This year’s crop of graduate student awards is really impressive, and indicate the breadth of student expertise and achievements in areas relating to globalization, urban development, and gender. We expect very similar achievements in our rapidly growing field of environment and health; stay tuned for that. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating the following students.
- Jesse Fenichel, we just learned, was awarded a Fulbright to conduct dissertation research in the Philippines.
His research focuses on the outsourcing of legal processing work in the global south, part of his larger study of the transformation of the contemporary legal profession –he himself holds a JD from NYU.
- Yingchan Zhang has won an SSRC predoctoral fellowship.
Her research focuses on the role of return migration to Chinese cities, and the policies Chinese cities employ to recruit and utilize skilled immigrant labor in their plans for economic development. Yingchan previously won a best paper award for her work in this field).
- Firzuzeh Shokooh Valle has won a very competitive ASA Minority Fellowship (which is ordinarily dominated by applicants from public ivies).
Firuzeh’s research centers on the use of social media by feminist groups in post-colonial conditions). It provides a full year’s stipend for her (with the college generously providing tuition and benefits.
This article explores and theorizes the ways in which urban space and political contestations are mapped onto each other. The ethnography illustrates the multifaceted transformations in a notoriously secularist neighborhood of ̇Istanbul, Tes ̧vikiye, as it first turns into a high-consumption locality in the post-1980s, then into a high-conflict urban space in the new millennium on the arrival of Muslim high-spenders, particularly headscarved women. Aiming to fill the gap left by the absence of spatial analysis from political science and political sociology, I argue that the urban neighborhood becomes central for political contestation when both government and opposition fail to protect and secure liberties and rights. Now that devout Muslims are integrated into highly contested urban sites and share bourgeois lifestyles, ordinary people act in defense of their ‘sphere’ of freedom and privacy. This new territoriality is largely symptomatic of increasing fears of losing freedom, privacy and social status. This spatial defensiveness is reinforced by people’s decreasing trust in, and increasing demands from, the state for the protection and security of their rights and liberties. My overarching argument is that exclusive attention to the bipolar clash between devout Muslims and secularists under the rubric of ‘neighborhood wars’ obscures multipolar conflicts around the discontents stemming from authoritarianism and democratization.