Publication Details

McGuirk, P. (2012). Geographies of urban politics: pathways, intersections, interventions. Geographical Research, 50 (3), 256-268.


This paper deals with urban political geographies and, most particularly, with political economy perspectives on urban politics. It offers an account that narrates what I see as influential pathways and intersections, theoretical debates, and methodological developments that have shaped contemporary urban political geographies in this vein since the 1970s, including: the 'new urban politics', intersections with postmodernism, and postcolonialism; urban neoliberalism and the contingency of urban politics; and, most recently, poststructural political economy and the notion of assemblage. This leads me to trace the implications of the shift in understanding from urban political geography to geographies of urban politics, and the growing emphasis on practice, contingency, relationality, and assemblage that accompany this shift. I conclude with reflections on new directions, new productive questions and tensions, and on the knowledge politics of how we do and might do contemporary urban political geographies.



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