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The nation-state and the city: introduction to a debate

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In recent years, the urban political landscape has become infused with a potent and incendiary mixture of popular-democratic, anti-globalisation, and separatist rhetoric. One central process driving this has been the problematic relations between the nation-state and the city. This Debates and Interventions forum aims to prompt a debate about where the city should be situated intellectually in respect of the nation-state. Four questions are addressed: (1) How do contemporary processes of urban development reflect changing national geopolitical priorities? (2) To what extent are struggles around immigration, citizenship and recognition conducted within cities rather than around the nation-state? (3) To what degree does the city (as e.g. a physical form, social environment or discourse) help to mobilise, propel and/or contest this new urban politics? And (4) Is the concept of a “post-national” global order appropriate for understanding the city and urban politics today?
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Keywords: Urban populism; democracy; geopolitics; nation-state; urban-rural

Document Type: Discussion

Affiliations: 1: Geography, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Hull, UK 2: Department of Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Publication date: October 21, 2018

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