This article explores the operation of homeless encampments as a part of governance by highlighting the role of affective atmospheres. The COVID-19 pandemic and the imposition of lockdowns have seen the introduction of unprecedented measures into homelessness governance in Czech cities. Some have set up temporary homeless encampments as a response to the declaration of the state of emergency. Relying on interviews and observations, this article reveals that such measures in cities differed significantly in both character and outcomes. Based on a repeated instances comparison of the socio-material and affective entanglements of operating two emergency encampments – one in the regional city of Pilsen and the other in the capital city of Prague – the article argues that affective atmospheres play a vital role in their practical operations and perceived outcomes. While no simple dichotomy is implied, in Pilsen, order was implemented through a surveillance logic that instigated conflicts and created an atmosphere of frustration, while in Prague, the benevolence and mutuality of people in the camp led to a relaxed atmosphere. The article introduces the notion of ‘governed by atmospheres’ and argues that it opens space for a more complex and nuanced examination of the unintended outcomes of particular policies and politics in homelessness governance.
Vašát, Petr, Jan Váně. 2023. „Governed by atmospheres: Affect, materiality and everyday benevolence in homeless encampments during the COVID-19 pandemic.“ Urban Studies 60 (12): 2384–2399. Dostupné z: https://doi.org/10.1177/00420980221149.