The Micropolitics of Criminalisation: Power, Resistance and the Amsterdam Squatting Movement

This PhD research by Deanna Dadusc [pdf here] analyses how the criminalisation of the Amsterdam squatting movement works.

The key research question addresses how criminalisation operates as a technology of government, what kind of relations of power are constituted through this processes, and how these are experienced and resisted. By paying attention to the relationship between politics, ethics and affects, the focus of this project is on the micropolitics of criminalisation and its resistances, where affects, everyday lived experiences, and embodied relations of power and resistance play a central role.
The analytical framework conceptualises power relations as heterogenous, productive and constitutive forces rather than simply repressive and oppositional ones. This enables to analyse how criminalisation works by deployment of legalistic tools and policing practices, by engendering contested moralities around private property and the uses of urban spaces and by constituting specific modes of experiencing, acting and resisting. Moreover, this perspective unfolds the complex relations between criminalisation and resistance: the focus is placed on the active and creative power of heterogenous struggles that counter relations of power by means of protests and direct actions, as much as by experimenting subversive conducts, social relations and modes of life.


This project engages with Activist-Research, aiming at producing a platform for collective reflection on how to resist criminalisation. Here resistance is not intended as an object of study, but as an epistemological perspective: namely a mode of unmasking, knowing and analysing how power operates. The empirical materials presented in the form of Intermezzi (between chapters) and Boxes (within chapters) constitute composite and collaborative process of reflection and narration.