Skip to content

panel's content

Panel 36. Powerful encounters between peripheries and centers


  • Katrin Grossmann, Professor, katrin.grossmann@fh-erfurt.deForschungskollektiv Peripherie und Zentrum (FPZ) @ University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, contact:


The session invites to a critical examination of the dichotomy “center-periphery”, focusing specifically on socio-spatial results as well as powerful practices that contribute to – or question – its (re)construction. It seems apparent that the dichotomy of peripheries and centers goes far beyond “Superstar cities and left-behind places” (Kemeny and Storper 2020) and proves to be far more complex. For a start, peripheries are not a geographical location. Literature on peripheralization rather emphasizes the production of peripherality of people as well as places through powerful political as well as discursive practices of hegemonic actors. Furthermore, peripheries are sometimes margins that can have their location right within centers, e.g. marginalized districts in metropolises, homelessness in the financial district. In addition, peripheries and their actors may become sorts of (new) centers through establishing anti-hegemonic communities aiming at political power by using opportunity structures of what has lately been termed “left-behind-places”. Finally, while peripheries may well depend on central decisions and resources, that by no means implies that their places and actors are powerless. Different authoritarian movements in today’s Europe as well as nationalistic political structures and practices have their hotspot in such peripheries and put pressure on political centers. For this reason it might be helpful to differentiate in encounters between actors with “power over” and “power to” (as Kühn et al. 2016 propose). Our session invites to generally broaden the perspective on the supposedly clear dichotomy “center-periphery” an invites contributions in the same vain that approach it from an either theoretical and conceptual or empirical or methodological prospects.

Centro de Estudios de Conflicto y Cohesión Social.

Diagonal Paraguay 257,
Torre 26, Oficina 1504
Santiago – RM

Los Navegantes 1963
Providencia – RM