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Mayors and urban governance: discursive power, identity and local politics

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This article combines political and economic geographies with social and cultural theory by reviewing structural and actor-centred approaches to urban governance alongside work on identity, community, masculinity and ‘rights to the city’. The article seeks to bring these literatures into dialogue via an analysis of mayoral politics, presenting empirical research from a UK city in order to highlight the influence of class, sexuality and racism on urban politics. It shows how theoretical and empirical engagement with unequal social relations and their discursive construction through cultural forms and practices offers fruitful avenues for geographical understanding of territorial and relational urban governance.

Keywords: alcaldes; clase; class; classe; discursive power; gobierno urbano; gouvernance urbaine; maires; mayors; poder discursivo; pouvoir discursif; racism; racisme; racismo; sexualidad; sexuality; sexualité; urban governance

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2011.635800

Affiliations: Geography, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Arthur Lewis Building, Oxford RoadManchester,M13 9PL, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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