Thursday, February 06, 2003

Eric just sent this out and I'm reposting it here: "I attach a copy of a set of guidelines for case study research that have been composed by me, Greg, Helga and Jamie, as promised in Trout Lake. As Helga notes, these are a bit long and involved, but hopefully better than nothing."

What is your unit of analysis?
Are you analyzing a particular place, a particular social concern, a particular activist group, a particular neoliberal concern, a particular promoter of neoliberal ideas and/or practices, or a particular “network” involving all of the above?

You should be able to show how your case relates to processes of neoliberalization.
Remember, “neoliberalism” is both a particular ideal version of capitalist logic, and a particular method of actually-existing capitalism -- both have a very recent history but the two are not exactly the same and the two are not currently universal in the global mix of capitalist ideas and forms. Part of the goal of your project should be to help analyze and map out these ideals and patterns of neoliberalism themselves.
- Does your case seek to advance, or resist, the process of neoliberalization (defined as the application of state/political power in the extension of markets, market-like systems and market disciplines)?
- How is your case affected by neoliberalization (e.g., by privatization, entrepreneurialism, shifting funding priorities, shifting organizational goals).
- What are the impacts, if any, of your case on neoliberalization?
- What have you learned about neoliberalization, and capitalism more generally?

You should be able to show how your case relates to cities and urban theories.
Cities and urban theories are constantly being transformed, challenged and revised; think about what your case has to say about the usefulness (and limits) of these theories
- Does it occur in cities, or connect cities (and if so, why is this, and is it significant for the dynamics of the case study)?
- Does it have important implications for the functioning of cities and/or urban life?
- What have you learned about cities and urban politics?

Think about connections between cities.
- Where do new ideas and initiatives originate (e.g., in which cities and why)?
- How do they move across space, and time?
- How (and where) do agents in one city draw on/learn from initiatives from other cities? By what channels does this learning take place?
- Where are they rejected, or fail?

Think comparatively:
- How might I compare my case to another one in a different geographical/social/ political/historical context?
- How do similar networks and issues operate in cities in other regional contexts? (e.g., Europe, or Asia, vs. North America). (If there are no such comparative examples in the literature, well, that’s important to know as well.)
- How does your case compare to others that are being researched by class participants?

What does your case imply for democracy and social justice?
- Don’t just describe your case, but critically analyze it.
- Do the efforts under study deserve support, or merit suspicion? You should be engaging not only in empirical observations and theoretical analysis, but also in value judgments.

Think about networks in your case study:
- What kinds of networks seem to exist (e.g., local and non-local networks, networks of networks, actor-networks, hierarchical networks)?
- How are networks being represented and thus made visible or invisible? This involves several aspects: how you as the analyst are making a network of relations between actors visible; how the actors themselves “see” (or don’t see) the networks they operate within; and whether making networks visible (or invisible) is a conscious strategy of the actors themselves as they pursue their goals.
- How do networks come about?
- Who are the main actors in the network and how do they influence the network agenda?
- Are they networks? You should ask yourself: Is there even a “network” in play in your case, or is it another kind of pattern of relations and exchanges between actors (such as a decentralized market outcome or a formal hierarchical power structure)?
- Can your study help us understand what “networks” are? How do ideal network types or idealized visions differ from really existing networks?
- How do networks relate to states, and markets?
- What constitutes, and can be included in, a network (e.g., are silent partners in a collaboration part of its network)?
- What is traveling through a network, and how? Think about, and attempt to trace, the “currency” that might flow through a network. Are the actors trading knowledge, ideas, models, commodities, capital, or even people?
- Pay attention to (dark, naughty, elite) networks that contribute to, as well as those (light, nice, cuddly, non-elite) networks that resist neoliberalization
- Pay attention to nationwide think-act tanks and networks, providing expertise to networks resisting neoliberalization.
- What are obstacles and difficulties in networks/networking?
- Are there actual or possible unanticipated negative consequences stemming from the operation of ‘good’ networks?
- What have you learned about networks? What is the benefit of “network thinking”?

Use theory to inform your case, but also let your case question the theory.
We will be covering a lot of background material on spatial and urban theory, theories of capitalism and neoliberalism, theories of social movements and social justiceand theories relating to networks. The first challenge (especially for the non-geographers in the group) is to be able to use this set of terminology, concepts, and processes to shape and analyze your own case; but the second challenge is to see what your case has to say about those theories in the first place.

