Handbook of Urban Geography
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Handbook of Urban Geography

Edited by Tim Schwanen and Ronald van Kempen

This collection brings together the latest thinking in urban geography. It provides a comprehensive overview of topical issues and draws on experiences from across the world. Chapters have been prepared by leading researchers in the field and cover themes as diverse as urban economies, inequalities and diversity, conflicts and politics, ecology and sustainability, and information technologies. The Handbook offers a valuable resource for students and researchers interested in cities and the urban in geography and across the wider social sciences.
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Chapter 4: Urban cosmopolitics

Anders Blok and Ignacio Farías

Abstract

While the notion of ‘assemblage’ has become a productive imaginary for rethinking cities and urban geographies, what this imaginary might imply for urban politics, including for the politics of urban studies itself, has often seemed less than obvious. In this chapter, drawing on recent contributions that extends assemblage urbanism, we stipulate the contours of an affirmative re-theorization of the urban political along the lines of what Bruno Latour (with Isabelle Stengers) dub ‘cosmopolitics’. A cosmopolitical approach to the city, we argue, focuses on the multiple forces and assemblages that constitute urban common worlds, and on the conflicts and compromises that arise among different ways of problematizing and composing forms and limits of human-nonhuman co-habitation. After specifying three cosmopolitical configurations of agencements, assemblies and atmospheres, we end by exemplifying the programmes' relevance in a world of trans-local ecological crises and the concomitant search for less destructive forms of urban worldliness.

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