Garibadis Immigrant

by Michael Anranter, english

 “Premesso che la situazione sia ormai divenuta insostenibile e che la Provincia, in mancanza di provvedimenti dell’amministrazione comunale di Bolzano, si debba far carico di ogni iniziativa utile alla riqualificazione dell’area.” (Artioli, 2011 :1)

In 2011 Garibaldi Avenue next to the railway station in the center of Bolzano, provincial capital of South Tyrol, became allegory for a discussion on the presumed correlations of migrants and criminality. According to complaints from citizens the politician Elena Artioli introduced a resolution proposal into the Landtag to enable the city of Bolzano itself to buy some of the relevant real estate with the intent to reorganize the social composition of the areas inhabitants. Due to different private and semi-private investment programs in the area, so far the Landtag has not decided on the resolution proposal.

The presented resolution proposal and intensified police presence do not necessarily reflect the political ambitions of the population’s majority; however it raises the question for a city which focuses on neoliberal urban planning and follows an ambiguous understanding of security which strongly affects the inhabitants of the area concerned. With the objective to examine the adaption of the concept of Smith’s revanchist city (Smith 1996, 1998) for Bolzano, I assume migrants, independently from legal status, as possible victims of neoliberal policies. Therefore I’ll specify what I understand by “security” and how it polarizes groups in a neoliberal urban context. After a brief introduction to the city of Bolzano as a city of migration I’ll try to point out neoliberal ambitions presenting structural development for the before mentioned area.

Andrea Ciambra, "Die kalte Schulter"
Andrea Ciambra, „Die kalte Schulter“

Considering the ways how security management related to urban reorganization plans effect the immigrant populations; the phenomena has an anthropological trait and I therefore want to answer following question: Are people with emigrational background disproportionally severe affected by the neoliberal understanding of security in Bolzano?

The hypothesis listed below might help to concretize aim and central arguments of the paper:

  • Neoliberal reorganization programs and connoted interests of private investors intensify the understanding of a consumerist citizen security and marginalize socially disadvantaged groups.

  • Neoliberal policies necessarily further marginalize socially disadvantaged groups by choosing the group according to regional particularities such as migration, strong political polarization of the people, economic performance and/or standing of the region as well as its inhabitants.

  • Unless the understanding of security does not merely focus on class and social issues, but on skin color and culture, then neoliberal policies affect the life of migration minorities.

In this paper, I attempt to re-examine a concept which had been developed and continuously enhanced by influential geographers and anthropologists in the 1960’s up to the 90’s in order to explain shifts in the urban restructuring programs after the industrial era. While for most of the theorists the explanation of deepening cleavages was related to class structures, this paper aims to show how security techniques related to neoliberal policy in urban contexts enlarge the spectrum of possibly affected groups and argues for a stigmatization of migrants which is used to be increasingly requested.

Look here for the free download of this paper. All further literature links and quotations are published on the download paper.


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