Examine your case study from the outside as well as the inside.
- What did your case study teach you about broader issues (e.g., networks, social movements, cities, neoliberalization)?
- What can you learn from stepping outside your network and examining it critically, rather than just tracing how it works (e.g., don’t just narrate how a network is represented in the Internet, but try and read that representation critically—what lies behind it?)

Consider collaborative research.
Think broadly about this -- not just people working on the same city or the same social justice concern or the same network, but people coming to the same conclusions about neoliberalism, social movements, urban futures, or network functioning in the first place.
- Are there others in the seminar with whom you could do a joint project of common interest?
- Are there others in the seminar with who you should be in constant touch, to your mutual benefit?
- Even if you are working on substantively different topics, are there others you might usefully compare notes with, or share elements of your background research?

How can I use the work that others have already compiled? (especially Anant and Mike)
Check through their lists of networks, articles, and web sites (posted on our web site). Scour the bibliographies and footnotes of everything you read for this course. And don’t be afraid to ask the faculty for references too.

This is a conference to be held here at UW which might fit in with several folks' research interests in urban futures and urban neoliberalization...

The European Union Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
invites faculty and graduate students to a conference April 4 & 5, 2003

National Feminisms in a Transnational Arena: The European Union and Gender Politics

Feminist movements in every European country have taken distinctive forms due to specific national political factors. Despite these differences, European feminist movements increasingly share common political terrain due to the
expansion of the powers and boundaries of the European Union.

This conference considers questions such as: How are feminist movements adapting to the opportunities and obstacles that the EU poses for their particular national political traditions?
How much does "soft law" and the "boomerang" effect from the EU on member states influence the gender politics of individual countries?
What can the EU offer feminists in relation to specific issues and by means of particular strategies?
What are the costs of trying to work in and through a system that is widely viewed as suffering a "democratic deficit"?
And how do disagreements among feminists over what policies are most in women's interests get aired, negotiated and perhaps resolved in the context of transnational work in Europe?

Note: All panels and keynotes run serially, not concurrently.

Confirmed speakers include: Laura Agustin, Lisa D. Brush, Carol
Hagemann-White, Barbara Hobson, Jacqueline Heinen, Cathryn Hoskyns,
Amy Elman, Sally Kenney, Don Kulick, Rosa Logar, Renate Klein,
Patricia Yancey Martin, Amy Mazur, Sonya Michel, Claudia Neusuess,
Joyce Outshoorn, Silke Roth, Jill Rubery, Chiara Saraceno, Dorothy Stetson,
Mieke Verloo, Angelika von Wahl, Sylvia Walby, Fiona Williams, Alison
Woodward and Katrin Zippel.

Non-UW Participants. Registration fees are $40 for students and $60 for
non-students (registration on-site is $50 and $70 respectively) and covers
ALL three meals on Friday (April 4) and Saturday (April 5).
Those coming from out of town should plan to arrive on Thursday night
since the program begins promptly at 8:30 on Friday and runs
through Saturday night.
UW faculty, Staff and Students. Registation is free. However, UW
associates must register to reserve a seat.

To register, please e-mail the EUC Project Assistant,Anne Genereux, at
Include the following information: Name, Status (Faculty, Staff, Graduate, Undergraduate),
Address, Phone Number, E-mail Address and Departmental Affiliation.
Pre-registration is available until March 31.
Registration forms and details of the schedule are available through the conference web site.

Conference website:
Further questions should be directed to the EUC Program Assistant, Anne
Genereux, at: or 608-265-8040.

Rebekah D. Pryor, Program Assistant

Center for German and European Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison
213 Ingraham Hall
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: 608/265-8032 Fax: 608/265-9541

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Here are the quick clarifications from Eric on Fordism and sunrise industries.
What are Fordism, Keynesianism? You can probably find good
discussions on the web, but briefly they both refer to a phase of
capitalism, running roughly from the late 1930s (the New Deal in the
US) to the mid 70s, during which economic policy was directed towards
managing demand in the economy. It was felt that economic crises
could be addressed by state action to stimulate demand for privately
produced commodities. This ranged from creating jobs (public works),
stimulating spending (tax breaks on mortgages; subsidies for
suburbanization to stimulate purchases of houses, cars, household
appliances), and stimulating wages (facilitating compromises between
big labor and big capital with wages indexed to seniority and
inflation). Keynes was the British economist whose theory this was
based on. Fordism (from Gramsci) refers to Henry Ford's strategy of
paying his workers more so that they would but his cars.
Post-Fordism or after-Fordism refers to the era initiated by Reagan
and Thatcher, in which it was held that the economy should (instead)
be stimulated by supply-side policies (later rechristened as
neoliberalism). These are policies which reduce the costs and
increase the profits of the private sector in the belief that this
will create jobs. Bush the younger's current tax plan is a great
example of this: stimulate the economy by placing 85% of the tax
reductions in the hands of the richest 10%.

