Posts Tagged 'power'

The City and the City, by China Miéville

Through Tyador Borlu, a police Inspector conducting a murder investigation in decaying Beszel and wealthy Ul Qoma, two Eastern European cities inhabiting the same space, Miéville explores the extent to which borders determine the lives of ordinary people. The best scenes describe Borlu experiencing the architecture, culture and people he has always lived with but that he has learned to ‘unsee’ since birth; scenes during which the reader shares in the sense of unease and shock. This is a gripping crime novel that develops pace and intrigue although in terms of narrative and analysis, the concluding pages are slightly disappointing. MM

Pan; 2010, 373 pages

City: Cities for people, not for profit

This special issue of City investigates the theory and practice of resisting commodification in urban communities. The case studies offer a fascinating insight into struggles for justice in the city and include a diverse range of examples across the Europe, the US and elsewhere. The theoretical contributions are less impressive, though Slaters’ brilliant and surgical dismantling of gentrifying approaches to ‘regeneration’ provides a notable exception. Otherwise the specific modalities of urban power are not persuasively defined as autonomous from power operations in capitalist society as a whole whilst the strategic outlook eschews the working class without presenting a viable alternative. AB

Special Issue; Volume 13/Numbers 2-3/June-September 2009

Routledge; 2009; 210 pages


Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers. George Orwell

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