Friday, 26 August 2016

20th Century Italian Fascism, Women and the City

John Crossan - University of Glasgow 

During the early stages of the 20th Century’s Italian fascist movement, squads of young men, proselytised by Mussolini’s political vision that saw violence as ‘history’s wheel’, engaged in vicious attacks on socialist and leftist organisations throughout the country. These men wore black shirts and they metonymically became known as Black Shirts (Falasca-Zamponi 2002). Wearing the black shirt in 1920s Italy signified a revolt against the vestimentary culture of suits and top hats worn by the political and economic elites. However, as an expression of revolt, wearing the black shirt went beyond a material representation of political opposition. For the leaders of Italian fascism, the semantic power of this everyday garment spoke of a ‘world to come’, of a homogenised unitary body of citizen soldiers. Following Michel Foucault’s (1980: 39) notion of ‘biopower’, where “power reaches into the very grain of individuals, touches their bodies and inserts itself into . . . their everyday lives”, the black shirt and other sartorial expressions of fascist politics are concerned with regulating male and female bodies. Binary understandings of rural and urban played an interesting and crucial role in enacting this form of biopolitical policing.   

For the fascists, bourgeois materialism saw happiness being equated to individual desire expressed through bodily needs (ibid). The individualising effect of this on Italian citizens was, for Mussolini and cohorts, unacceptable. In the 1932 Doctrine of Fascism, Mussolini and co-author philosopher Giovanni Gentile wrote: “The world is not this material world that appears on the surface, in which man is one individual separated from all others and is governed by a natural law which instinctively leads him to live a life of egoistic and temporary pleasure” (Mussolini 2012: 9). Quenching individual desires was integral to fascism’s totalitarian vision. Individualism was to be supressed by controlling the most intimate of individual concerns – the body. Sandro Bellassai (2005) writes: 

[…] proud in his uniform, the Italian man of fascism was involved in paramilitary discipline since youth, encouraged to build his muscles through morning athletic exercises, and immersed in a spoken and body language that was military, uncouth and virile (Bellasai 2005: 330) 

The black shirt played a crucial role in defining the identity of the masculine military subject. Wearing it in civilian life was to induce the dual effect of erasing people’s differences and creating a warrior-like body politic. To don the black shirt, to march side-by-side with your fascist brothers, was to abnegate personal desires and if need be make the ultimate sacrifice for the nation. “The fashioned body”, Falsaca-Zamponi writes, “was being turned into a fighting one” (2002: 152). 

The modern metropolis played a critical role in constructing the mythical identity of the Black Shirts. Like so many other writers on the city, fascist political commentators constructed the rural and the urban in binary terms, with the former mythologised as the organic national community where the virility of the nation was most potent. Grandiose praise of the rural population as the heart of the nation belied Italian fascisms concern with maintaining a feudal order in the countryside. The founding members of the Black Shirts included young landowners opposing progressive peasant movements and right wing labourers’ unions with an overtly anti-plebeian agenda. Nevertheless, the rhetoric of fascist ruralism was a powerful propaganda tool used to denigrate city life, which the fascists saw as nurturing bourgeois excess as well as a range of ‘modern’ freedoms associated with socialist political movements and women’s liberation. On the topic of fascist gender politics in the context of the urban/rural divide, Bellassai writes:            

Women above all considered the flight from the countryside an opportunity to escape from rigid patriarchal control. In 1935 the provincial party secretary of Modena wrote: ‘The young people who marry are anxious to break away from the family and make their own families because the young wives are intolerant of the discipline of the reggitore  [head of the agricultural family] and want to move to the cities so as to have greater opportunity to enjoy themselves (2005: 319).

Fascism has always been premised on a strict division of gender roles. To put women into the ranks of citizen-soldiers, although not unheard of, would have been deemed immoral by many fascists. Women were encouraged to go into traditional service positions such as nursing, cooking and motherhood. 20th Century fascist propaganda images of women often depict them wearing aprons, which Mary Vincent (2002) notes, over-accentuate hips and bust serving to present an idealised fascist female subject as domesticated, maternal and erotic. 

