Comparative urban politics and the question of scale

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20 Scopus citations


Critics of US theories of urban politics have drawn attention to the 'localist' nature of growth coalition and urban regime frameworks, arguing that they focus parochially on the urban scale and thereby neglect economic and political forces and processes of wider extent. Explicit attention to questions of scale raises the prospect of a more robust urban theory, capable of adapting to a range of different national contexts. However, these more recent arguments remain susceptible to a 'scalar trap' in which discussion pivots on the relative significance of different scales or 'levels' in determining the nature and form of urban politics. In their place, the paper argues for an alternative approach that encompasses a networked concept of scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-215
Number of pages15
JournalSpace and Polity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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