Game of the City Re-negotiated: the Polish Urban Re-generation Movement as an Emerging Actor in a Strategic Action Field
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University of Warsaw
Stockholm School of Economics
Publication date: 2016-09-25
Polish Sociological Review 2016;195(3):291–308
In recent years, many Polish cities have become the sites where a new urban movement emerges, shaped in the meeting between the engagement of neighborhood activists around what Mergler (2008) has called a „concrete narrative” of particular space and everyday needs, and the inspiration of internationally connected „norm entrepreneurs” (Finnemore and Sikkink 1998). As part of the movement formation, a number of small groups and local associations have become important in the process of linking local issues to the global dispute over quality of life in urban areas. Although the process is multi-faceted and the involved actors diverse in nature, we claim that it can be described and analyzed by using the recently developed framework of Strategic Action Fields (Fligstein and McAdam 2011, 2012). We illustrate how this new group of civil society actors have become important in the „game of the city” in Poland-thus re-negotiating the public-private divide, which is a crucial part of the urban policy field in-between a retreating city-level public sector and the entrance of corporate actors.