Non-state space: the strategic ejection of dangerous and high maintenance urban space

Non-state space: the strategic ejection of dangerous and high maintenance urban space. Territory, Politics, Governance. Some commentators have characterized so-called ‘no-go’ areas as sites in which the exercise of authority is prevented. Here we suggest that many such spaces are produced by state, policing and citizen repertoires that aim to minimize the costs and risks of engaging, supporting and servicing such spaces and their populations. In this article, we locate strategies of public spending, policing and political action that offer a governing logic in which neighbourhoods are essentially subtracted from the constitution of the city. During such designations, the assurances of citizenship, vitality of civic institutions and presence of policing may be partially or wholly suspended. We present a framework for the identification of such strategies in which these forms of social, political and spatial exiting are described as being autotomic in nature – spaces that are ejected in order to avoid losses or further damage to the body politic of the city in ways akin to the response of certain animals that protect themselves from predation by shedding a limb or body part. This term adds force and depth to assessments of the ways both temporary and more sustained exits by policing, management and state servicing are designed in order to avoid responsibility over or engagement with spaces deemed a threat in order to maintain the integrity of the remaining, included city.

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