BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    From walls to membranes: fortress polis and the governance of urban public space in 21st century Britain

    Moore, Nathan and Bottomley, A. (2007) From walls to membranes: fortress polis and the governance of urban public space in 21st century Britain. Law and Critique 18 (2), pp. 171-206. ISSN 0957-8536.

    Full text not available from this repository.


    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
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Law School
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2019 12:53
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:49


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item