Online ahead of print| Legal diversity and the strategies of negotiating public spaces in Christiania, by Päivi Rannila

Please enjoy the following article from the Journal of Urban Affairs, available online prior to print.

Legal diversity and the strategies of negotiating public spaces in Christiania, by Päivi Rannila


Although the conceptions of public spaces as open, equal, and democratic have proven to be problematic, they are even more complex in communities whose legal, moral, and political practices are unique. This article addresses the mundane strategies and tactics of negotiating publicity in the former Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen. By analyzing Cristiania’s current situation through interviews, documents, and participant observation, I argue that the possibilities of publicity are always reliant on the constitution of legal spaces: how laws and rules are spatially performed what kinds of visible and invisible regulation are at work, and how the conceptions of publicity become inscribed in the material elements and bodies in space. Christiania’s case exemplifies perfectly the relationality of law, the legal diversity, and the multiplicity of legal actors within a neighborhood. It also shows how public spaces are complex legal settings where certain events have lawmaking or law-transforming power.

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