1st Edition

Debating the Neoliberal City

Edited By Gilles Pinson, Christelle Morel Journel Copyright 2017
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The concept of the neoliberal city has become a key structuring analytical framework in the field of urban studies. It explains both the ongoing transformation of urban policies and the socio-spatial effects of these policies within cities and highlights the prominent role of cities in the new geography of capitalism.

    Bringing together a team of leading scholars, this book challenges the neoliberal city thesis. It argues that the definition of neoliberalization may be more complex than it seems, resulting in over-simplified explanations of some processes, such as the rise of metropolitan governments or the importance given to urban economic development policies or gentrification. As a structuralist and macro-level theory, the "neoliberal city" does not shed light upon micro-level processes or identify and analyze actors’ logics and practices. Finally, the concept is profoundly influenced by the historical trajectories of the United Kingdom and the United States, and the generalization of this experience to other contexts often leads to a kind of academic ethnocentrism.

    This book argues that, on its own, the current conceptualizations of neoliberalization are insufficient. Instead, it should be analyzed alongside other transformative processes in order to provide an analytical framework to explain the variety of processes of change, motivations and justifications too easily labelled as urban neoliberalism. This unique and critical contribution will be essential reading for students and scholars alike working in Human Geography, Urban Studies, Economics, Sociology and Public Policy.

    Introduction: debating the neoliberal city thesis

    Gilles Pinson and Christelle Morel Journel

    1. Varieties of capitalism: what can learn from the study of urban firms?

    Dominique Lorrain

    2. Making up the neoliberal city: the role of urban market actors

    Charlotte Halpern and Julie Pollard

    3. Regulatory capitalism, the changing nature of urban planning, and the limits of neo-liberalism: lessons from London’s South Bank

    Mike Raco, Emma Street, and Sonia Freire Trigo

    4. The pre-histories of neoliberal urbanism in the United States

    Manuel B. Aalbers

    5. Greening the neoliberal city? Urban sustainability and selective neo-liberalization in Manchester and Nantes

    Vincent Béal

    6. Neoliberalism and the European city: reshaping the competitiveness/social cohesion nexus

    Costanzo Ranci

    7. State entrepreneurialism in urban China: a critique of the neoliberal city

    Fulong Wu

    8. State-led real estate boosterism and the breakdown of the Spanish urban model

    Marisol Garcia

    9. Neo-liberalization is not enough: French urban development corporations and the limits of neo-liberalization theories

    Gilles Pinson and Christelle Morel Journel


    Gilles Pinson is Professor of Political Science at the Sciences Po Bordeaux, Centre Emile Durkheim, France.

    Christelle Morel Journel is Senior Lecturer in Geography at the Université Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne, France.