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Barcelona as imagined community: Pasqual Maragall’s spaces of engagement

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This paper looks at how cities can function in much the same way as nations in the construction of political projects. Taking Pasqual Maragall’s mobilization of Barcelona during his period as mayor of the city (1982–97) as an example, it explores how locally dependent politicians attempt to exploit ‘spaces of engagement’ (Cox 1998) to escape from the territorial and scalar limitations which city councils have to operate within. It argues that mayors can embody cities, and explores how Maragall located himself within a set of performatively, discursively and institutionally constructed visions of Barcelona embedded in wider economic, political and cultural spaces.

Keywords: Barcelona; Catalonia; imagined community; mayoral politics

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Southampton

Publication date: September 1, 2001


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