CfP: Contesting Mobility from Below, Mobilising Bottom-up Contestations: Contemporary and Historical Explorations

PUTSPACE team members Wojciech Kębłowski, Tonio Weicker, Adam Borch and Tauri Tuvikene organise a session at the next T2M Conference to be held in Lisbon, Portugal from 2-5 November 2021.

The deadline for submitting abstract to the organisers is 25 April 2021.

The CfP can be downloaded as a PdF here.

Contesting mobility from below, mobilising bottom-up contestations: contemporary and historical explorations

While transport and mobilities are multi-layered and complex phenomena, research into transport continues to be dominated by economistic and technocratic approaches geared towards efficiency and rationality. This, supposedly, justifies the predominantly top-down fashion in which transport is designed, produced and managed (Kębłowski & Bassens, 2018). We would, however, advance that mobility should also be viewed as a site of bottom-up interests organised by diverse social actors, groups and movements. Historically, many studies with the latter approach focused on contesting mobility from below, addressing specific policy agendas, and infrastructural projects, from increases of public transport ticket price to construction of new metro lines (Barghouti, 2009; Enright, 2016; Larrabure 2016; Legacy 2016). Another set of bottom-up actors and movements have employed transport as a vehicle for articulating broader social issues, mobilising bottom-up contestations related to the feminist struggle and the civil rights movement, as a means of discussing intersectional injustice (Parks 2016), neoliberalisation, uneven development, corruption, and democracy.

The objective of this session is to focus on diverse groups, actors and institutions that have engaged in contestations of top-down implemented transport systems. We are interested in how historically and geographically sensitive research into the nexus of mobility and contestation may explore these phenomena as intense and intimate sites for encountering cultural diversity, negotiating normativities, and bringing socio-economic cleavages into the spotlight of academics and practitioners alike – all what has the capacity to make mobility a truly public and collective endeavour.

We invite short (max 250 words) abstracts from contributors belonging to diverse disciplines related to mobility. Please send your abstract including a title, and the names, affiliations and email addresses of all authors to the session organisers (wojciech.keblowski(a)vub.be and t_weicker(a)leibniz-ifl.de) by 25th April the latest.

Currently, the conference is planned as an online event only. However, if the pandemic situation allows it, the session will hopefully be organized in a hybrid format.

The session is organised as part of the PUTSPACE project, which is financially supported by the HERA Joint Research Programme, co-funded by AKA, BMBF via DLRPT, ETAg, and the European Commission through Horizon 2020.