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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

'The whole world is my back yard': The politics of scale in place-based resistance


  • Dr. Mateusz LASZCZKOWSKI

Primary authors


Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork among No TAV activists in Valsusa - an Alpine valley in north-western Italy - this paper examines the politics of scale in a place-based conflict. The No TAV movement resists the planned construction of a new international high-speed railway (TAV) that would run through the valley. It has long been accused of the 'NIMBY' symndrom ('Not In My Back Yard') - a myopic, localistic kind of protest. But talking to the activists or reading their publications, one cannot but be struck by the scope and complexity of their arguments about the depredations of neoliberal capitalism on a planetary scale. The place-based critique of the railway project opens out global politico-economic and ecological perspectives. Placing the movement in a context of other mobilizations around the world that similalry work on the premise that if we all truly cared for the places were we live the entire planet could be saved from mindless exploitation, this paper asks how these translations betwen the 'local' and the 'global' are made. It explores the rise of interscalar solidarities in the face of planetary urgency.