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28 Jun 2016

9th Festival of Geopolitics Grenoble 2017 : Call for Contributions

Festival de Géopolitique de Grenoble Ecole de Management

The 9th Grenoble Festival of Geopolitics brings together many of those interested in geopolitics including teachers and researchers as well as company managers, armed forces, senior civil servants, students, artists, think tanks, citizens… in order to combine intellectual analysis with practical applications.

The 9th edition will be from march 8th to 11th 2017 . The theme will be: The power of cities

Deadline to submit : 4 septembre 2016

Our modern cities are the reflection of humanity's contemporary stakes. According to the UNO, there is a continuous growth of urban areas and half the world's population is now urbanized. Few Cities have reached tremendous sizes. They concentrate networks, of economic and (often) political powers, wealth, culture and employment. Some have become true world cities, fully playing their part in world debates (City of Westminster-London, New-York, Shanghai), while others are true modern city-states (i.e. Singapore). Many are competing with each other and can even have an autonomous diplomacy. Some cities are at the heart of strategic stakes (Hong Kong, Kaliningrad), or are considered as a symbol (Jerusalem, Paris, Sochi, Beijing…), even though they now belong to history (Palmyra…).

Is this structural evolution creating an in depth change of our societies, with the resulting risks and disorders? From City to metropolis, they bring important changes around them. They are more than ever centers controlling their rural surroundings necessary to their supplies and growth. This situation forces us to revisit the questions around land management, networks organization and people's mobility. With the changing pattern of modern conflicts, they could become the new battle fields.

Greedy consumers will be a crucial factor for future environmental changes and technological development (green and smart cities). Considering this situation, can they induce, among other contradictions, a counterutopia of nature as well as urban utopias?

Built and designed mainly by their more wealthy inhabitants, they also produce poverty, inequalities, pollution, uprooted populations, and violence. They are so naturally the spots for social and political demands and protest movements which use their symbolic potential. The current demonstrations in place de la République in Paris (Nuit debout movement), or on Tahrir place in Cairo, or on Gezi Square in Istanbul are good examples.

For all those reasons, we wish in this 9th edition of the festival de géopolitique to address the most important stakes of the worldwide trend to urbanization, its dynamics on multiple scales, and the ways these urban areas can figure out their future, and the possible limits of the phenomenon.

Isabelle Sauret