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In the wake of both post-colonial critiques of urban studies and the emerging propositions of “planetary urbanization” there is a need to revisit theories of urban politics. During this evening, Jennifer Robinson will present her vision for urban theorisations which emerge from and speak to the diversity of urban experiences across the world.

Detail Summary
Date 16 October 2019
Time 20:00 -22:00
London City

As urban forms globally are becoming fragmented and extended across often vast areas, earlier theoretical analyses of urban politics focussed closely on the municipal institutions and configurations of actors in a North American idiom are increasingly redundant. Attention now needs to be directed to a range of transnational actors and practices, material and financial flows which are key drivers of urban development. Additionally, with rapid urban growth and extending urban territories, new political territorialisations also come into view which opens the scope for more comparative insights across cities. Within this context, (what) can European cities contribute to new conceptualisations of urban politics? The talk will draw on detailed research on a large-scale urban development in London, part of a wider comparative analysis including Shanghai and Johannesburg, to propose ways in which the politics of urban development in Europe might be conceptualized in relation to a wider urban world.

Justus Uitermark and Virginie Mamadouh will reflect and react on Jennifer Robinson’s lecture. The evening will be curated by Richard Ronald.


Jennifer Robinson is professor of Geography at University College London. Currently she focuses on developing a postcolonial critique of urban studies. Her book Ordinary Cities (2006) looks at how the interplay between urban modernity and development frames a conceptual and practical divide between "Western" and "Third World" cities. Previously she has researched the relationship between power and space, specifically in cities and mostly in relation to South African politics.

Justus Uitermark is professor of Urban Geography at the University of Amsterdam (with a focus on Urbanization and Urban Social Change). He is both a distinguished urban geographer and a renowned urban sociologist, two distinct fields of study that complement, inform and inspire each other.

Virginie Mamadouh: associate professor of Political and Cultural Geography at the University of Amsterdam. She studies the political and cultural aspects of European geopolitics and integration at multiple scale levels.

Richard Ronald: is professor of Housing, Society and Space in the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development and at the Centre for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He has published widely on housing in relation to social, economic and urban transformations in Europe and Pacific Asia.