From Walls to Membranes: Fortress Polis and the Governance of urban Space in 2Ist Century Britain

Bottomley, Anne (2007) From Walls to Membranes: Fortress Polis and the Governance of urban Space in 2Ist Century Britain. Law and Critique, 18 (2). pp. 171-206. ISSN 0957-8536. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Drawing on the work of Paul Virilio, this paper addresses changes in the architectural and legal topography of the urban landscape through an examination of regulatory patterns, which increasingly intensify governance through, and as, ‘control’. Such regulation is ambivalent in that it cuts across many traditionally discrete regimes of power melding them into new forms with new effects; as a consequence it is no longer sufficient to think in terms of such distinctions as private/public, civil/criminal, and so on. This paper argues that a concern with patterns of enclosure and privatisation in our urban centres must now be placed within the context of changes in architectural practice and technology, which the authors term ‘open architecture’, and the embedding of governance through partnership, which give particular emphasis to the use of dematerialised and diffused modes of control. The paper utilises Virilio’s history and image of the fortress, which he tracks from a material form to a dematerialised form, to envisage these developments and to provide the foundation for an understanding of the importance of the development of practices of surveillance into, what the authors term, ‘total registration’ as a feature and function of governance through ‘control’.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: architecture - control - gating - malls - movement - public space - surveillance - total registration - urban - war
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School
Depositing User: A. Davies
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 19:20
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:05
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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