In the Shadow of the Corporate State
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The ‘corporate’ is an increasingly powerful sovereign power, as is the case with the aviation sector in the Netherlands. Politics has become subordinate to the conditions of the economy of the aviation sector. The Dutch government - which owns 70 per cent of Schiphol - provides the aviation sector with an exceptional position with exclusions in the form of lower noise and environmental standards (nitrogen, ultra-particulate and CO2 emissions), the absence of tax levies and the exclusion of the aviation sector from the Paris Climate Agreement. By entrenching the power of Schiphol, the current industrial progress, which is responsible for the loss of biodiversity, the climate crisis and the deterioration of the living environment for residents, seems to be further reinforced. Through an ethnographic exploration of the actions of the opposition groups fighting against Schiphol's growth, I argue that this new political assemblage, also referred to as the corporate state (Kapferer, 2010), has profound implications for its citizens. This includes the rise of a new form of citizenship that I refer to as counter- citizenship, which represents the emergence of a formed group of citizens as a counter-power that challenges the givens of the corporate state by exerting external pressure and playing a significant role in setting the agenda, controlling and sanctioning powerful actors.