Municipal Statecraft For The Smart City: Retooling The Smart Entrepreneurial City?

Publication Name

Environment and Planning A


Urban scholarship has begun to trouble the neat alignment of smart city governance with urban entrepreneurialism. Starting from the proposition that states remain central in smart city governance and that unfolding the smart city involves crafting new performances of the state, this paper revisits evolving theorisations of urban governance through the lens of urban entrepreneurialism to examine how municipal state roles and practices are being refashioned and reoriented. Utilising empirical research on smart city governance across Australia's two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, we identify and tease out the active roles and the constitutive and experimental practices of entrepreneurial municipal statecraft involved in smart city governance. We frame these as ‘extrospective’ or ‘beyond-the-state’ in which new forms of partnerships are forged, and ‘introspective’ in which the dispositions, capabilities and competences of the municipal state itself are reformed. The paper enriches entrepreneurial accounts of smart cities and the situated and contextually-articulated agenda pursued in the name of governing ‘the smart city’. It highlights plural municipal state agenda and the reworking of practices and performances of the municipal state that these entail. It remains imperative, the paper concludes, to attend critically to the ways that smart co-constitutes the state in unpredictable ways.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



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