- Cities and the unevenness of social movement space: the case of France’s immigrant rights movement
- Environment and Planning A
- Volume | Issue number
- 43 | 7
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This paper analyzes the formation of a ‘social movement space’ through the case of France’s immigrant rights movement. Rather than this movement developing on the head of a pin, the French immigrant rights movement displays a rich and varied geography that changed over time. The movement emerged through a series of urban struggles and Paris early on became a center of these mobilizations. The complex and empowering networks developed in Paris were later deployed in a new campaign to contest restrictive national legislation passed in 1993. As this movement shifted from the urban to the national scale, networks connected the Paris hub to local struggles across the country. This network configuration, with Paris playing a centralizing role, introduced powerful geographical cleavages between center and periphery. Thus, this movement is not only conceived as a form of contentious collective action but as a distinctive spatial entity in its own right (‘social movement space’). As a spatial entity, the paper examines the processes that intersected to provide it with its own unique features, the capacities to sustain its political momentum, and the internal cleavages that would later result in its slow demise.
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