Conference of the AESOP Thematic Group Public Spaces and Urban Cultures

“Urban Conflicts and Peace: Everyday Politics of Commons”

5 - 6 October 2023, Naples, Italy

Hosted by the National Research Council of Italy, Institute for Research on Innovation and Services for Development, Naples, Italy

The conference is part of the series of events to the working theme 2022-2024 of the AESOP Thematic Group Public Spaces and Urban Cultures (TG PSUC; titled PUBLIC SPACES, URBAN CULTURES AND CONSTRUCTING PEACE (

*Call for Abstracts*


Urban space and everyday life are permeated with conflicts across multiple scales: from struggles with political oppression, health, ecological and economic crises that are often dictated by the competition for geopolitical influence, over struggles to the right to social and cultural difference, to often invisible struggles and violence that permeate spaces of homes. Against these fragmentation tendencies, the commons glue social fabric together, urging societies to aim for peace. While the construction of peace has transformative power in shaping shared urban futures, it also carries possible negative dimensions in the form of preservation or reproduction of disparities in power relations, be it at the level of global peacemaking or at the level of the home. It is through the engagement with the politics of commons and their production in everyday life that the construction of peace can be understood as an everyday operation of negotiation across a broad spectrum of differences that aims at instilling a sense of harmony within shared space and time. Commons display how peace is constructed, how societies arrive at peace in everyday life, and how urban space mould the understanding of what kind of peace societies aim to arrive at.


The conference aims to reflect on the politics of commons as inherently bound to the ways and means of how urban societies negotiate between urban conflicts and peace. The goal is to conceptualize the relationship between conflict and peace beyond their usual perception as a binary pair. For peace can maintain imbalances in power relations which might violently affect parts of the urban population, as much as urban conflicts might open up the opportunity for more democratic participation and the recognition of differences. In the realm of politics, conflicts may shape a transformative public sphere which contests the given unjust conditions and renegotiates meanings and actions.

The commons display how societies have contested, innovated, produced and governed differently – they are integral part of an everyday construction of urban peace in which power relations are continuously rebalanced. They allow for a profound insight into assemblages of institutional and social actors and their daily interactions unfolding in the range of practices and settings, from the micro level of informal improvised tactics to the structured institutionalized settings of urban politics. At the same time they extend the field of exploration to settlements, services and organizations that do not fully fit into the institutionally demarcated framework of city-making and which can build the city in a different way. To grasp these transformative moments of agency and to understand contentious acts of publics as political, this conference aims to interpret commons through various epistemologies, theories and practices, including but not limited to those from the Global South or from the feminist perspective on the city.

Abstract Submission

Deadline for abstract submission is Friday, 21 July  2023 Wednesday, 26 July 2023

Decision on abstracts by Monday, 31 July  2023

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words outlining its relation to the event’s theme, conceptual framework, methodology, (expected) results, three references and three keywords, as well as a short biography of up to 100 words by Friday, 21 July 2023 to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We are currently in the early stages of approaching an international peer-reviewed journal to publish selected contributions as a special issue.

Preliminary program

A 2-day conference will include a keynote lecture, paper presentations, a fieldtrip-workshop in Bagnoli, a contested urban brownfield, with the Community of Lido Pola recognized by the City Council of Naples and working under the Declaration for collective and civic use (2016).


Participation in the conference is free of charge, however, travel and accommodation arrangements need to be covered by participants.

Organization Team

Local organizers: Stefania Ragozino, Gabriella Esposito (CNR-IRISS, Italy)

TG PSUC Representatives: Tihomir Viderman (BTU, Germany), Chiara Belingardi (LAPEI, Italy)


Stefania Ragozino – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gabriella Esposito De Vita – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tihomir Viderman – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Chiara Belingardi – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Related links


AESOP TG PSUC 2022-2024 working theme:



Lido Pola – Bene Comune:


Main References

Arendt, H. and Kohn, J. (2006) Between past and future. Penguin.

Borch, C. and Kornberger, M. (eds.) (2015) Urban commons: Rethinking the city. Routledge.

Chatzidakis, A., Hakim, J., Litter, J. and Rottenberg, C. (2020) The care manifesto: The politics of interdependence. Verso Books.

Knierbein, S. and Viderman, T. (eds.). (2018) Public space unbound: Urban emancipation and the post-political condition. Routledge.

Hooks, B. (2000) Feminist theory: From margin to center. Pluto Press.

Mouffe, C. (2013) Agonistics: Thinking the World Politically. Verso.

Viderman, T., Knierbein, S., Kränzle, E., Frank, S., Roskamm, N. and Wall, E. (eds.) (2022) Unsettled Urban Space: Routines, Temporalities and Contestations. Routledge,

Vittoria, M. P., Ragozino, S. and Esposito De Vita, G. (2023) Urban Commons between Ostrom’s and Neo-Materialist Approaches: The Case of Lido Pola in Naples, Southern Italy. Land 12(3):524,

Weck, S., Madanipour, A. and Schmitt, P. (2022) Place-based development and spatial justice. In European Planning Studies 30(5):791-806,