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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mobile Urbanism: Cities and Policymaking in the Global Age Edited by Eugene McCann and Kevin Ward

  • Author(s): Montero, Sergio
  • et al.

In Mobile Urbanism, McCann and Ward have compiled a variety of high-quality articles by prominent scholars that examine urban policy circulations from a critical human geography perspective. In contrast to the burgeoning and more orthodox “policy diffusion” and “policy transfer” literature in political science and sociology, often based on assumptions of rational policy diffusion among nation-states, the authors of Mobile Urbanism build on the emerging interdisciplinary “policy mobility” approach that explores policy formation, transformation, and mobilization as a politicized, power-laden and socially constructed process that can happen at different government scales (Peck and Theodore 2010). Drawing from David Harvey’s (1989) fixity/mobility dichotomy and Doreen Massey’s (1991) idea of “global sense of place,” and looking specifically at urban policy mobilities, McCann and Ward advance an original theoretical framework to study cities in relational and territorial terms by focusing on how local policy is constituted by both connections to other places and local ‘political’ contestations. Their work contributes to a newly emerging scholarship in city planning which looks at the circulation of planning ideas, expertise, and knowledge (Healey and Upton 2010).

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