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Scientific article
English

‘We do have space in Lausanne. We have a large cemetery': the non-controversy of a non-existent Muslim burial ground

Published inSocial & cultural geography, vol. 14, no. 4, p. 428-445
Publication date2013
Abstract

In the context of the administration of spaces assigned by municipalities for the burial of the dead, this article provides a critical analysis of the techniques for the governance of political collectives of citizens implemented by public authorities. More broadly, this article shows how funerary practices (i.e. the social practices surrounding death—the rituals, the legislation, etc.) can be used to develop a critical reading of the social relations that structure the social production of space. To this end, the authors use the conceptual tools provided by critical legal geography to explore the controversy surrounding the development of a ‘carré confessionnel' (denominational area) within the Bois-de-Vaux Cemetery in Lausanne, Switzerland. Here, a focus on the techniques that allow ‘nomosphere' technicians to convene a subset of the citizens within the public space reveals the administration of cemeteries as a means of governance, a method for mobilising bodies and a paradoxical means of managing flux.

Keywords
  • Death
  • Funerary practices
  • Cemetery
  • Citizenship
  • Governmentality
  • Urban governance
Citation (ISO format)
MATTHEY, Laurent, FELLI, Romain, MAGER, Christophe. ‘We do have space in Lausanne. We have a large cemetery”: the non-controversy of a non-existent Muslim burial ground. In: Social & cultural geography, 2013, vol. 14, n° 4, p. 428–445. doi: 10.1080/14649365.2013.790991
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ISSN of the journal1464-9365
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