The politics of urban assemblages

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In this short response I would like to address some of the criticisms made by Neil Brenner, David Madden and David Wachsmuth (2011) to the programme of urban studies presented in the volume Urban Assemblages: How Actor-Network Theory Changes Urban Studies (Farías and Bender, 2009). I will do this by addressing some crucial differences between this approach and the project of critical urban studies, which, as Brenner et al. noted, is not thoroughly discussed in the aforementioned volume. I think there are four fundamental matters to be discussed: the style of cognitive engagement (inquiries or critique), the definitions of the object of study (cities or capitalism), the underlying conceptions of the social (assemblages or structures) and the envisaged political projects (democratization or revolution). Obviously these pairs of concepts don't represent clear-cut distinctions. They do, however, signalize differences of emphasis making up the politics of urban assemblages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-374
Number of pages10
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • actor-network theory
  • crictique
  • inquiry
  • pragmatism
  • urban assemblages


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