CfP, Cities in the Era of Globalisation: International Municipalism and the Right to the City (30.11.2018)

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Call for Papers
November 30, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Geography, Human Rights, Political Science, Sociology, Urban History / Studies

Dear Colleagues,

Please see below for a call for papers for the forthcoming issue of the international relations journal Revista CIDOB d´Afers Internacionals, “Cities in the Era of Globalisation: International Municipalism and the Right to the City”.

The issue will be edited by Raquel Rolnik (Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo) and Eva Garcia Chueca (Scientific Coordinator, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB).

The deadline for abstracts is 30 November 2018. The full call and submission guidelines can be accessed here

Please forward this email to colleagues and students who may be interested.

Many thanks!

We live in the era of cities: over half of the world's population lives in cities and predictions suggest this trend will continue to grow over coming decades. We also live in the era of globalisation: today’s world is irrevocably interconnected and subject to interdependencies that require thinking and action beyond the conventional political and theoretical frameworks.

The phenomena of urbanisation and globalisation, far from occurring in parallel, are intimately intertwined. Urbanisation is a global phenomenon and globalisation, in turn, is strongly expressed in cities: the relocation of productive industries, the transnationalisation of the financial economy and its decisive impact on the restructuring of cities, the emergence of mobility dynamics that exceed national borders and have epicentres in cities all over the world, etc. By the same token, in cities phenomena such as environmental degradation, the uncontrolled growth of their physical environment and the proliferation of inadequate living conditions, among others, have been globalised.

In this context, it is crucial to reflect on how cities seek to respond to these problems and whether they manage to effectively influence the governance of these phenomena, given that they are expressed beyond their territorial limits. It is particularly important to analyse the impact of international municipalism and the right to the city. To what extent have the decentralisation processes encouraged since the nineties managed to strengthen the capacity of municipal governments to act within global governance systems? To what extent can the right to the city – reclaiming the social construction of the city – contribute to transforming the prevailing urban model? What are the structural limits of local governments as forces for change in this respect?

Issue 123 of Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internacionals proposes to go deeper into the configuration, impact and limits of international municipalism, especially vis à vis the right to the city. To do this, rigorous contributions are sought that provide a response to some of these issues.

Reflections may be based not only upon the experience of institutions (governments, multilateral organisations, city networks, etc.), but also on the alternatives promoted by social actors (movements, professional associations, unions, community organisations, etc.).

In addition, at a time when global politics is increasingly permeated by two trends – cities as new actors in international relations and the de-Westernisation of the global geopolitical system – this special issue also proposes using theoretical frameworks that go beyond modern/Western assumptions in order to encourage analysis that grasp the diversity of experiences and innovations existing at a global level.

The editors welcome contributions based on a transdisciplinary approach (urbanism, sociology, economics, law, geography, political sciences, anthropology, culture, international relations, etc.), which also have as cross-cutting axes the recognition and valuing of diversity, gender mainstreaming and sustainability.

Specifically, pieces of original work – empirical comparative or theoretical – on the following questions will be prioritised (non-exhaustive list):

  1. Which cities and local actors manage to play an important role in global governance and with which political proposals?
  2. To what extent does international municipalism contribute to developing intercultural dialogues between cities around the world, or on the other hand, to reproducing North-South patterns of domination?
  3. What are the limits of international municipalism as a tool with which to tackle “glocal” problems and the need to promote a change of urban model?
  4. To what extent is international municipalism contributing to advancing the right to the city as an alternative to the prevailing urban model?
  5. How is the right to the city interpreted in different geographical contexts (through which tools, practices and policies)?

Abstracts will be accepted in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Contact Info: 

Lorenzo Vidal

Investigador Programa Ciutats Globals / Researcher Global Cities Programme

CIDOB – Barcelona Centre for International Affairs