SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Cities in Contexts of Power and Counterpower: A Global Perspective

Professor Emeritus Göran Therborn (University of Cambridge)

Date: 23 January 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 23 January 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: DLT

Type of Event: Seminar

Missing in the currently predominant literature on cities  is a perspective of cities in contexts of power and politics, of cities as part of systems of power. Instead, cities as nodes of business connectivity or as enclaves of urbane conviviality, alternatively inequality, have been in the limelight. Based on my recent book Cities of Power (2017) this presentation will focus on cities as built environments of people, shaped by different kinds of national power, by correlated different kinds of popular challenges and counter-power to national elites, and by historically moulded different ways of coping with current capitalist globalism. Empirically, a worldwide panorama of urban landscapes manifesting different patterns of power, counter-power, and power struggles  will be outlined.

Göran Therborn is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. Before Cambridge he was co-director of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, held a Chair of Sociology at Gothenburg, Sweden, and another of Political Science at Nijmegen, Netherlands. He has taught and worked in several countries of the Americas, and in Iran, Korea, and South Africa. In recent years he has mainly worked on global comparative issues, publishing Between Sex and Power: Family in the World, 1900-2000 (2004), The World. A Beginner’s Guide (2011), The Killing Fields of Inequality (2013), and Cities of Power (2017). He is also a public intellectual, with a lifelong commitment to human equality and to anti-imperialism. After his formal retirement, he lives in the Swedish countryside.

Organiser: Dr Feyzi Ismail

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