• Authoritarian Governmentality through the Global City: Contradictions in the Political Ecology of Historical Capitalism

    John Welsh (see profile)
    World-Ecology Research Network
    Political geography, Economics, Urban geography, Sociology, Urban, Ecology, Politics and government--Citizen participation
    Item Type:
    Geotechnics, World-Cities Archipelago, World-System, Political Oligarchy, Political economy, Urban sociology, World ecology, Governmentality
    Permanent URL:
    Over 30 years of strategic reconfiguration, Global Cities have proven themselves productive of metropolitan oligarchies of various hues that dominate the territories of their respective states. Set against the ‘ecological contradictions’ of historical capitalism, the article presents the Global City formation as a historically particular postdisciplinary technique in the capitalist world-system bound into the ecological contradictions of that system entering into a period of chronic crisis in the twenty-first century. This idiomatic technique is conceptualised in geo-historical terms as a distinct ‘Geotechnic’ modulation of control, through which the Global City is constituted as a geo-machinic assemblage in the historical technics of capitalist civilisation. Through a critical human geography, marxist political economy, and post-structuralist governmetnality studies, the adequacy of the Global Cities research agenda is challenged, and the emerging role of the World-City Archipelago in historical capitalism explored. In a constructive critique of Wolfgang Streeck’s ‘end of capitalism’ thesis, the aim is to present the ‘geotechnic city’ as an emergent modality of global discipline in historical capitalism, whereby the latter’s strategic contradictions are contained, resolved, displaced, sublated through a particular genre of spatio-temporal fix, and the future of the capitalist totality is secured through a new political idiom of metropolitan oligarchy.
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago
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