Urban Political Podcast

Landscapes of Care and Control

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This episode looks at urban landscapes of care and control that emerged during the pandemic in Santiago de Chile (Chile), Bogotá (Colombia) and Berlin (Germany). It is a comparative conversation on the urban impasse of state interventions and everyday logics under COVID19 in each of these cities and discusses the following questions:

  1. How, if at all, has the pandemic affected state interventions in health in these cities? What new discourses and routines have been announced?
  2. How, if at all, has the pandemic worked as a set of interventions in the social infrastructure of these cities? What, now almost 2 years down the road, has changed in the social realities of institutional agents and ordinary citizens that we observe?
  3. What lessons can be learnt from the care and control contradictions in cities of today?

Host: Talja Blokland is an urban sociologist who has worked at Yale University, the University of Manchester and various Dutch universities. Since 2009, she has held the chair of Urban and Regional Sociology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Her publications include Urban Bonds (Polity 2003), Creating the Unequal City (edited with C. Giustozzi, D. Krüger and H. Schilling, Ashgate 2016), Community as Urban Practice (Polity 2017), and various articles on race and ethnicity in the city, poor neighbourhoods, urban violence, gentrification, urban middle classes and neighbourhood relations and everyday interactions.


Felipe Link is Associate Professor at the Instituto de Estudios Urbanos y Territoriales at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He is also associate researcher at the Centre for the Study of Conflict and Social Cohesion (COES) and at the Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (CEDEUS). He is the editor in chief of the EURE Journal (www.eure.cl). His publications include various articles on neighbourhood, social cohesion, housing and urban density. In 2020-2021, he co-directed the research project on «Vivienda, barrio y ciudad en el control de epidemias. Consideraciones sociales y urbanas para la formulación de políticas públicas de aislamiento y de distanciamiento social en Chile» (Housing, neighbourhood and the city in the control of epidemics. Social and urban considerations for the formulation of public policies of isolation and social distancing in Chile).

Hannah Schilling is an urban sociologist who has worked at the Humboldt University of Berlin and at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena. Her publications include Creating the Unequal City (edited with T. Blokland, C. Giustozzi, and D. Krüger, Ashgate 2016), and various articles on urban youth, global precarity and work relations in the city. Since 2021 she is program director for socio-political youth education at the Protestant Academy of Berlin, where she develops workshops and seminars for a young audience on diversity, social inequalities, digitalisation and the socio-ecological transformation.

María José Álvarez-Rivadulla is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Universidad de los Andes. She is concerned and interested in social inequalities, particularly urban socioeconomic ones, and her approach to it combines statistics with qualitative work. She is the author of the book Squatters and the Politics of Marginality (Palgrave, 2017), on the political history of the informal city in Montevideo. She has also worked and published on residential segregation, popular neighbourhoods and urban interventions, social housing, tolerance of inequality in diverse contexts, middle classes, wealth ghettos in gated communities and, more recently, on inter-class relations through the entry of working-class students into higher education, their experiences of social mobility, and the visible and invisible barriers they face in trying to achieve it.

Nina Margies is lecturer and post-doctoral researcher in urban sociology at Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research interest is in the sociology of emotion and its link to questions of social change and urban inequalities. She has published on emotions in the city, urban youth and (digital) work relations. She is co-founder of The Urban Transcripts Journal, an open access journal on urban research and activism, and board member of the ESA Research Network RN11 – Sociology of Emotions since 2019.