Globalizing Urban Theory

Starting from anywhere, making connections: globalizing urban theory

Pages 643-657 | Received 15 Nov 2016, Accepted 09 Dec 2016, Published online: 28 Mar 2017

This paper offers a commentary on the papers in this special issue, drawing out the ways in which they bring forward tactics for comparative and global urbanism, contributing to urban theory on the basis of experiences in a range of post-socialist contexts. The paper begins with an analysis of a short story by the South African novelist, Ivan Vladislavič, which provocatively brings post-apartheid and post-socialist contexts into conversation. Inspired by this drawing of lines of connection, the potential for ex-centric and regional studies traditions of urban studies to inform global urban theorising is explored through a reading of the comparative tactics adopted by the papers in this collection – reading practices informed by area studies; thinking with the multiple processes shaping urban outcomes; contributing to the revision and invention of concepts; and extending theory. An invitation, inspired by the scholarship reflected in these papers, is extended for drawing new lines of comparison across a wider range of different urban contexts.


Eurasian Geography and Economics 

Volume 57, 2016 – Issue 4-5: Post-Socialist Cities and Urban Theory