona, it is potentially safe to say that the city has clearly supported the increasing privatization of public services and cityspace itself. It promotes foreign investment and has done little to curb rampant speculation practices by development corporations. Capitalist economies are based on the individual corporation’s rights to exploit and develop city resource and spaces, which works directly against the community’s power to collectively direct its own development directions. The city claiming it is a body which is primarily interested in supporting collective politics is a claim that would have arduous criticism and be directly challenged. The paradox of this production is that the politics of a city like Barcelona, although it works to retain a certain socialistic style has followed the European standard in many regards toward the ‘free market’ style of neoliberal capitalism, based on the sacred rights for corporations to be able to seek their own interests, as articulated in the Thatcher/Reagon period. In many forms from private and public business partnerships to the commercialization of the central business district, to the efforts of the city to attract foreign investors, Barcelona is criticized by those who stand for more socialized politics as a city more and more invested in the neoliberal market. Public Space or Community Space? What constitutes public space and what should constitute public space in terms of design and usage is considered from historical, artistic, and political perspectives. In the city text we sighted, public space is assumed to be functioning well like the city and only needs to be protected, and certain behaviours eliminated. The definition of what constitutes ‘public space’ is unquestioned in a sense in the cities discourse, yet there are ideological and political workings that are produced by a kind of consensual acceptance of a vague unclear definition of what public space is. Within the definitions of ‘public space’ are subject positions: the city government which positions itself as both the definer and the protector of what it calls ‘public space’. Then there are those that behave ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in these spaces. Public space is left to ones collective imagination, as such the Western city views public space most commonly as the streets, the sidewalks, the plazas, the parks and the open spaces in which people can enter and leave ‘freely’. Yet this is not presented as part of the debate concerning ‘civic’ behaviour. We would argue that the invisibilization of the polemics surrounding ownership and decision making power are foundational in understanding how power relations are constructed in a neoliberal colonial/capitalist system and their resistances. A central aspect to this ‘normalized’ version of ‘public space’ is the invisibilization of the private system, the privately interests which have great influence about how ‘public space’ is constructed and maintained, and the depolitization of public space. That it is a place where the major concern is safety and separation, rather than a collective meeting place for social action. Public space in the governments discourse produces a ‘public’, who just wants to live in tranquillity. The peaceful and tranquil city What is produced are subjects which are the normal ‘good citizens’, those that what to walk and interact peacefully in the streets and sidewalks, that act appropriately according to the cities norms. We can see in the law of civic behaviour what constitutes a ‘good citizen’, by looking at what is either directly made illegal or what is left undefined. As Parker has stated, what is left out of discourses is particularly relevant, as these aspects are positioned without being named, they are assumed. One of the interesting aspects of the city of Barcelona is the apparent absence of politics in the street. If the city is becoming increasingly privatized and its public spaces being set up with the primary goal of enhancing consumerism, then what does this say for the concept of ‘peace and tranquillity’? What it suggests is that civic behaviour amounts to a type of neoliberal subjectivity, a subject who orients around primarily consumption and producing capital accumulation. What would get marginalized, criminalized or invisibilized would be any behaviour which inhibits or disrupts this type of productive activity. A multicultural discourse which emphasizes ‘diversity’, then goes on to make being a good citizen equivalent to an educational process in which one learns to behave properly according to civic norms. So the city government is an educational institution which is going to ‘teach’ those residents who do not yet understand how to behave, how to behave as good citizens. In fact, as stated, it is the only way in which a city can avoid some unstated disorder and chaos. In a sense then the resistance text tells a different story about the city, the world it inhabits and its subjects. One version of the resistive story being told is that the neoliberal city produces greater inequality in terms of class along largely racial/colonial lines, then it paradoxically needs to firstly negate its responsibility for this increasing poverty and then work to reduce its potential to disrupt the type of calm in which it wants to live, to extract it from the environment that it lives in through gentrification or criminalization. As many authors in which we have sighted have stated, the neoliberalizing of the economy has meant that the State itself has less power in relation to the economic urban development of its city and it has the greater responsibility for both the regulation of cityspace including the maintenance and management of behaviours which are not conducive to the needs of the private system. The social regulation of the population involves garnering consent, so the city becomes a promoter for the private system and its needs, paradoxically by the claim that is the body which is protecting the residents from the system it is promoting. The city must also justify to the residents why they should pay for the production of this type of neoliberalization and as we see in the new forms of crisis management, sacrifice their working wages and benefits to pay for the predictable failure of a system that is increasingly privatized and deregulated. In this sense the resistance is to the request for consent to a city government which advocates a privatization of its resources and the eventual decrease in the quality of life for its residents, while all the while the residents are being asked ‘what would you make?