Sunrise industries are new growth sectors (eg biotechnology), as
opposed to sunset industries (e.g., steel production in the US).

And here are the compiled questions on Urban Neoliberalism from Madison:

Discussion questions

1. Defining neoliberalism

a) Is it possible to identify the core characteristics of neoliberalism? To what extent phenomena such as conservatism or revanchism are characteristics of neoliberalism varieties? or when do they become a constitutive part of it?
b) How useful can be the neoliberalism concept both theoretically and empirically?

2. What is the scope of neoliberalism? What is its capacity for reshaping social discourses, cultural patterns, everyday life meaning? What for? Does it imply a gender or race/ethnic project/dimension? Does it become the (main) reference discourse against to which other social discourses are built?

3. Alternatives
If, as is suggested by the readings, neoliberalism differs locally is it still possible to identify a common alternative to it? To what extent its representation as monolithic and homogenous undermines the emergence of alternative projects (even within the liberal tradition)?

4. Institutional (re)building
How can we account for policies or moments in the creative destruction process that do not respond to the neoliberal agenda?
What are the contradictions and reinforcements between political structure and parallel forms of local governance?
What are the sources of the neoliberal program? Where and in what scale is its agenda defined?

Tom Hove

Why do most of these critiques of neoliberalism repeatedly insist on a radical break with the liberal tradition? For many liberals in the traditional 19th-century sense of the term, "neoliberalism" is not liberalism at all. Instead, it represents a powerful oligarchic exploitation of government welfare programs for the benefit only of the elites. If it were truly a liberal program, then it would acknowledge the ideological self-contradictions of eradicating state-imposed welfare programs for the underprivileged while increasing state-funded welfare programs for wealthy corporations and elites.

Many of us who call ourselves liberals are disgusted with Reaganite and Thatcherite economic and social policies. But conversely, we're skeptical and suspicious of paternalistic, state-enforced notions of the good.
Again, I wonder if these radical critiques of neoliberalism are misdirected when they single out the liberal political tradition as a primary source of neoliberal abuses and downright perversions of that traditions ideals.
Instead, what's more at issue is the misapplication of ideals, rather than the politically neutral ideology that provides many of these conservative misapplications with a rhetoric of public concern that masks the private abuses greedy elites and corporations are actually carrying out.
So, to put it more briefly, why do these critiques of neoliberalism tend to resist calls to reform FROM WITHIN the liberal tradition? Why don't they criticize neoliberal urban development projects by appealing to the very humane and public-minded ideals that still remain a central part of the liberal ideology?

Anna Smith
How does neoliberalism play out in the cultural sphere? Is there any value in looking at it from this angle?

Claudia Hanson Thiem

I appreciated Keil’s addition of a Foucauldian perspective on neoliberalism. That neoliberalism consists of ?technologies of power? in addition to political-economic restructurings can help explain the power and success of the neoliberal discourse, and the production of neoliberal subjects. Questions about this? One would be,can/should we incorporate this thinking into our work (e.g. how are our various resistance efforts challenging neoliberal subjectivities?)? A second question involves the utility of the ?politics of the everyday? as a concept. Is it useful?
I don?t know my Lefebvre very well, so I don?t understand what?s being described here and how it helps us understand the contests around neoliberalization.

Brenner/Theodore and Peck/Tickell provided similar ways to categorize aspects of the neoliberal offensive (neoliberalization as creative destruction, or as moments of ?roll-back? and ?roll-out?). Throughout the readings these categories are applied to specific examples of neoliberalization (Table 2 in Brenner/Theodore gives plenty
of examples). It seems to me fairly straightforward to explore these moments in concrete case studies (MacLeod an example here?). But is there space to explore urban moments that don?t fit neatly into these categories? That is, is there any interest in policies or movements that are not explicitly neoliberal in origins or reference, but yet interact with and/or respond to a neoliberal environment in some (interesting?) way? I am probing for grey areas here, I think.

