Becoming Capital: A Journey Through the Political Economic Space of Copenhagen Airport
This article investigates processes of quantification in Copenhagen Airport in order to understand the capitalisation of human mobility and more fully grasp the becoming of passenger mobilities in airports. Through combined fieldwork and abstract research this spatial enquiry lays out an ‘empirical journey’ of the surface phenomenon of airport-space and a ‘real journey’ through processes of spatial power and interests, and thereby contributes to the growing political economic research on aeromobilities.
Using the theories of relational space, body and political economy offered by David Harvey and Henri Lefebvre and the latter’s ‘homogeneity-fragmentation-hierarchization’ triad, the paper shows how human mobilities by the processes of airport-space are reduced by quantification and seized as capital. The article argues of three forms of capital: ‘efficiency-capital’, ‘consumer-capital’, and ‘experience-capital’, which are all commodity-capitals from which the airport profits. Given the strong relation between airport space and urban space the article is also relevant to address broader issues of capital, mobility control, and urban development in a capitalist economy. The article’s empirical research of the less investigated Copenhagen Airport also broadens the empirical scope of aeromobilities research.
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