The following paper deals with societal transformations and changing conditions for social control. It becomes evident that the welfare state is gradually replaced by a new controlling and punitive state. Social problems are not dealt with societal solutions anymore, responsibility is put in the hands of each individual. As a result, marginalized people are made responsible for their own situation and exclusionary practices are being legitimized. In the cities, disadvantaged groups are excluded from sybolically and economically important spaces. Their mere presence is regarded as disruptive, which is further legitimized by the feeling of a lack of safety for 'normal' users of these spaces. Conversely, such measures are being taken to make use of these spaces economically, and to improve their international competiveness. Politically, security measures are being taken, leading to a demonstration of their own power and control. By using the Wiener Karlsplatz as an example, this paper shows how these strategies are visible in Austria.