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Urbanizing the nation-state? Notes on the geopolitical growth of cities and city-regions

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This article suggests that the developments during the past few decades indicate a qualitative shift in the city/state relation, and conceptualizes this shift as the geopolitical growth of cities and city-regions. Originally a state-orchestrated process, today this is manifested in the attempts of major cities and city-regions, in particular, to demand a stronger national and international political role even as claims are made for urban separatism. This process is connected to a geopolitical reasoning of the heightened role of cities in inter-state competition during the age of post-Fordist capitalism. Furthermore, the geopolitical growth of cities and city-regions is partly constituted in academic theories and expert knowledges that combine certain type of urbanism, economic growth, and political success, and which in so doing destabilize state-centered geopolitical imaginations.
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Keywords: Geopolitics; cities; city-regions; spatial transformation; the state

Document Type: Discussion

Affiliations: Department of Geosciences and Geography, Institute of Urban and Regional Studies, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: October 21, 2018

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