New Publication: Frakturen überwinden – Neuer Lokalismus als Heuristik und Instrument zur produktiven Konfliktbearbeitung?
News from Jun 20, 2023
According to agonistic democracy theory, conflict is key for the functioning of plural democracies. In particular in ‘fractured’ societies, deliberative spaces in which adversary positions can be recognized and negotiated, serve as important arenas where antagonisms can be transformed into agonisms. Professionals dealing with conflicts between different interest groups – for instance in the field of spatial planning – are therefore challenged to identify appropriate ‘spaces’ for debate. Against this background, this paper discusses the extent to which localist discourses and practices can facilitate such spaces. For this purpose, we introduce a scheme for classifying different manifestations of New Localism. This scheme is unpacked and discussed by means of two contrasting case studies that reconstruct notions of NewLocalism based on a migration-related conflict in a rural area and on a conflict about traffic calming in an urban neighbourhood. Thereby we show how localist discourses and practices can contribute to establishing common symbolic spaces and temporary conflictual consensus, but also to concealing and normalizing exclusionary positions in small-scale conflicts.