Coercive Cities: Reflections on the Dark Side of Urban Power in the 21st Century
Journal of Urban Affairs, Autumn 2014, Forthcoming
22 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2014
Date Written: February 4, 2014
Urban theory has largely overlooked the continuing centrality of coercion in the governance of cities. The paper argues that urban governance research should take everyday coercion far more seriously in the next decade than it did in the previous two. It highlights six key research questions: what kinds of coercive power do cities have at their disposal? How is coercive power configured? Who are the agents of coercive power? What is the relationship between coercive and non-coercive power and how does it change? How legitimate, or otherwise, is coercive urban governance? And, what are the implications of enduring coercion for our understandings of urban change and its prospects. The paper concludes that a better appreciation of coercive cities is essential for an adequate understanding of urban power in the 21st century.
Keywords: urban, cities, power, coercion, coercive
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