טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentSahly Amin
SubjectImpacts of Globalization and Neo-Liberalism on Spatial and
Social Spaces in Developing Cities
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor Dr. Yosef Jabareen
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

At the theoretical level, this research contributes to the bodies of knowledge related to globalization, neo-liberalism, and urban planning. Revolutionary processes of globalization and neo-liberalism strategies phenomena are causing a physical, spatial and socioeconomic restructuring of cities around the world. In the wake of these revolutions, the concepts "globalization", "neo-liberalism" and "the right to the city" have penetrated the discourse of many areas of knowledge and are in use by myriad sectors and disciplines, appearing routinely in the lexicon of our daily life.

The main objective of the study is to examine the combined effects of globalization and neoliberalism on the physical and social urban spaces and on the daily practices and rights of the inhabitants of such cities.

The study focuses on the city of Amman, the capital of Jordan, which has recently undergone intensive planning and development processes influenced by globalization and neo-liberalism. As a result, the lived reality in Amman becomes a very difficult one, especially in the eastern parts of the city, characterized by "incomplete" and "inadequate" development of urban space and public infrastructure, social segregation and the creation of slums where the weakest population reside.

A theoretical-conceptual innovation of this study, based on Lacan's theories, argues that the real motivation of the king, the political leaders, and the decision-makers in enabling the above processes to penetrate and intervene powerfully affect the development of Amman stems from King Abdullah's "fantasy" to turn Amman into a global city alike Western models such as Paris, London and New York.

I used qualitative methods based on grounded theory and its methods, including thematic analysis. The study found that globalization processes and neo-liberal strategies dramatically change urban space and land use on the one hand, and influence the practices and place attachment among the residents of Amman on the other.

The study shows how a "Fantasmatic logic" based on Lacan's theories, which seeks to fill the urban void, can frame and influence the neo-liberal development processes. While these processes are likely to harm weak groups in society, the neo-liberal fantasy nevertheless also penetrates the weaker groups that justify it in practice.

The fantasy transforms Amman into an international, modern and global city. This portrays how the fantasmatic vision for the city is growing stronger in Amman today, in the wake of neo-liberalism, which is perceived as a global ideal that has also become a local ideal.

The findings of the study led us to a new theoretical conceptualization of the "restructuring the city" model, which expresses the complexity of the connections and interactions between three worlds that generate the urban revolution and reconstruct the physical, socioeconomic and cultural spaces of Amman: The "fantasy world" of the king and the decision-makers, the "investors ideal world" and the residents "conflimas world", all as described in the model.