This romanticized femininity runs counter to the image of the newly urbanised women presented in the Bellassai quote. The city offered Italian women new experiences and opportunities, which amongst other things resulted in declining birth rates (Bellassai 2005). This was a threat to a political movement that saw women first and foremost as producers and nurturers of citizen-soldiers. The city, then, was a threat to the virility of the nation. The Black Shirts’ presence in Italian urban centres can be seen metaphorically as a dark shadow enveloping the pleasures and freedoms of the city – ‘freedoms’ which the 20th Century Italian fascists associated with, in part, an emerging and threatening femininity.   


Bellassai S (2005) The masculine mystique: antimodernism and virility in fascist Italy, Journal of Modern Italian Studies 10(3) pp314-335

Falasca-Zamponi S (2002) Peeking Under the Black Shirts: Italian Fascism’s Disembodied Bodies, in Vincent M (ed.) Fashioning the Body Politic, Berg Oxford

Foucault M (1980) Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972–1977, ed. C. Gordon. Brighton: Harvester.

Mussolini B (2012) The Doctrine of Fascism, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Vincent M (2002) Camisas Nuevas: Style and Uniformity in the Falange Espanola 1933-43

Changes in older Australian women’s housing

Julie Byles, Cassie Curryer, Kha Vo, Peta Forder, Deborah Loxton and Deirdre McLaughlin

When it comes to housing, Australia’s aging population faces a clash between cultural values and social expectations. While most older people own their own home (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011), there is a tension between social and environmental factors that push for moving from the family home into retirement villages and aged care facilities, and more personal factors that pull towards remaining in their existing homes. 

For the most part Australians place cultural value on ageing independently within our own homes, and most older people understandably don’t want to move from their homes and familiar neighbourhoods. These values are supported in Australia with a policy emphasis on ageing-in-place, and by providing care in people’s own homes rather than in institutional settings. At the same time, there is a strong social expectation that people will ‘downsize’ into smaller homes and apartments, or move into retirement communities that are designed to meet social and health care needs of older people. This expectation stems from assumptions that older people require less space, or need different types of housing to support their physical needs. The current lack of affordable inner city housing in Australia’s capitals also creates additional pressure to free up valuable housing space. Given this tension, older people find decisions about housing complex and of paramount concern. Moreover, their decisions are not entirely governed by their own preferences but are also influenced by housing markets and social expectations. Moving house is also a major life event, and must be considered within the context of an older persons’ overall life course.

Our research builds on previous studies which assessed the physical capacities of older people within their homes, and interviewed them about their intentions to modify their homes or to move. In our earlier research, many people were satisfied with their homes and had no plans to move, however their homes lacked design features to support an older person with greater levels of physical disability. This new study takes a longitudinal approach that provides a housing history within the context of women’s later lives. We followed a group of 9575 women from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health as they aged from 73-78 to 85-90 years, analysing housing, sociodemographic and health data. The women’s data were also linked to the Australian National Death Index, and Residential Aged Care (RAC) administrative records for the years 1999 through to 2011.   

The research revealed seven distinct housing patterns that can broadly be categorized as stable, downsize and transitional. 

Stable patterns:

  • House – living in a house for most surveys (47.0%)
  • House to the end – living in a house but with earlier death (13.7%)
  • Apartment – living in an apartment (12.8%)
  • Living in a retirement village (5.8%). 

Downsize pattern: moving from a house to retirement village (6.6%). 

Transition patterns: 

  • RAC Transition – from an apartment or retirement village, to RAC and death (7.8%), 
  • House to RAC – (6.4%).

Strikingly, only 13% of women downsized or were already living in a retirement village, highlighting a disparity between social expectations and the reality for older women. The vast majority of women remained in a house giving credence to policy objectives of ageing-in-place. It is also in keeping with our understanding of peoples’ attachment to place and the importance of the family home. Stability could also be considered reflective of women’s adaptability and as well as the ability to modify their environment to suit their changing needs. The person-environment fit also seemed to be important, with women in stable housing patterns tending to be healthier with less need for help with daily tasks. The two transitional patterns reflect the poorer physical health of women moving to RAC with grater need for supportive care.

The study demonstrates the strong potential for women to age in place, as well as the continuing need for residential aged care to support women with greater needs. However, the small proportion downsizing to apartments or retirement villages may also reflect a lack of availability of appropriate options for older people. 

