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Multilevel Governance and Social Cohesion: Bringing Back Conflict in Citizenship Practices


  • Santiago Eizaguirre
  • Marc Pradel
  • Albert Terrones
  • Xavier Martinez-Celorrio
  • Marisol García


This paper revisits the relevance of conflict in governance and citizenship practices in cities. Europe national urban policies were readjusted in terms of economic policies and state expenditures in the 1980s and then again and more severely after the 2008 financial and economic crisis. Policy discourses in urban policy have emphasised the beneficial consequences of social and political consensus in helping cities to restructure economically as part of ‘good governance’. At the same time, the paradigm of citizenship understood as a system of social and political inclusion based on economic redistribution and political participation has been substituted by one that has the objective to ensure social cohesion in societies. This substitution renounces the objectives concerning social justice, fails to face the tensions of increasing social inequalities and misses the contribution of social innovation and citizens’ practices that incorporate counter-hegemonic ideals as equally important to an effective multilevel governance. A bottom-link approach is suggested as a synthesis of the tension between top–down policies and bottom–up practices.

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  • Santiago Eizaguirre & Marc Pradel & Albert Terrones & Xavier Martinez-Celorrio & Marisol García, 2012. "Multilevel Governance and Social Cohesion: Bringing Back Conflict in Citizenship Practices," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(9), pages 1999-2016, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:49:y:2012:i:9:p:1999-2016

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Petrillo & Ruggiero Sardaro, 2014. "Urbanizzazione in chiave neoliberale e progetti di sviluppo a grande scala," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(2), pages 125-134.

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