From displacement to displaceability: A southeastern perspective on the new metropolis

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Urban displacement has become a central topic in the social sciences. This welcome development, however, appears to focus on the act of displacement rather than the condition of displaceability. The literature on the subject is dominated by a ‘traditional-critical’ approach, concentrating almost solely on the impact of capitalism, neoliberalism and gentrification in the global ‘northwest’. This critical paper suggests that displacement and displaceability denote wider phenomena, often stemming from different spatial logics of power. It thus highlights the need to use ‘southeastern’ approaches, which focus on urban dynamics and concepts emerging from non-western societies or populations. These ‘views from the periphery’ highlight a pluriversal nature of the urbanization process during which several structural logics, such as (but not limited to) nationalism, statism, identity regimes and struggles for human and urban rights, interact with the exigencies of globalizing capitalism to generate new types urban citizenship. Within these settings, a shift to a prevailing condition of displaceability and to new assemblages of urban coloniality typifies the rapidly expanding southeastern metropolis and the framing of urban citizenship. The paper maps a matrix of ‘displaceabilities’ as an important critical analytical tool for the understanding of the changing nature of urban citizenship in the majority of world's urban regions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)151-165
Number of pages15
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2020


  • displaceability
  • gray spacing
  • pluriversal approach
  • southeastern perspective
  • urban citizenship
  • urban coloniality

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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