Brazil, special issue

Special Issue: Urban Transformations and Spectacles in Brazil

Guest editor: Xuefei Ren

This special issue presents a set of articles that critically examine the changing urban governance, politics, and rights to the city in Brazil in the wake of two mega-events: the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. To date, much of the critical geography scholarship on mega-events has been framed in the narrative of accumulation by dispossession, by focusing on the negative consequences of mega-events such as displacement and gentrification. The articles in this special issue build on but also move beyond the dispossession literature, by situating Brazil’s experience with urban structuring in complex layers of historical and institutional contexts. Based on fresh fieldwork and the latest data, the articles collectively examine emerging trends in urban governance in Brazil, through examples such as the launching of major infrastructure projects, evolution of favela housing policies, mobilization led by housing rights activists against removal, the June 2013 protests, and the “rights to the city” movement across major urban centers in the country. One comparative article contrasts Rio 2016 with the Beijing 2008 Olympics, and highlights how global city ambitions have played out differently in China and Brazil, two emerging economies that operate under different political regimes.

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1. Aspirational urbanism from Beijing to Rio de Janeiro: Olympic cities in the Global South and contradictions, by Xuefei Ren

2. Neoliberalization and mega-events: The transition of Rio de Janeiro’’s hybrid urban order, by Luiz Cesar de Queiroz Ribeiro & Orlando Alves dos Santos Junior

3. Rio de Janeiro’’s Olympic dispossessions, by Daniel Bin

4. Evictions and housing policy evolution in Rio de Janeiro: An ANT perspective, by Hector Becerril

5. Undoing the right to the city: World Cup investments and informal settlements in Fortaleza, Brazil, by Clarissa F. Sampaio Freitas

6. Removal, resistance and the right to the olympic city: The case of Vila Autodromo in Rio de Janeiro, by Sukari Ivester

7. Community resistance and the inclusive city: Devising strategies in São Paulo, by Maureen M. Donaghy

8. The politics of contested urban space: The 2013 protest movement in Brazil, by Thomas J. Vicino & Anjuli Fahlberg

Xuefei Ren is an Associate Professor of Global Urban Studies & Sociology at Michigan State University and a Managing Editor of the Journal of Urban Affairs

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