Därför förlorade Labour valet i december

Under tio år har konservativa regeringar i Storbritannien tryckt ner människor i skorna med sin åtstramningspolitik. Visst borde väl då en majoritet av britterna längta efter en annan politik? En sådan politik erbjöds också av Labour, kanske den mest hoppfulla som har skådats i Europa under de senaste decennierna. Visserligen innebar Brexit ett speciellt läge, men inte kunde man väl nu rösta fram ett parti vars ledare har framstått som en clown? Men jo, det gjorde man. Med klar majoritet. Hur Labour kunde missa denna chans är viktigt att förklara. Jag har gjort ett försök utifrån ett lokalt perspektiv i en essä publicerad av Arena och den kan läsas här.

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Recension av bok om segregation

Jonas Lindström har skrivit en bok om segregation. Den har jag recenserat i tidskriften Arkiv och recensionen kan laddas ner här.

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Ungdomar – problem eller potential?

Jonas Alwall och jag har skrivit ett kapitel till antologin ”Drömmar och röster : en antologi om barns och ungas livsvillkor”. Antologin publicerades i november 2019 och vårt kapitel heter ”Ungdomar – problem eller potential?”. Vi tar vår utgångspunkt i hur ungas problem i dagens urbana miljöer, inte minst i Malmö, ofta beskrivs som en fråga om dessa ungas destruktiva livsstil. Ett sådant perspektiv tenderar dock att bortse från de bakomliggande orsakerna till problemen. I stället för det problemorienterade förhållningssätt som ofta präglar insatser riktade mot unga vill kapitlet lyfta fram ett annat förhållningssätt – ett potentialorienterat – som inte begränsar sig till problem som lätt kan identifieras (symptom) utan i stället fokuserar dessa problems orsaker och ungas egen handlingskraft. Fritidsverksamheten Gnistan i Malmö, som särskilt lyfts fram i kapitlet, är exempel på en verksamhet som författarna menar präglas av ett potentialorienterat förhållningssätt, om än delvis implicit och med stor möjlighet att utvecklas ytterligare.

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EuroMemo i Paris 2019

In September 2019, the EuroMemo Group had its annual conference, this time in Paris. I presented a paper at the conference which draws on my work as a researcher in the project called “Model for including social benefits in investment decisions for city area development”.

Abstract: “How should capital be approached? This has become an urgent question for cities across Europe. As public budgets are under increasing pressure, cities have found it necessary to attract the funding of capitalist investors. In recent years, various financial instruments and models have been developed for that purpose. My paper will explore one of them; Sustainable Return on Investment (SuROI). The paper uses a case where a multinational builder, national real-estate companies and some other urban development actors work together for 2,5 years with the local council of Malmö in Sweden. The project aims at developing a model that draws on a broadened concept of value in investment decisions for city area development. Using the discourse of sustainability, the model is expected to account for not only economic value but also so-called social value and benefits. The process is guided by a British company. In my paper, I will show how such an approach to capital runs the risk of contributing to the increasing commodification of our lives, subordinating ourselves further to capital. This is not, however, what the leadership of the project want. Instead they want the model to promote ecologically, socially and economically sustainable urban development. But is that really feasible? On the basis of my analysis, I will draw some more general conclusions and suggest policy implications on the challenges and opportunities of approaching capital in a socio-ecological transformation.”

My paper, “Approaches to capital in the socio-ecological transformation”, is available at the conference website here.

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Globaliseringens vinnare och förlorare

Den 31 januari 2019 höll jag en föreläsning på Ungdomens Hus i Malmö om globaliseringens vinnare och förlorare. Tillställningen arrangerades av Möllevångens & Triangelns S-föreningar i samarbete med ABF Malmö. Vad kan vi göra åt den växande ojämlikheten? Det var den fråga som ställdes. Meningen var dock inte att jag skulle besvara den. Föreläsningen syftade till att lägga grund för en gemensam kunskapsutveckling. Hur det gick med det vet jag dock inte riktigt. Det var däremot en bra början för det kom ett femtiotal personer. En pdf-fil av min powerpoint kan laddas ner här.

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Founding transdisciplinary knowledge production in critical realism

New publication, available from here:

This article explains the implications and benefits of founding transdisciplinary collaborations of knowledge production in critical realism. We call such equal partnerships of researchers and practitioners knowledge alliances. Drawing on the distinction between the referent to which we refer (the object that our research is about) and our references (our research about this object), we show that practitioners can contribute to the process of knowledge production by providing access to referents and producing references but also by achieving societal relevance. In order to accomplish excellence, knowledge production should be organized in ways that engage different types of knowledge in a constructive interplay and use the respective strong points of researchers and practitioners. Abduction and retroduction, two modes of inference vital to critical realism, are particularly inclined to benefit from involving practitioners in knowledge production. We call such an approach potential-oriented and put it in contrast to problem-orientation and the empiricism of evidence-based research and policy-making.

Stigendal, Mikael & Novy, Andreas (2018). Founding transdisciplinary knowledge production in critical realism: implications and benefits. Journal of Critical Realism 17:3, 203-220

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Aiming at Social Cohesion in Cities to Transform Society

New article (August 2018) in Integrating Human Health into Urban and Transport Planning by Mark Nieuwenhuijsen and Haneen Khries (Eds.)

However one defines social cohesion – and several alternatives will be presented in this chapter – it does not characterize contemporary cities. On the contrary, cities are plagued by inequality, while at the same time being at the forefront of economic development. The EU cohesion policy has been instrumental in this divided development. As it directs the structural funds, what the EU means by cohesion has had a profound impact on cities. In the last decades, cohesion has been sought on market conditions, in line with neoliberalism, where the life of the included middle class people has served as a norm to aspire for. This has instead unleashed the potential causes of inequality inherent in the capitalist system and thereby aggravated inequality, most seriously concerning health. Transport and urban planning measures have deepened a community severance between the socially included and the socially excluded by favouring the more profitable transport modes. A social cohesion of cities on current conditions is not a solution because that would aggravate and preserve the problems causing inequalities. Therefore, the causes of inequality should be combated and that should be done in ways where the people affected by the causes are seen as potentials and where these potentials (in particular their experience and knowledge) are taken advantage of. The social cohesion to strive for in cities, thus, is a collective empowerment of people who wants to combat these causes and thereby transform society.

Stigendal, Mikael (2018). Aiming at social cohesion in cites to transform society. In M. Nieuwenhuijsen & H. Khreis (Eds.): Integrating human health into urban and transport planning. Cham: Springer International Publishing

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