Place-Based Correlates of Motor Vehicle Theft and Recovery: Measuring Spatial Influence Across Neighborhood Context

Eric L. Piza, Shun Q. Feng, Leslie W. Kennedy, and Joel M. Caplan

The emergence of Geographic Information Systems has led to a renewed focus on the importance of place in crime research. A large body of research has tested how the presence of spatial risk factors, such as liquor establishments and multi-family housing complexes, influence crime patterns. This literature is influenced by Environmental Criminology, a family of theories with common interests in the situational aspects of crime. Tangential to this research, an extensive literature has measured the effect of neighborhood-level characteristics on crime and victimization. This literature is largely informed by Social Disorganization theory, which postulates that certain neighborhood characteristics, such as poverty and geographic mobility (i.e. residents frequently moving to or from a neighborhood), disrupt social order to an extent that weakens ties between neighbors, creating an environment ripe for crime.

The current study focuses on the intersection of Environmental Criminology and Social Disorganization through a spatial analysis of Motor Vehicle Theft (MVT) and Motor Vehicle Recovery (MVR) in Colorado Springs, CO. Both MVT and MVR were included in recognition of their related nature. MVR, while considered a crime in itself by law enforcement, can be considered the final step of an MVT. The offender, after receiving the desired benefits, abandons the vehicle. For crime analysts, the MVR presents an additional opportunity to analyze offender behavior and decision-making.

We first used Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) to test the influence of 19 spatial risk factors on the occurrence of MVT and MVR. Seven spatial risk factors were significantly associated with MVT while 10 were significantly associated with MVR.

Significant Risk Factors

           Following the RTM analysis, we measured whether the spatial influence of each significant risk factor differed across neighborhood context. For each significant risk factor, we measured whether its spatial influence overlapped with a neighborhood that had high, low, or average levels of social disorganization, as measured across six variables: poverty, population density, number of residents with a high school diploma (or equivalent), geographic mobility, young male population, and racial heterogeneity.

Example Spatial Influence and Neighborhood Vulnerability Maps


The effect of each significant risk factor was associated with heightened levels of MVT and/or MVR in certain neighborhood contexts and lower levels in others. This suggests that the convergence of particular spatial and neighborhood-level factors may maintain or heighten criminogenic effects, while the convergence of other factors may result in a null or mitigating effect. For the crime analysis community, the findings suggest that Environmental Criminology and Social Disorganization should be seen as complementary, rather than competing, theoretical perspectives. 

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

How do cities learn to become sustainable?

Alistair Sheldrick - University of Manchester, UK
James Evans - University of Manchester, UK
Gabriele Schliwa - University of Manchester, UK

Cities are key players in the drive towards global sustainability and are increasingly seeking to learn from experiences elsewhere when planning programmes for positive change. I first became interested in the topic of policy learning and sustainable urban transitions through the ESRC-funded Manchester Cycling Lab research project at the University of Manchester whilst completing my Masters study there in 2014. The project was established with the aim of providing research that would facilitate Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) Vélocity programme and help turn Manchester into a cycling city. 

On reading the Vélocity promotional material I was immediately struck by the prominence of intentions to emulate and establish ‘learning relationships’ with a few German cities – most notably Berlin. As an urban geographer I was particularly interested in this apparent departure from the obligatory nod to Amsterdam or Copenhagen in favour of a new exemplar cycling city.  

The study originally set out broadly to explore what exactly Manchester could learn from Berlin’s experience and possibly consider how and why particular places - such as Berlin - emerge as examples to follow in urban governance more widely. Despite a lack of existing critical research on cycling in Berlin, I didn’t foresee the study challenging the existing consensus in policy, academic and grey literature that attributed Berlin’s cycling renaissance largely to local pro-cycling policy interventions. I was, in fact, actually planning to use this as a point of departure for any findings. 

However, the first few interviews in Berlin brought this consensus immediately in to doubt. When asked about the factors that have driven Berlin’s cycling renaissance since c1990 - from local bike shop employees to transport consultants - everyone who was interviewed failed to mention any form of local transport policy as having a significant impact. Even a Senior Transport Planner from the Berlin Senate expressed regret at the long-term lack of impetus, investment and influence the city authorities have had over cycling participation. Instead, the study identified four prevailing causal factors – none of which can be attributed to pro-cycling policy interventions. 

