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On shaky ground: the making of risk in Bogotá


  • Austin Zeiderman


How does risk become a technique for governing the future of cities and urban life? Using genealogical and ethnographic methods, this paper tracks the emergence of risk management in Bogotá, Colombia, from its initial institutionalization to its ongoing implementation in governmental practice. Its specific focus is the invention of the ‘zone of high risk’ in Bogotá and the everyday work performed by the officials responsible for determining the likelihood of landslide in these areas. It addresses the ongoing formation of techniques of urban planning and governance and the active relationship between urban populations and environments and emerging forms of political authority and technical expertise. Ultimately, it reveals that techniques of risk management are made and remade as experts and nonexperts grapple with the imperative to bring heterogeneous assemblages of people and things into an unfolding technopolitical domain. Keywords: risk, security, cities, urban governance, environment, hazards, Bogotá, Colombia

Suggested Citation

  • Austin Zeiderman, 2012. "On shaky ground: the making of risk in Bogotá," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(7), pages 1570-1588, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:7:p:1570-1588

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    Cited by:

    1. Bj⊘rn Sletto & Anja Nygren, 2015. "Unsettling Neoliberal Rationalities: Engaged Ethnography and the Meanings of Responsibility in the Dominican Republic and Mexico," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 965-983, September.
    2. repec:bla:ijurrs:v:40:y:2016:i:5:p:958-982 is not listed on IDEAS

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