Cities and the State of Exception/State of Emergency. Ausnahmezustand and the Urban Condition

Cities and the State of Exception/State of Emergency. Ausnahmezustand and the Urban Condition

Transatlantic Graduate Program, Berlin – New York
Technical University Berlin, Central Building, Room H1035, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Vom - Bis
04.06.2009 - 06.06.2009
Opitz, Tim

THE CITY AND THE STATE OF EXCEPTION /STATE OF EMERGENCY// Ausnahmezustand and the Urban Condition/////////////

Fifth Annual Conference
of the Transatlantic Graduate Research Program
at the Center for Metropolitan Studies Berlin - New York
Berlin, June 4 - 6, 2009

Exceptional times call for exceptional measures. Following this logic, debates about states of emergency and states of exception have gained high political, public, and academic currency in recent times. Even though urban areas are often the central sites of such Ausnahmezustände - due to their population density, infrastructural significance as well as cultural, economic, and political centrality - thus far not enough attention has been paid to the specific urban dimensions of such forms of crisis.

The aim of this conference is to examine how specific manifestations of states of exception and states of emergency have shaped urban conditions and imaginaries and how they, in turn, have led to the reevaluation of urban practice, the structuration of urban space, and, more generally, mechanisms of power and state control. What causes urban states of exception and how do they expose the inherent tensions between order and chaos, freedom and security, continuity and change, inclusion and exclusion, and sobriety and excess? To what extent is the concept of Ausnahmezustand even useful and where lie its limitations?

We will discuss these questions through a range of historical and contemporary case studies that look at concrete instances of violent uprisings, natural disasters, or political turmoil in order to explain how states of emergency and exception have affected urban governance and planning as well as the social practices and cultural imaginaries in and of cities across five continents. The conference provides an interdisciplinary forum for young and established scholars from numerous disciplines including geography, history, philosophy and political science, sociology, achitecture, and urban planning.

Room H1035 | Central Building Of The TU Berlin
Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin


Center for Metropolitan Studies (CMS)
TU Berlin | Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7 | TEL 3-0 | 10587 Berlin
Phone 030-314 28400,




5 - 7 pm Welcome
Harald Bodenschatz, TU Berlin
Dorothee Brantz, CMS Berlin
Stephen Graham, Durham University

7 pm Reception
Sky-Lounge, TEL 20-0, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, 10587 Berlin

9 - 9:30 am Introduction
Peter Marcuse, Columbia University New York
New Urban Security Regimes and Social Uprisings

9:30 - 10:45 am PANEL I: New Urban Security Regimes and Social Uprisings

Volker Berghahn, Columbia University New York
Ingo Bader, CMS Berlin

Derya Özkan, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
Securitization from the Urban to the Global: NATO 2004 Summit in Istanbul as a State of Exception

Penny Koutrolikou, National Technical University of Athens
The Normalisation of a State of Emergency and its Everyday Politics: The Case of Athens, Greece

Florah Ikawa-Witte, Transparency International Berlin
Rebuilding the Urban Fabric: Nairobi in Post-Ausnahmezustand

10:45 - 11:15 am Break

11:15 - 12:30 am PANEL II: Responses to Environmental Catastrophes in Urban Settings

Dorothee Brantz, CMS Berlin
Alessandro Busà, CMS Berlin

Katrin Hauer, University of Salzburg
Ausnahmezustand in the City of Salzburg: The Great Rockslide on the Moenchsberg in 1669

Heike Hoffmann, University of Kassel
Normality in the State of Exception? New Orleans after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Bahar Sakizlioglu, Utrecht University
From Preventing Urban Crises to Creating to Social Disasters: The Case of Istanbul

12:30 - 2:00 pm Lunch Break

2 - 3:15 pm PANEL III: Negotiating Power and Decisions within Urban Governance

Klaus Weinhauer, Leuphana University Luneburg
Anne Vogelpohl, CMS Berlin

Hilary Darcy, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Perpetual State of Emergency: The Exercise of Irish State Power during Dublin‘s Anti Drugs Movement

Moritz Isenmann, University of Cologne
For the Good and Peaceful State of the City: State of Emergency versus Rule of Law in Renaissance Florence

Jan Kemper, CMS Berlin
The Discretionary Power of Bureaucracies:
The Case of Berlin-Neukölln

3:15 - 3:45 pm Break

3:45 - 6 pm ROUNDTABLE: Normalizing the State of Exception: Did the Suspension of the Legal Order become Permanent?

A discussion on urban revolts, security regimes, antiterrorist policies and the new juridical-political geography of exception

Ingo Bader, CMS Berlin
Sabine Horlitz, CMS Berlin

Raul Zelik, Political Scientist, Writer, Berlin
Jon Coaffee, University of Manchester
Stavros Stavrides, National Technical University of Athens

7 pm Dinner at Technical University‘s Sky-Lounge
TEL 20-0, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, 10587 Berlin


9 - 10:30 am PANEL IV: States of Emergency between Metropole and Colony during the Interwar Period

Jörg Bababerowski, Humboldt University Berlin
Sasha Disko, CMS Berlin

Tim Opitz, CMS Berlin
The Order that came from the Colonies

Max Ward, New York University
National Polity as Anomie: Urban Space, Thought Crime and Interwar Japanese Fascism

Sherene Seikaly, Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin
Haifa Partitioned: Revolt, Resistance, and Conviviality in 1936 Palestine

10:30 - 11 am Break

2 - 3:15 pm PANEL V: Regulating Spaces – From Exception To Norm

Stavros Stavrides, National Technical University of Athens
Baris Ülker, CMS Berlin

Anna Holian, Arizona State University
Spaces of Exception in Postwar Germany: The Case of Displaced Persons

Sonia Paone, University of Pisa
Emergency/Exception and Production of Space: Temporary Detention Centers for Foreign Immigrants in Italy

Estela Schindel, Berlin
Airports, Detention Centres, Shopping Malls: Architectures of Exception for the Society of Control

12:15 - 1:45 pm Lunch Break

1:45 - 3 pm PANEL VI: Ausnahmeorte - Spaces and Places of Exception

Rosemary Wakemann, Fordham University New York
Johanna Schlaack, CMS Berlin

Martin Klamt, Humboldt University Berlin
Localized Norms: A Concept to Encounter the Spatial Dimension of the Idea of Ausnahmezustand and its Urban Condition

Anke Hagemann, HafenCity University Hamburg
From Stadium to Fanzone: Host Cities in a State of Emergency

Nicole Huber, University of Washington / Ralph Stern, University of Washington
Las Vegas 50% Off: Cash-outs, Closeouts, and Contamination in the Mojave Dessert

3 - 3:30 pm Break

3:30 - 5 pm PANEL VII: Cultural Imaginations and Anticipations
of the State of Emergency/Exception

Alexa Färber, Humboldt University Berlin
Kristina Graaff, CMS Berlin

Stefan Höhne, CMS Berlin
Nightmares and Lucid Dreams of the New York City Subway

Christian Fröhlich, Leipzig University
Purification of the City and the Uprising of the Dead:
The “Ausnahmezustand” in Postmodern Horror Films

Frank Mehring, Free University Berlin
The State of Exception in the Urban Visions of German Émigré Film Directors

Christian Salewski, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich
The Virtual Ausnahmezustand:
On the Use of the Unexpected in Urban Planning

5:15 pm Closing


Tim Opitz

Center for Metropolitan Studies

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