These four factors include: 
1. the relative cost of cycling, 
2. the relative convenience and speed of cycling, 
3. Berlin’s particularly fashionable, ‘hipster’, and environmentally aware population, and 
4. the city’s pre-existing urban form.

Despite this rebuke of the existing consensus, the fact that the city has implemented a strategic cycling plan since 2004 can’t be totally ignored. However, when examining the driving factors behind Berlin’s remarkable cycling renaissance since c1990, the city authorities’ efforts to promote cycling can be summed up as being too little and too late. Crucially, the article argues that pro-cycling policies in Berlin should be seen as reactive - responding to maintain an existing trend - rather than driving it from the start. 

The first part of the article uses Transition Management Theory to understand time and multiple-actor influence in the development of large complex systems (such as urban transport systems). This theoretical lens supports the conclusion that Berlin’s cycling renaissance was not guided by policy from an early stage, but was in fact made possible by a pre-existing context and forces unrelated to local cycling policy. Put into the context of Manchester’s current position, policy learning from Berlin’s experience will likely be limited as policy intervention here is developed under completely different geographical and cultural preconditions. 

The second part of the article considers the processes leading to Berlin’s prominence in Manchester’s Vélocity bid in the first place. Here Policy Mobilities research is drawn upon to analyse how and why the narrative of the Berlin experience was chosen and communicated. The article argues that Berlin’s inclusion in the Vélocity bid was motivated by the need to display Manchester’s ambition and competence in what was a competitive bidding process. 

The article offers a novel integration of Policy Mobilities and Transition Management theoretical frameworks. It seeks to influence further connections between these two previously distant bodies of work to offer innovative findings. For cities to effectively guide sustainability transitions, it is vital that planners and policy-makers have sufficient and appropriate knowledge at their disposal. We hope this article and research topic will encourage the reader to adopt a more critical consideration of the production and communication of policy knowledge and the forces and actors who influence these processes. 

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Distribution Dynamics of Property Crime Rates in the United States

Alessandro Moro - Ca’ Foscari University, Italy 

My paper “Distribution Dynamics of Property Crime Rates in the United States” analyses how property crime is distributed across the US states and how this distribution changes over time. This possibly explains why the perception of criminal activity is considerably different and changed in recent decades, especially in some states.

I’m a PhD student in Economics at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, and I have been always interested in the study of different violence phenomena adopting quantitative methods and agent-based models.

In this work, in particular, I used a non-parametric statistical approach called “Distribution Dynamics” to investigate how property crimes changed across space and time. The paper detects two distinct phases in the evolution of the property crime recorded by FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports data on the 48 continental US states.

There is a phase of strong convergence, from 1971 to 1980, in which the property crime rates of the different US states tend to converge to a common value; but then we observe a period characterised by “divergence”, from 1981 to 2010, in which the differences between the states with the highest property crime rates and those with the lowest ones were exacerbated. These two distinct phases have not been highlighted by the existing literature and, in my view, there are technical merits in using flexible non-parametric methods in place of standard regressions. It’s not easy to provide reasons for what data tell us: the analysis hints that the increasing inequality across the US states in terms of income per capita and state police, started at the beginning of the 1980s, may play a role. This empirical evidence is consistent with the predictions of a proposed simple two-region model that explicitly outlines the channels through which the property crime dynamics is affected by economic inequality. I like simple models despite their obvious limitations: they are clean, sober and almost simplistic but help us in understanding data, that come with no life and meaning. Models enrich data with a story, which is really needed to draw implications and ponder possible actions.

An important policy insight that can be derived from this paper suggests that significant income disparities are translated into different concentrations of crime: poor states have lower resources to fight crime and, consequently, they exhibit higher crime rates. Since the presence of crime discourages investments and lowers income, these states are trapped in a vicious circle.  Therefore, mitigating the effects of inequality, say with cross-state compensations or other measures, in terms of financial and police resources, may help avoiding both the concentration of crime activities in specific regions and the emergence of self-reinforcing gaps between poor and rich states.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Commoning and the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015

John Crossan - University of Glasgow

Over the last 40 years, many people with an interest in the matter have understood ‘the commons’ as a resource and/or a failed resource management regime. This is in part due to Garret Hardin’s highly influential 1968 article The Tragedy of the Commons, which presents the parable of a shared pasture on which no single herder has a “rational” incentive to limit their grazing activities. The result is selfish overuse by each herder and ultimately the ruination of the resource. The solution to avoiding the tragedy of the commons put forward by the author is the allocation of private property rights to the resource in question. Proponents of neoliberalism have enthusiastically applauded Hardin’s thesis. 

