Territorial Destigmatization In An Era Of Policy Schizophrenia


While territorial destigmatization has long been central to urban policies, academic interest is only very recent. Using the figure of the triangle, we outline an analytical approach to studying territorial destigmatization, connecting territory, destigmatization and institutions. By building on open‐ended structured interviews with 47 project managers from 40 stigmatized housing estates in Denmark, we shed light on territorial destigmatization work in practice. The accounts of the project managers allow us to make explicit the implicit logics—doxas—that inform the fuzzy logic of practice in territorial destigmatization work. We identify four such generative institutional logics which, brought together, constitute a regime of territorial destigmatization. These logics underpin the contemporary policy schizophrenia that simultaneously promotes territorial destigmatization at the local level and the production of territorial stigmatization at the national level. This illuminates the efforts to deal with the persistence of territorial stigma, implying that the Sisyphean character of these efforts are not unforeseen policy consequences of dealing with a ‘wicked problem’, but integral to the political economy of the contemporary neoliberal governance of advanced urban marginality.