IXth International Conference on Urban History

August 27-30, 2008

Lyon France
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 Session description

Urban Governance Since 1945: State, Welfare and Civic Society.

Whilst the nineteenth century witnessed a huge growth in civil society across Europe, the twentieth century has been seen as a period in which increased state involvement, especially through the growth of welfare policies, undermined its further development . In the urban context, the great moral campaigns no longer had relevance and voluntary organisations found their work being overtaken by government and welfare institutions. However, this interpretation ignores the ways in which the concept of civil society has resurfaced in urban policies during the second half of the century to become increasingly characterised by rights led issues embracing the language of consumerism.

This session proposal will call for papers which examine urban governance in the post-war period and which focus on the relationship of local government, welfare institutions and non-governmental organisations. It will scrutinize overarching concepts that have been put forward to describe the recent changes in urban policy and draw the attention to the way the welfare state and civil society interacted and affected each other . We intend to invite papers that raise questions about shifting political discourse, the contest of modernism and the changing conceptions of citizenry in urban policy after 1945.
Possible topics draw on a range of disciplines, including history, social policy, politics, sociology, planning and geography. We would welcome proposals on local policy creation in regard to housing, education, transport and infrastructure, culture, but also issues of urban planning like zoning, the establishment of satellite towns, renewal schemes or regulations interfering with market-driven development. In this context we encourage participants to reevaluate the meaning of such concepts as (neo-)corporatism, post-fordism or civil society, which have been used to describe urban regimes of the past
decades. The section is open to contributions set in Western democracies as well as totalitarian systems.

Session conveners:

  • Sebastian Haumann
  • Peter Shapely

Session type: Main

Classification: M - Modern


Another planning history. The Ten-year plan (1956-1965) for the port of Antwerp as an urbanization project

Author(s): Ryckewaert, Michael 

From people to citizens of a planned city and territory. The experience of the Community Movement in Italy (1946-1968).

Author(s): Bonifazio, Patrizia 

Grands ensembles, state expertise and inhabitant participation in postwar France: Sarcelles, 1954-1980.

Author(s): Cupers, Kenny 

Speeding up the city: the ring road in British urban planning, c.1945-1970

Author(s): Gunn, Simon 

Suburban Apartments and the Planning of Modern Metropolitan Toronto, 1946-1975

Author(s): Hess, Paul 

The struggle of Madrid area’s neighbourhood associations at the end of the Franco dictatorship: between political opposition and urban negotiation.

Author(s): Vaz, Céline 

Wartime factories and industrial policy in postwar Chicago

Author(s): Lewis, Robert