Scots law up until very recently mirrored this limited understanding of the commons. It reduced common assets (all assets - including land, buildings and artefacts - that were once gifted to the territorial administration known as the Burgh and are now under the ‘stewardship’ of highly centralised local authorities) to a resource and as such made them highly susceptible to the wants and needs of the market. Recent legislation in the form of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 has the potential to revitalise, protect and extend the commons. This new Act also has particular relevance for the urban environment. 


Before looking at the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 in a little more detail, let’s consider an alternative version of Hardin’s tragedy. An enlightened observer understands the commons as more than simply a resource, and a re-reading of Hardin’s parable illuminates this fuller understanding. While Hardin identifies a resource in the form of a pasture, he omits any sense of community and management structure. The herders are competing and isolated individuals with little or no contact with one another. As Lewis Hyde points out, Hardin’s tragedy is “The Tragedy of Unmanaged, Laissez-Faire, Common-Pool Resources with Easy Access for Noncommunicating, Self-Interested Individuals” (2010: 44).  

The commons must be understood as both user and producer space where the users and producers are one and the same. For example, individuals and groups in need of particular services have long employed disused land in the UK as food growing sites and recreational spaces. Similarly, derelict housing has been reclaimed by squatters and housing co-operatives. The added dimension of production moves our understanding of the commons onto more politically radical ground than the idea of a resource administered by the state or any other external authority. David Bollier argues that the commons must be understood as a “living social system of creative agents” that counters the “faux regularities and worldview […] of modernity…”. He writes: 

The complicated reality is that a commons arises whenever a given community decides that it wishes to manage a resource collectively, with an accent on fair access, use, and long-term sustainability. This can happen in countless unpredictable ways (Bollier 2016: 7). 

In this sense we see the commons as a process – what historian Peter Linebaugh calls commoning. In creating a verb for the commons Linebaugh is describing a set of relationships between people, resources and organisational processes. He writes, “I want to portray it as an activity, not just an idea or a material resource” (Linebaugh 2009). The struggle for the commons is a struggle against forces – political, economic, and cultural – that separate communities from the activity of managing their resources. 

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015

There are three major elements of this Act, as summarised here by the Scottish Community Development Centre: (1) strengthening of community planning, to give communities more of a say in how public services are provided; (2) new rights enabling communities to identify needs and issues and to request action to be taken on these; (3) extension of community ‘right to buy’, for the purpose of gaining greater control over assets. It is the most recent development in a long line of legislative initiatives concerned with Scottish land reform, stretching back to The Crofters Holdings (Scotland) Act of 1886. Of particular relevance to discussion of the commons in an urban context is, firstly, that the Act promotes a community-centric approach to land reform and, secondly, that it extends pre-existing legislative and financial support (established in 1999, in the form of the Scottish Land Fund, for assisting rural communities to acquire and develop land and buildings) into the urban environment. Thus, through the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, Scottish urban communities have a legislative framework in place and some financial support to enable them to have a greater say in the management of urban land and buildings. Implementation of the provisions of the Act is very much in its infancy. How it plays out in the messy realties of urban life remains to be seen. But I suggest the following as points of consideration regarding revitalising commoning practices in the management of urban resources. 

When discussing the Act, there is a tendency for people to get hung-up on the ‘right to buy’. This is problematic for a number of reasons. Firstly, it further entrenches the hegemony of the private property model. For example, a community group buys an underused public building and its lands. The process of sale privatizes that resource. Secondly, outright community ownership leaves the owners vulnerable to the vagaries of the market. This may result in the reconstitution of the traditional private property model, if the community group is forced to sell to individual or club based owners motivated by profit maximization. Thirdly, the right to buy in the city could result in extending the privileges of already privileged urban groups. Those communities with higher levels of social and financial capital are better placed to navigate the legal landscape of acquisition and post-acquisition development. Finally, from a practical perspective, the overinflated price of urban land and buildings make community buy-outs in cities and large towns on a scale witnessed in rural Scotland highly unlikely . 

