Exceptional tunings: controlling urban events

Pavoni, A. 2013. Exceptional tunings: controlling urban events. PhD thesis University of Westminster Westminster Law School

TitleExceptional tunings: controlling urban events
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsPavoni, A.

This thesis is about space, law and control: how their relationship unfolds in the contemporary city, and how normative orderings emerge out of the urban mess, with particular attention to how this occurs in the extraordinary spatio-temporal context of mega events. The work is premised on the elaboration of an original spatial ontology through the notions of life, materiality and event, which culminates with the introduction of the notion of atmosphere and rhythm, and their folding into the concept of urban tuning. This understanding allows for re-thinking the spatiality and materiality of the urban from a non-dichotomous, immanent perspective, thus providing a novel way to investigate the spatiolegal configurations and the form they assume in the present-day city. Consequently, the thesis explores the exceptional relation between law, space and justice in modern and ‘post-modern’ times, by looking at contemporary forms of control and their on-going reformulation of urban space according to the twin requirements of consumption and immunity. Through this approach, I wish to push forward the urban and legal geographical debate, exploring the evolution of the spatiolegal into new, potentially oppressing logics of control, as well as delineating a radically material, ethico-politically worthwhile and strategically adequate concept of justice. Since I conceive urban mega events as paradigmatic contexts to investigate urban processes, I employ the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as the empirical testing ground for my conceptualisations.

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