New State Spaces: Urban Governance and the Rescaling of Statehood

New State Spaces: Urban Governance and the Rescaling of Statehood

Neil Brenner

Language: English

Pages: 372

ISBN: 0199270066

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In this synthetic, interdisciplinary work, Neil Brenner develops a new interpretation of the transformation of statehood under contemporary globalizing capitalism. Whereas most analysts of the emergent, post-Westphalian world order have focused on supranational and national institutional realignments, New State Spaces shows that strategic subnational spaces, such as cities and city-regions, represent essential arenas in which states are being transformed. Brenner traces the transformation of urban governance in western Europe during the last four decades and, on this basis, argues that inherited geographies of state power are being fundamentally rescaled. Through a combination of theory construction, historical analysis and cross-national case studies of urban policy change, New State Spaces provides an innovative analysis of the new formations of state power that are currently emerging.

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of state spatiality has become apparent across western Europe since the crisis of North Atlantic Fordism, even in the midst of otherwise persistently diverse institutional frameworks and regulatory geographies. One of the central tasks of this study is to present such evidence in a synthetic, yet appropriately detailed, form and to explicate its ramifications for the interpretation of contemporary statehood. The methodological approach deployed here can be further clarified by distinguishing

national jurisdictional boundaries. With the possible exception of small-scale city-states, most state apparatuses exhibit a significant degree of internal territorial differentiation insofar as they are subdivided among multiple administrative tiers that are allotted specific regulatory tasks (Painter and Goodwin 1995). Within modern national states, this internal territorial differentiation has entailed the establishment of intergovernmental hierarchies and place- and region-specific

targeting of local and regional spaces for economic (re)development strategies during the last two decades has not occurred within a fixed institutional framework, but has been enabled by, and has in turn accelerated, a fundamental transformation of state scalar configurations. The long-entrenched primacy of the national scale of political-economic regulation has been destabilized as new scalar hierarchies of state institutional organization and state regulatory activity have been forged. Within

France (Brittany, Fos), and Italy (Taranto)—albeit with varying Box 4.4. Intellectual foundations: regional economic theory and the logic of spatial Keynesianism Sources: Chisholm 1990; Friedmann and Weaver 1984. One of the conceptual foundations of postwar redistributive regional policies was the notion that intra-national territorial inequalities—as expressed through the polarization of investment, employment, and per capita income levels across the national territory—were detrimental to

production within each national territory. Franc¸ois Perroux’s (1955, 1950) theory of ‘growth poles’ was likewise an influential basis for postwar regional policies. Perroux’s work focused on the role of the ‘propulsive industry’ as the stimulus for further industrial development within a broader matrix of inter-firm relations. Subsequently, in part through the work of Jacques Boudeville, Perroux’s ageographical conception of ‘poles’ was applied to the analysis of ‘growth centers’ or

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