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Freedom to park: post-socialist automobility in Tallinn, Estonia

Tuvikene, T; (2015) Freedom to park: post-socialist automobility in Tallinn, Estonia. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This dissertation examines a significant—yet seemingly banal and largely unstudied question of urban living: car parking. While car parking has emerged as a problem in various parts of the world throughout the twentieth century, the rapid motorisation since 1991 has made it a particularly intense topic in the former Soviet Union. By investigating the problematic of parking governing in the city of Tallinn (Estonia) the dissertation has two aims. Firstly, it draws attention to the role of materialities in urban research. It is argued that to govern means to govern in relation to materialities. Thus, the research develops the notion of material governmentality inspired by the work of Foucault and the actor-network studies on the agency of things. Secondly, the dissertation re-conceptualises the notion of ‘post-socialism’. While the term ‘postsocialism’ is often utilised for cities located in Eastern Europe it is routinely comprehended as spatially and temporally bounded. To make the term more applicable, it is revised into a concept allowing attention to various continuities and anticontinuities emerging in aspects, rather than in terms of cities and societies in general. Material governmentality and post-socialism are explored in the dissertation through three cases dealing with different facets of the parking regulations in Tallinn. Firstly, the thesis looks into the legal debates on the governing of car parking, analysing questions about the constitutionality of the state in a society wishing to move away from the totalitarian practices found under socialism. Secondly, the thesis investigates the contradictions of the ‘will to govern’ and ‘legal voids’ as they emerge in relation to materialisations and post-socialist continuities of parking standards and failing regulations of parking operators. Thirdly, the research investigates the ways in which governing procedures are affected by the continuities of the Soviet spaces using the case of a Soviet housing estate.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Freedom to park: post-socialist automobility in Tallinn, Estonia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1463838
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