Is there a specifically urban way of acting politically? This very big question is at the heart of Julie‐Anne Boudreau’s Global Urban Politics—she asks it explicitly early on (p. 13) and then, in multiple other ways, throughout the rest of the book. The answer, of course, is yes—not only is there a ‘specifically urban way of acting politically’, but also ‘living in a world of cities … makes it necessary to rethink the political process altogether’ (p. 15).Of course ‘rethinking’ politics, as the author invites us to do, also means redefining what can be considered political. The book’s central contribution is Boudreau’s proposition for an ‘alternative’ field of urban political studies—in which she elaborates upon her conception of a politics that is caught up in movements and mobilities, rather than merely systematically. These politics are not only static, linear or rational. Rather they are created, caught up and embodied in the quickenings, encounters and capacities that are characteristic of urban life (or ‘urbanity’, as Boudreau sometimes calls this mode, after Lefebvre.) Thus, Boudreau delineates global urban politics in excess of what is usually referred to as ‘political’ —namely the ‘modern liberal idea of democratic deliberation’—and instead locates these politics
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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