Convenor: Professor Jenny Robinson
Unit Value: 0.5 unit Year 3 Term 2
1. To review the history and present state of comparative urbanism
2. To develop an international and comparative approach to the study of cities
3. To build basic skills of comparative research methods and analysis
The course will provide a thorough treatment of comparative urbanism, its history and current state, as well as an introduction to comparative urban methodologies. It will cover a selected range of substantive topics which have been important in comparative urban research (initially urban governance, globalisation, urban development, neoliberalism, and segregation, although these might change from year to year) in order to demonstrate and establish rigorous grounds for international comparative urban studies. The course will adopt an international approach designed to establish a process of urban theorising which is able to accommodate and respond to the diversity of urban experiences across the world.
Assessment: 2 hour exam; plus 2500 word coursework
Relationship to other courses:
The course builds on Urban Geography (GEOG2023) and is obviously a good complement to other urban courses such as the Berlin field course, and Asian Cities in a Globalising South.
The primary method of delivery will be lectures with some opportunity in the classes for smaller group discussions of reading materials and presentation of case studies. Some of this will involve opportunities to apply learning to specific comparative research problems, one of which will form the basis for the course work assignment.
Brenner, N. (2001). World City Theory, Globalization and the Comparative-Historical Method: Reflections on Janet Abu-Lughod’s Interpretation of Contemporary Urban Restructuring. Urban Affairs Review, September, pgs 124-147.
Huyssen, A. (Ed). 2008. Other Cities, Other Worlds: Urban Imaginaries in a Globalizing Age. Durham and London: Duke Univ Press.
Kantor, P. and Savitch, H.V. (2005). How to Study Comparative Urban Development Politics: A Research Note. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 29, 1: 135-151.
Newman, P. and Thornley, A. (2005). Planning World Cities: Globalization and Urban Politics. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Tilly, C. (1984). Big Structures, Large Processes, Huge Comparisons. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.