Public Space as Emancipation: Meditations on Anarchism, Radical Democracy, Neoliberalism and Violence



Abstract:  In establishing an anarchic framework for understanding public space as a vision for radical democracy, this article proceeds as a theoretical inquiry into how an agonistic public space might become the basis of emancipation. Public space is presented as an opportunity to move beyond the technocratic elitism that often characterizes both civil societies and the neoliberal approach to development, and is further recognized as the battlefield on which the conflicting interests of the world's rich and poor are set. Contributing to the growing recognition that geographies of resistance are relational, where the “global” and the “local” are understood as co-constitutive, a radical democratic ideal grounded in material public space is presented as paramount to repealing archic power in general, and neoliberalism's exclusionary logic in particular.