Volume 42  Issue 2  March 2018

In This Issue...

The political life of infrastructure is a prominent theme in this issue of IJURR. From the port infrastructure of Dubai to the role of engineers in the making of urban life, the articles highlight what Croese terms the ‘territorial and political logics’ of urbanism. But also at stake is a rethinking of some of the key conceptual frameworks of urban studies. Ziadah’s essay demonstrates how the so-called ‘free zones’ of global cities such as Dubai are undergirded by state-owned conglomerates and their careful management of repressive labor regimes. Similarly, Croese’s essay reveals how urban development projects that are saturated with the symbols and vocabularies of a footloose neoliberal urbanism are expressions of national and local power. Such insights return us to an enduring question in urban studies: what is politics? The symposium, ‘Engineering Cities, edited by Björkman and Harris, takes us behind the veneer of ‘politically innocent, technocratic … expertise’ to demonstrate how ‘the modern engineering profession has from its inception been bound up with power-infused processes of socio-spatial and material transformation’. O’Hare does something similar with the much-touted mantra of ‘community governance’, uncovering the micro-politics of such regeneration projects. His essay, along with that of Chatterton et al. on university-based urban labs, draws attention to a distinctive form, what Chatterton et al. describe as ‘place-based experiments’. The history of urban planning is filled with such experiments which are at once regimes of governmental power and active terrains of political contestation.

— Ananya Roy


Transport Infrastructure and Logistics in the Making of Dubai Inc.

Global Urban Policymaking in Africa: A View from Angola Through the Redevelopment of the Bay of Luanda

Resisting the ‘Long-Arm’ of the State? Spheres of Capture and Opportunities for Autonomy in Community Governance

Recasting Urban Governance through Leeds City Lab: Developing Alternatives to Neoliberal Urban Austerity in Co-production Laboratories


Engineering Cities: Mediating Materialities, Infrastructural Imaginaries and Shifting Regimes of Urban Expertise

Urban Infrastructure, Imagination and Politics: from the Networked Metropolis to the Smart City

The Engineer and The Plumber: Mediating Mumbai’s Conflicting Infrastructural Imaginaries

Engineering Formality: Flyover and Skywalk Construction in Mumbai

Conduct of Conduits: Engineering, Desire and Government through the Enclosure and Exposure of Urban Water

Politics of The Ring: Limits to Public Participation in Engineering Practice

Book Reviews

Julie-Anne Boudreau 2017: Global Urban Politics. Cambridge: Polity Press

Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift 2017: Seeing Like a City. Cambridge and Malden, MA: Polity Press

Alistair Cole and Renaud Payre (eds.) 2016: Cities as Political Objects: Historical Evolution, Analytical Categorisations and Institutional Challenges of Metropolitanisation. Cheltenham and Northampton: Edward Elgar

Christopher Mele 2017: Race and the Politics of Deception: The Making of an American City. New York: New York University Press

James DeFilippis (ed.) 2016: Urban Policy in the Time of Obama. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press

John Mollenkopf and Manuel Pastor (eds.) 2016: Unsettled Americans: Metropolitan Context and Civic Leadership for Immigrant Integration. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press

John Krinsky and Maud Simonet 2017: Who Cleans the Park? Public Work and Urban Governance in New York City. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press

Susan Owens 2015: Knowledge, Policy, and Expertise: The UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution 1970–2011. Oxford: Oxford University Press