Conjunctural Urbanism: Cities, Financialization, and Late Neoliberalism

Colloquium | March 8 | 4-6 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 Jamie Peck, Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography, Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia

 George C.S. Lin, Chair Professor of Geography, University of Hong Kong

 Center for Chinese Studies (CCS), Global Metropolitan Studies, Institute of East Asian Studies

The field of critical urban studies has been moved in recent years by a series of poststructural and postcolonial interventions that have raised searching questions about the explanatory status accorded to “EuroAmerican” case studies, about the reach and relevance of political-economic theory claims concerning entrepreneurial (or neoliberal) modes of regulation, and about the respective utility of planetary, provincial, and particularized formulations of the urban. Conceived as a constructive response to these debates, the presentation will make a case for a “conjunctural” approach to critical urban studies. Here, a special place is reserved for the provisional formulation and ongoing revision of “midlevel” theories—from the entrepreneurial city to austerity urbanism and financialized urban governance—abstraction and contextualization being understood to be simultaneous, dialogic practices. More concretely, conjunctural approaches must also be especially attentive to the positioning of cities in relation to uneven geographical development, spatial divisions of labor, and multiscalar relations.

These arguments are illustrated with reference to the shift from entrepreneurial urbanism to fiscal crisis in Detroit and Atlantic City.

 ccs@berkeley.edu, 510-643-6321