“I refer to it as throwing wads”: strategic use of multiple normative orders to manage touristification of consumption spaces in Amsterdam

Iris W. Hagemans, Bas Spierings, Jesse Weltevreden, Pieter Hooimeijer

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Abstract

As multifunctional places that combine shopping and hospitality with public space and residential functions, urban consumption spaces are sites where different normative orders surface and sometimes clash. In Amsterdam, such a clash emerged over touristification of consumption spaces, eroding place attachment for local residents and urging the city government to take action. Based on policy analysis and interviews with entrepreneurs and key informants, we demonstrate how Amsterdam’s city government is responding to this issue, using legal pluralism that exists within formal state law. Specifically, the city government combines four instruments to manage touristification of consumption spaces, targeting so-called tourist shops with the aim to drive them out of the inner city. This strategic combination of policy instruments designed on various scales and for different publics to pursue a local political goal jeopardizes entrepreneurs’ rights to legal certainty. Moreover, implicitly based on class-based tastes and distrust towards particular minority groups of entrepreneurs, this policy strategy results in institutional discrimination that has far-reaching consequences for entrepreneurs in itself, but also affects trust relations among local stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-148
JournalLegal Pluralism and Critical Social Analysis
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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