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The Spatial Interaction of Housing and Labour Markets: Commuting Flow Analysis of North West England

SAGE Publications
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  • Law


1 Culture wars, revanchism, moral panics and the creative city. A reconstruction of a decline of tolerant public policy: the case of Dutch anti-squatting legislation.1 Submitted for publication in Urban Studies. (Pruijt, Hans (2013) Culture Wars, Revanchism, Moral Panics and the Creative City. A Reconstruction of a Decline of Tolerant Public Policy: The Case of Dutch Anti-squatting Legislation. Urban Studies, 50(6), 1114-1129, doi: 10.1177/0042098012460732 ) abstract Squatting became illegal in the Netherlands on October 1, 2010. The paper examines the dynamics involved. Theoretically drawing on debates about culture wars, revanchism, moral panics and the creative city, it is based on participant observation in squatter meetings, debates with politicians, a parliament hearing, lobbying meetings and various informal encounters, on a survey (N = 2077) and on a collection of documents. A key mechanism that the paper explores is the following. Strategies of resistance that seem more or less manageable in the local context of a creative city can, when they backfire, cause a moral panic on the national level. This provides ammunition for revanchist politicians. Tolerant public policy can be vulnerable, even when it seems firmly entrenched and based on a long tradition. A case in point is public policy towards squatting in the Netherlands, that various authors have used as an example demonstrating Dutch tolerance (Zahn, 1993, p. 393; Soja, 2000; Maussen and Bogers, 2010). The passing of anti-squatter legislation by the Dutch Senate in June 2010 is a clear case of a decline of tolerant public policy, and a shift towards increased criminalization. This happened after 45 years of relatively undisturbed urban squatting in the Netherlands, undisturbed at least by legal measures. The 2010 legislation turned squatting into a criminal offense that carries a maximum prison sentence of one year, or two years and eigh

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