The Sensitive City – The Micropolitical Transformation of Territories

The dissertation The Sensitive City – The Micropolitical Transformation of Territories explores individual and civic participation in urbanization processes in Brazil. While one side of micropolitical practices is exercised as the normative response to political-economic conditioning, transformative micropolitics emerges as a counter-form of politization strategy allowing direct subjective and individual engagement. Transformative micropolitical action thus enables the expression and negotiation of individual desires in the social field, introducing flexible subjectivities into political processes to foster new forms of socio-political agency. How can the transformative micropolitical potential be harnessed for the autonomous
self-organization of cities and neighborhoods? In this context, transformative micropolitical urbanism emphasizes a plural and diverse common ground for urban cooperation based on democratic principles connecting micro-macro interdependencies. Does the transformative micro-macro-political representation institute a new form of radical democratic urbanism? In answering these questions, the research follows a three-fold rationale. First, it examines political philosophies related to micropolitical theories and their relevance for political activism in the 21st century. Second, it analyses the emergence of urban micropolitical empiricism during the last decades in Europe and the Global South, specifically focusing on informality in Brazil. Third, it traces transformative micropolitical agents within diverse social and urban contexts. Lastly, the research identifies urban and subjective transformative micropolitical potentials for creating more equitable and democratic urban livelihoods.

Type: Dissertation, supervised by Prof. Aglaée Degros (Institute of Urbanism, TU Graz).
Second examiner: Prof. Dr. Rainer Hehl  
(M-Arch-T, Technical University of Berlin)
Location:  Graz, Austria / Berlin, Germany
Year: Defense 2024. Publication 2025

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Patricia L Ventura