Counter Publics and Counter Spaces

  • Walter Nicholls
  • Justus Uitermark


The aim of this theoretical essay is to explore the links between the oppositional identities of marginalized groups and the cities where these groups are rooted. It performs the task by examining the spatial underpinnings of counter publics. Building alternative political imaginaries and oppositional publics necessarily involves the production of space. We therefore situate counter publics in their specific urban spaces, i.e., counter spaces. Our hope is to untangle some of the mechanisms linking the cities where combative groups emerge to the oppositional identities that fuel broader struggles for recognition and equality. The paper is theoretical in focus and content. Its central premises are illustrated by examples drawn from research on movements struggling for immigrant rights and LGQBT rights.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter Nicholls
    • 1
  • Justus Uitermark
    • 2
  1. 1.Univeristy of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands

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