Karl Maxwell Grinnell

1. Once again, we find that the prognosis for urban areas laid out by most of these authors is rather gloomy, which is not surprising given that most of them also make reference to Harvey’s 1989 article (or in one case his book, Spaces of Hope (2000).
What I found most unusual was that none of them offered any possible alternatives to alleviating these ongoing spatial injustices, etc. That being said, are there any? I breathed a sigh of relief when several of these authors acquiesced and admitted that this pattern of neoliberal governance/public policy development takes different forms across the broad spectrum of urban areas, but I was still puzzled that none of
them offered any creative solutions…do we attempt to “infiltrate from within”? Do we stage massive protests in Genoa, Seattle, etc? Also how are we to examine the various sophisticated or unsophisticated ways in which smaller urban areas attempt to adopt a neoliberalistic policy agenda for urban development and so on?

2. This one is real simple: What is a quango? It is referenced in a table in the Brenner&Theodore piece, but I have never read or heard tell of such a beast.

Dawn Biehler

1. Maybe folks worked on the issue of Neoliberalism's novel history when I was sick in bed last week, but if it's still a live topic... In looking at the MacLeod and Swyngedouw et al pieces, I again wondered, what makes this stuff new? How are these projects and policies different from things that occurred over one hundred years ago up through the 70s? I have some ideas, mostly relating to the role of the state and of globalizing processes, but I think it's still worth discussing to really precisely articulate what is distinct about it.

2. As Brenner and Theodore and Peck and Tickell discuss the embeddedness of NL in local specifics, I wondered about what's embedded in what. I expect that our tendency in this course will be subsume other relations to Capitalist relations (and this is a major question for Marxism in general), but what about those of racism, patriarchy? It seems that these, along with environmental profligacy, will intersect with K-ist relations. And MacLeod's piece might suggest, relations of revanchism (and just how tied to NL is revanchism, anyway? I agree that one is tightly implicated in the other, but is that necessarily the case)? Also, there seems to be a lot of assumptions that social movements will arise in response to NL; how will already actually-existing networks ;) respond when NL comes to town?

Maureen R. McLachlan

By the time I got to MacLeod and Swyngedouw et al, I started feeling both discouraged, but also wondering if the theories of neoliberalism and its manifestations, while important, are enough. I was frustrated because with all this talk of all the negative impacts and what happened in Glasgow or the various EU cities, no one took the time to offer alternatives. Peck and Tickell (401) state that there will be no change “until extralocal rule regimes are remade in ways that contain and challenge the frorces of marketization and commodification”, but what propositions are being made?
Swyngedouw et al discuss that there were alternatives in Dublin and London, but barely discuss what made them successful. And, can neoliberalism go hand in hand with social inclusion…can we have UDPs and social welfare?

MacLeod seems to equate neoliberalism with revanchism? Is this always the case? Are we always to view neoliberal policies as revenge on the poorer classes? Aren’t there some who support neoliberalism and have good intentions, hoping that “trickle down” will indeed occur to the benefit of all (rightly or wrongly)?

Two quick questions more: What are the prominent discourses against
neoliberalism from the disenfranchised groups?
Harvey talks about “place vs. territory”; Swyngedouw et al talk about territorial decisions. Are there distinctions that we need to make in these two works?

Todd Courtenay

A couple of comments/questions from some of the readings this week:
1. One of the nice thing characterizing political movements from the early 20th century and before is that they often took the time to construct and lay down some form of manifesto, thus outlining their main beliefs and objectives, and perceived logic and reasoning behind these tenents. The neoliberalist agenda that we are trying to describe within this class seems to inherently lack any sort of concrete and specific list of their views and why. Given this ephemeral nature, are there any key works, by academics or intellectuals, which extoll the logic and applicability of neoliberal economic and political strategies? If so, I would like to know what these are. The readings we are currently examining are insightful; however, it is one thing to read anti-neoliberalists documenting neoliberalism and another to read the work neoliberalists explaining the system.

Sean J Gutknecht

1. One of the primary characteristics of neoliberalism appears to be the imposition of market logic (perhaps more specifically, pure markets as conceived by neoclassical economists) on all areas of public policy. However, neoliberalism in practice has existed for perhaps a quarter century, while there have been markets of various forms, scales, and scopes for many centuries. What is the conception, if any, of the separation between markets and neoliberalism? Are all policy
initiatives that utilize market logic "neoliberal" as seems to be implied by many of the readings?

2. Since pure neoliberal conceptions of markets exist in theory only, and assuming there are both "neoliberal" and "non-neoliberal" conceptions of markets, in what way could we determine the difference in action on the ground?

