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Spiriting Away the Homeless

Abstract:

This talk examines the complex situation of homeless people in Phnom Penh, Cambodia as a consequence of their enmeshment in a new logic of urban governance being effected by city officials and municipal planners.

The author argues that the widespread adoption of free market economics has produced conditions of globalized urban entrepreneurialism, from which Phnom Penh is clearly not exempt. The (re)production of cultural spectacles, enterprise zones, waterfront development, and privatized forms of local governance all reflect the powerful disciplinary effects of interurban competition as cities aggressively engage in mutually destructive place-marketing policies.

In this regard, this talk examines the urban strategy developed by municipal authorities, which directly affects homeless people in Phnom Penh as part of a gentrifying process that the local government has dubbed a ‘beautification’ agenda.
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