Cities and Newcomers: Regulating Neighbourhoods of Arrival in Periods of Urban Transition, 1880-1914 and 1980-2015

Project Details


COSMOPOLIS is an interdisciplinary research team focusing on the contemporary 'urban question'. It explores the processes of 'glocalisation' (globalisation and localisation) and the relationship between urbanity, society and culture. COSMOPOLIS looks at cities as a site for and an object for research & design. The interdisciplinary PhD project focuses on diachronic comparative research into modes of regulation in migrant neighbourhoods in the periods 1880-1914 and 1980-2015. Both periods are selected because they are characterised by an accelerated societal transformations, which tend to entail momentous changes in migration patterns, and create new fields of tension and conflict, which together pose fundamental challenges to the existing social order. This research project focuses on the modes of regulation developed to cope with these challenges. Drawing on an interdisciplinary framework the project aims to break down artificial boundaries between state-centred and migrant-centred perspectives on regulation and integration that dominate discipline-bound approaches. Insight in top-down and bottom-up regulation mechanisms will be gained via quantitative and qualitative analyses of police reports and other written sources in selected neighbourhoods in Brussels. Existing research by CRiS and HOST members has demonstrated that local police records not only document situations in which police forces intervene on their own initiative, but are very rich qualitative sources that bring into view a much broader range of conflicts and conflict mediation in which police intervention is only one of many modes of regulation. The spatial level of analysis proposed in this project is that of urban neighbourhoods, more specifically the 'neighbourhoods of arrival'. Neighbourhoods of arrival are neighbourhoods which are heavily affected by the influx of large numbers of newcomers, and will be selected using quantitative data such as censuses, population registers and immigration records.
Effective start/end date1/04/1331/03/18

Flemish discipline codes

  • Public history


  • history