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Debating the Neoliberal City

Debating the Neoliberal City

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  • ISBN-13: 9781472459572
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Release Date: Dec 07, 2016
  • Pages: 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.0 x 0.0 x 0.0 inches


The neoliberal city thesis emanates from Anglo-American radical geographers and political economists who draw their inspiration from Neo-Marxist literature and the French Regulation School. It has become a key structuring analytical framework in the field of urban studies. It helps to explain both the ongoing transformation of urban policies and the socio-spatial effects of these policies within cities and highlights the prominent role of cities in the new geography of capitalism. It also provides a theory of the transformation of urban policies from an orientation towards demand and the reproduction of the workforce to support for capital investment, the creation of a good business climate and the attraction of the so-called creative classes. Bringing together a team of leading scholars from across the social sciences, this book challenges the neoliberal city framework on several fronts. It argues that the definition of neo-liberalization may be hazier than it seems, because the notion is both an essential tool of political contention and an analytical instrument. There are also methodological problems due to the thesis appearing much too general, too wide and too closed, resulting in over-simplified explanations of some processes such as the rise of metropolitan governments or the importance taken by urban economic development policies or gentrification. As a structuralist and macro-level theory, the neoliberal city thesis does not appear to shed light upon micro-level processes or to identify and analyze actors’ logics and practices. Finally, the neoliberal city thesis is profoundly influenced by UK and US historical trajectories. It is nourished by the traumatic experiences associated with the implementation of neoliberal policies by the Reagan and Thatcher governments of the 1980s. The generalization of this experience to other contexts often leads to a kind of academic ethnocentrism. These reservations do not represent a rej

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