Jesse Norris
1)If, as one article claimed, the 80's were characterized by orthodox neoliberalism, while the 90's were dominated by soft neoliberalism, what can we say about the 00's?
How might the war on terror and US military agressiveness affect the trajectory and nature of neoliberalism, and global world order (as the drug war was essential in the 90's, and the cold war before that?)
2) A lot of the articles we read seem very thin empirically, consisting of little more than an informal, broad overview of a given case, followed by ambitious, sophisticated theorization. What should we make of this kind of approach when we think about the form our research this semester should take?

Landy Sanchez

Swyngedouw et al’ article points out the democratic deficit of UDPs; to me it address the general question about the relations between the political structures (such as congress, presidential powers, or corporatist structures) and parallels forms of local governance. In the literature about unionism or welfare states reforms have been highlighted that certain political structures seems to be more favorable for the advance of the neoliberal program while others are more capable of confronting or at least diminishing the international pressures in favor of neoliberal reforms. To what extent is also possible to make such argument in the case of urban policies? In one hand, it seems that the building of parallels structures of local governance undermine the relevance of traditional (classical) power structures, or even more they can advance their neoliberalization. At the same time, local initiatives might promote social participation. I think my question is about the mutual roll-back and roll-out between existing institutions and neoliberal initiatives.

Brenda Parker

1.) What about issues of gender and race as they
relate to neoliberalism? (e.g. who propogates
neoliberalism in cities, who is affected by

2.) Most of the studies point to the neoliberal focus
on the city as spectacle and site of consumption. Yet
few discuss in what ways the demand for such
consumption has risen? Are we to follow the Marxist
logic of commodity fetishism or a complex cultural
understanding of consumption? What are patterns of
consumption in cities that help fuel neoliberalism
(and don't they spread beyond the urban elite)? How
might understanding these patterns help us understand
how to combat neoliberalism?

3.) The articles raised interesting issues about where
neoliberalism comes from versus where it is materially
manifested. Where are the primary sources of
neoliberalism? Is the city just a site of experiments
pressured by external incentives and logic or are the
origins of neoliberalism more fundamentally urban? To
what extent is urban neoliberalism non-local?

4.) What is the primary difference between the various
authors arguments about "destructive/creative"
neoliberalism and "roll-back/roll-out neoliberalism"?

Tyrone Siren
Is there more to the story of neoliberalism than Thatcher/Reagan and the "heartland" of neoliberalism (America and Europe)? I mean to say, could, for example, the Japanese management techniques that spread around the world in the 1980s have played any part in the "socialization" and "disciplining" of subjects? Could it have been another way in which "competition" became naturalized?

Monday, February 03, 2003

Questions on Urban Neoliberalism from Minnesota


1| Much (all?) of this week's reading focused on neoliberalization/neoliberalism in the metropolitan core/(de)industrialized North/1st world. (How) does neoliberalism function differently in urban areas of the 3rd world?

2| Who or what is neoliberalism disciplining? The state, capital, labor, the city, all of the above?

3| In this week's selections, neoliberalism seemed to be presented as a top_down force. Does is manifest itself/ves in more grassroots ways?


I still need clarification on definitions of neoliberalism.

First, can we only think of neoliberalism in the context of globalization? Is any market?based policy a "neoliberal" policy, or only those market?based policies that have evolved since the 80's? As early as the 1970s every chamber of commerce would come up with the cities and states with the best and worst "business climate". This
indicator was ususally directly tied to reduced taxes and other financial incentives. Would these policies be considered neoliberal, even if they happened before the massive rise of market?based policies?

Any time I see statements like "the revival of the local" I wonder, did it really go away, or have academics just re?discovered it? Again, going back in time in Minneapolis, I can remember small business incubators and the like and this was a big part of discussions around economic development. (Control Data sponsored a small business incubator right over by the metrodome). Are these approaches new, or just intensified?


1) What exactly are Fordism, Keynesianism, Fordist?Keynesian Capitalism, post Fordism, ...?

2) In the Peck and Tickell article as well as others, I appreciated that neoliberalism was portrayed as a complex and varied
process that was historically and spatially situated (rather than an "end?state" (Peck 383)). However, so what? All social and cultural systems are constantly changing and contested dynamic processes and not static things. Peck and Tickell call neoliberalism a self?actualizing, transformative thought virus. However, all succesfull ideologies are thought viruses that are self?fullfilling, oppressive, have embedded their logic and practice in institutions, and feed on the changes they make in the world (e.g. Christianity, psychiatry, and (conservatives would say) state welfarism). Beside the fact that we may hate the growth and effects of neoliberalism, what makes it so special? Theoretically, why is its ideology it so uniquely complex? Politically, what makes it any more pernicious than a hundred other evils wreaking death and destruction in the world?

