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Normalising jurisdictional heterotopias through place branding: the cases of Christiania and Metelkova

Ntounis, N and Kanellopoulou, E (2017) Normalising jurisdictional heterotopias through place branding: the cases of Christiania and Metelkova. Environment and Planning A, 10 (9). pp. 2223-2240. ISSN 0308-518X

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Abstract

This paper explores the political dimensions of place branding as a path to normalisation for areas where a paradoxical relationship with the law exists, places that we coin “jurisdictional heterotopias” borrowing from Foucauldian literature. We posit that place branding plays a fundamental role in facilitating scale jumping in the otherwise vertically aligned legal space, a hierarchy designed to exclude spatial multiplicity from its premise. By examining the role of place branding in such areas, we endeavour to understand and appreciate the selective application of the law, the perpetuation of unregulated and illegal activity, as well as the place – specificity of legal practice. Ultimately, we argue that strong place branding associations permit the engulfment of this type of heterotopias in the “mainstream” leading to their normalisation; such a normalisation results not only in the acceptance of their uniqueness by the institutional elements, but also in the potential nullification of the liberties their communities advocate.

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