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Title: War machines of the charitable city : fundraising and the architecture of territory in Paris
Author: Franklin, Rosalind Ethelline
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 4785
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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This dissertation explores the entangled territorialities of charitable fundraising, redressing the under-theorisation of the praxis as a social construct and a transformative spatial process. It approaches fundraising from an etiological perspective, drawing on French continental theory, particularly the work of Michel Serres and of Deleuze and Guattari, as well as concepts arising from literature in relational geographies and in business studies. Unlike many scholarly accounts, which obscure the fact that this property-challenged, property-desiring practice relies on the hospitality of others in order to extract and transfer resources, this study argues that the trait of interloping is crucial to fundraising’s expansive colonisation of urban space. Seizing on the notions of minor architecture and itinerant territoriality, it thinks through fundraising’s habits, inhabitations and habitats. By doing so, it reveals a form of nomadic war machine specialised in crafting parasitic architectures that invade urban territories to constitute a territory of its own. That this state-authorised territory has become an obligatory passage point within contemporary networked societies says much about how power is forged through the intersection of political, moral-economic and socio-affective parameters. Moreover, in uncovering a hint of revanchism against the property-owning classes, this research points to the usual affective politics emerging at a time of state metamorphosis and protracted economic uncertainty. This conceptual work provides entry for an ethnographic exploration of the charitabilisation of urban life within the context of austerity in contemporary Paris. Evidence collected from interviews, participant observation, video, photography, maps, drawings and extant literature is used to illuminate fundraising’s polydimensional strategies and widespread yet minimally disruptive appropriations and expropriations. While other authors have documented the movement of fundraising in France from utter marginalisation to mainstream to strategic importance, this study traces the political and territorial machinations of the powerful Parisian network of non-profit leaders, association executives, heads of fundraising agencies, management consultants, lawyers, and government officials who lead the push for a more generous France. The continuities, tensions, and contradictions between this group’s production of space and the realities of on-the-street fundraising are explored through a series of case studies. The views presented highlight ways in which fundraisers induce and take advantage of breaches in prevailing articulations of space, time and citizen-bodies to fortify more-than-capitalist urban logics. Collectively, they render visible the temporalities, hotspots, technologies, imaginaries, schemes, and hypocrisies informing an aggressive incrementalism. The new view of Paris imparted foregrounds the enterprising, contested and geographically uneven process of cultivating the habit of ceding property, both in the sense of subjectivities and of material rights. This dissertation’s conceptual and empirical strands make it possible to apprehend how minoritarian actors become dominant. Extending the minoritarian’s right to temporally hold power and property is shown to involve continuously testing and exploiting the affordances of relations. Displayed and analysed are the contamination of ideals and the breaking of pacts within fundraising’s moral pursuit of wealth transference. Such promiscuities ought to be regarded as, this study emphasizes, a form of preparedness for the city to come.
Supervisor: Amin, Ash Sponsor: Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture ; University of Cambridge
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Philanthropy ; Fundraising ; Architecture ; Territoriality ; Spatial politics ; Gift theory ; Parasitism ; Michel Serres ; Disposession ; Spaces of enclosure ; Austerity ; Paris ; Urbanism ; Urbanisation