Defensive urban citizenship: A view from Southeastern Tel Aviv

Oren Yiftachel, Nir Cohen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This chapter develops the concept of 'defensive urban citizenship' (DUC), which denotes the making of urban identity inspired by residents' protection of their 'turf' in the face of growing threats-including massive development plans and in-migration flows. It employs a 'pluriversal Southeastern' approach that views the city 'from below', and deeply engages with residents' perceptions and practices rather than following abstract universal theories. Situated in the diverse Shapira Neighborhood, which is inhabited by three distinct communities (that we term Veterans, Foreigners and 'petit gentrifiers'), it uses mixed methods to illustrate how urban policies have placed all of them under a long-term condition of 'displaceability'. These conditions, in turn, have spawned the mobilization of groups to defend their imperiled spaces against growing urban threats. Through these conceptual lenses, the chapter highlights the transformative power of 'neoliberal' planning, as well as of migration, nationalism, religiosity and race-all of which challenge existing (and produce new) types of defensive urban citizens.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheorising Urban Development From the Global South
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783030824754
ISBN (Print)9783030824747
StatePublished - 25 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021, corrected publication 2021. All rights reserved.


  • Defensive urban citizenship
  • Displaceabilty
  • Planning
  • Southeastern perspective
  • Tel Aviv


Dive into the research topics of 'Defensive urban citizenship: A view from Southeastern Tel Aviv'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this