More promising by way of enacting and sustaining an urban commons are a range of measures in the Act that offer the possibility of producing robust partnerships between community groups and other institutions, such as NHS trusts, municipal authorities and housing associations. For example, participation requests allow a community group to make a request to a public service authority to permit the group to participate in an outcome improvement process. This might take the form of community group delegates sitting in as members of planning boards on a range of matters, from designing new social housing complexes to designating areas of land to be ring-fenced for urban agricultural activities. This moves us from a culture of consultation to one of active participation. It has the potential to empower communities by making them active participants in the management of the city and it offers a level of protection from market forces that is missing from a model of community land ownership as an extension of the private property model. 

What we might see developing in Scottish cities is a form of community-centric partnership governance. Resonating with the concept of progressive localism, which reimagines local–central governance relations as “mutually-productive and enabling” (Featherstone et al. 2010:2), this form of partnership holds much potential for protecting and extending Scotland’s urban commons. 

[1] For example, Community Land Scotland, an NGO set up to provide a collective voice for community land owners in Scotland has 69 member groups, all rurally based. 


Bollier D (2016) Commoning as a Transformative Social Paradigm, available online at

Featherstone, D., A. Ince, D. MacKinnon, A. Cumbers & K. Strauss (2012) Progressive Localism and the Construction of Political Alternatives, Transactions in the Institute of British Geographers, 37, 177-182.

Hardin G (1969) The Tragedy of the Commons, Science 162, no. 3859 (Dec. 13, 1968), pp. 1243-1248

Hyde L (2010) Common as Air: Revolution, Art and Ownership, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Linebaugh P (2009) The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All, Berkeley: University of California Press 

Scottish Community Development Centre (2015) Briefing: The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, available online at 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Protest in the city: Urban spatial restructuring and dissent in New York, 1960–2006

Patrick Rafail
Dept. of Sociology, Tulane University

Why does protest happen where it does? Though there is widespread agreement that accessible space is a necessary ingredient of protest mobilization, we know surprisingly little about how urban space is used by activists. This is especially true for how the built environment of cities intersects with protest, and how this relationship evolved in the face of neoliberal policymaking. In “Protest in the city,” I analyse the historical evolution of protest spaces in New York City at more than 6200 demonstrations, rallies, and other forms of collective action taking place between 1960 and 2006.

Protest spaces speak to fundamental and pressing social issues. They tell us about the relationship between individuals and the state, how power is distributed and grappled over, and shed insight into the impact of urban policy decisions that strongly shape how and when people act together. I argue that the urban built environment can produce attractors and detractors that either push dissent away or pull it in. In particular, I focus on: (1) physical spaces, including public parks and privately owned public spaces (POPS); (2) centres of power, which are areas in close proximity to powerful institutions; and (3) colleges and universities that are traditional hotbeds of activism. Taken together, these three elements go a long way in explaining where protest takes place, and how the spatial patterns in collective action are linked to broader neoliberal changes that have brought out extensive urban privatisation.

The data used in the paper come from two sources: first, all New York City events in the Dynamics of Contention, which contains information on all protests reported in the New York Times between 1960 and 1995, Second, I collected data using a comparable methodology that includes events from 1996 through 2006. I geocoded the location of the events to census tracts, allowing me to place them in time and space, and linked the protests to databases on public parks, POPS, City Hall, courthouses, colleges and universities, and demographic characteristics, drawing from a wide variety of sources. The end result is one of the most detailed, temporal and geographically referenced databases of protest activity and the spatial context surrounding events that has been examined at the time of writing. 

Zuccotti Park, a privately owned public space in the financial district of New York, NY.

Photograph by MusikAnimal, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After analysing where protest occurs, we see a striking pattern. Protest has noticeably shifted away from public spaces towards privatized spaces. POPS are present in between 1.7 and 4% of census tracks, yet these are home to more than 25% of protest events. Protest is also more likely in spaces in close proximity to powerful institutions or to colleges and universities. Overall, I show that the neoliberal restricting of protest has dramatic consequences: over time, protests are more likely to take place in spaces that are hostile to mobilization, and have weakened protections when it comes to the individual rights to assemble.