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Urban Political Geographies

Urban Political Geographies
A Global Perspective

November 2011 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

How can we think about the urban within a political and geographical framework? This compelling new textbook scrutinizes urban politics through a theoretical and empirical lens to provide readers with a clear understanding of the relationship between political, spatial and economic issues on the urban environment.

Taking a truly global analysis, the book uses international comparative case studies from cities across the world including London, Beijing, Austin, and Vancouver. It draws on ideas and theories from human geography, politics, sociology, economics, and development.

Engaging in style and thorough in its coverage of the key issues, the book is essential reading for students and scholars looking for a book that deals with contemporary urban debates from a political, economic and geographical perspective.

Foreword: The Athenian Symptom by Ola Söderström

Foreword: The Nine Lives of Neoliberalism by Jamie Peck

Foreword: Politics Between the Lines by AbdouMaliq Simone

Globalization and the Urban Experience

The Triad of Urban Politics

Overview of the Book's Structure

Urban Development and the Politics of Representation
Introduction: towards a political economy of representation

Governing the image of the city

From Fordism to post-Fordism: reinventing cities in a context of economic transition

Postmodernizing the capitalist city

Celebrating the global city

The environmentalization of the urban experience

Concluding reflections: the Eurocentrism of urban scholarship

Making Culture Work: The Rise of the Creative City
Introduction: urban development in a knowledge-based capitalism

Creative cities: economies of diversity and discursive strategies in North America

Governmentalizing the cultural city in Europe and Asia

Conclusion: culture beyond representation

Urban Neoliberalism: Ascent and Crisis
Introduction: the irresistible rise of neoliberalism

At the origins of neoliberalism: the urban question in the 1970s

The 'new urban politics'

The practice of urban neoliberalism

Neoliberalizing urban economic spaces

The expected unforeseen: the housing bubble and the global recession

Urban Geopolitics: Legitimate Violence, Terrorism and Militarization
Introduction: the governmentalization of the urban experience

The politics of fear

From fear to communitarian self-defence

The use of force as a threat: terrorism, urban marginality and the politics of pre-emption

Cities at war/the war against cities

Conclusions: the visible and the invisible in urban geopolitics

Urban Justice: Struggles and Movements
Introduction: the ethical turn in democratic politics

Social justice in question: equality, recognition, domination

Rights to the city

Justice movements: limits and potentialities

Justice, globalization and the environment

Conclusion: the encounter between institutionalist and Marxist perspectives

Urban Citizenship: Insurgencies and the Politics of Presence
Introduction: the crisis of national citizenship

The promises of urban citizenship

The globalization of migration and the multiple geographies of belonging

Dissidence or normalization: the quandaries of sexual citizenship

Conclusion: the 'common place' of citizenship

Conclusion: Beyond Post-Neoliberal Melancholia


This is an ambitious but fairly comprehensive overview of contemporary urban politics. Its value lies in its use of illustrations from a range of countries, both in the 'Global North' and the 'Global South'. It is a good introductory text to the subject, especially for postgraduate students with an interest in contemporary cities from around the world.

Professor Julio Davila
Dvpt Planning Unit, University College London
May 22, 2013

a most interesting nexus explored in a theoretically novel way

Mr Richard Kotter
Dept of Geography, Northumbria University
July 3, 2012

Interesting and unique scientific perspective. New insights into the theory. Offering good prospects for understanding global urban up-to-date praxis. Best for urban political studies and supplementary for urban economic studies. Advanced level of knowledge required. Might challenge some of students thus offfers supplemental value.

Dr Artur Ochojski
Strategic and Regional Studies, University of Economics in Katowice
March 12, 2012

Sample Materials & Chapters


Ugo Rossi

Ugo Rossi is Professor of Economic and Political Geography at the Gran Sasso Science Institute university in L'Aquila, Italy More About Author

Alberto Vanolo

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ISBN: 9780857028846

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