Regarding the goals of this debate:

Brenner says that the goals of this volume of Antipode are to decode the problem of neoliberalism and imagine a solution. I feel that these articles have gone a long way towards decoding and identifying neoliberalism, but have been light on the side of suggesting solutions. Brenner's call for "more progressive, radical democratic reappropriations of city space (376)" is not clearly defined, but he seems to be advocating Harvey's desire for "grassroots empowerment" and "interurban linkages". I'm wondering if Jamie is disagreeing with this strategy by saying that direct local resistance is "insufficient" and that "the effectiveness of such counterstrategies will continue to be muted (401)", or if he is simply trying to push local resistance to a (presumedly more effectual) level of extralocal networks? His objectives of "remaking extralocal rule systems" and "the reform of macroinstitutional priorities" seem to me to be distinct from the idea of networks, but I'm not quite sure what these objectives would involve or how they would be achieved. These objectives sound to me like a better solution than direct local resistance, but then we have the case of Toronto, in which Keil argues that it was exactly this kind of strategy that ousted the neoliberals from office. If this is the case, we should study Toronto very carefully to see how they did it! From Keil's description, it seems the fact that the media was on the people's side was pivotal in their success.

This brings me to the other issue that I noted from the readings: Every article made some issue of the language used by proponents of neoliberalism. I was particularly struck by the language used by the Glasgow Action Chair, whose goal was "to make the city

more attractive to work in, live in and to play in (MacLeod, 611)". Compare this to Norm Coleman's opening line in a charrette lent to me by Tyler:
"Welcome to 'St. Paul on the Mississippi'. More than a document, it is a living, breathing vision to make our Capitol City a truly special place to live, work, visit and play." So who is trying to expose the propaganda of neoliberalism? How are they doing it? I remember back during the stadium debate for St. Paul in 2001, I was not educated on the intricacies of neoliberalism, and was actually taken in by the argument for "revitalizing our downtown". Fortunately NPR provided some intelligent debates and commentary on the issue and helped to straighten me out. But what are the best avenues for exposing neoliberal propaganda?


1. One question of clarification that kept troubling me as I read the articles is the idea of 'progressive regulatory settlement' that Peck and Tickell refer to. on 401. While it may be premature to anticipate an era of 'pushback neoliberalism' I wonder if we have a philosophical or ethical basis for conceptualizing such a settlement.

i. Brenner and Theodore and Peck and Tickel speak to one of our concerns last week about the window of optimism that Harvey's piece on entrepreneurial cities. If Harvey's article was written during the cusp between rollback and roll out neoliberalisms, according to Brenner and Theodore's periodization, what does it mean to say that Harvey's advocacy of interurban linkages still remains urgently relevant (p376) ten years into the rollout phase of neoliberalism. When Peck and Tickell write of the extralocal crelations and presures and disiplines, it appears that neolibleralism is not only everywhere, its forms, strategies and effects are not really the same everywhere at all times. Yet, within this, all the writers do point to some underlying framework of neoliberal logic.

ii. In such a situation does' interurban linkage' really remain relevant at all times everywhere to all projects of reappropration ? In other words, I am asking, how do we evaluate the relative strategic importance of an introverted place centered strategy against interurban networking to the project of reappropriating urban space. A related question, is are we still talking of the same 'subject'. I am assuming that Harvey's subject was labor. I am not sure the agents in the readings of the previous week were labor in the same sense.

iii. I am struck by the primacy that Peck and Tickel accord to the agency of neoliberalization, like globalization. In their view it is 'neoliberalization that is producing counter tendencies.'Yet, none of the articles that we have read this week seem to address the question of the sources of this idology and the mechanisms through which it became so dominant. To some extent Leitner and Sheppard address this question. But if an ideology has come to occupy the drivers seat, there must be several institutions and agents at work. It will be useful to think about who besides the totemic fitures of Reagan and Thatcher was busy during the 70s and 80s.

3 Did anyone else feel that Keil presents a picture of ordinary and everydayness of urbanity that is different from all the others in the collection. Does this account disagree with the implict advocacy of and networking and working at the 'scales other than the local' in the other articles ?

1) The special issue is introduced as "debates." What, if anything, do the authors of the papers find debatable about neoliberalism/neoliberalization and the city? Do the authors present different conceptions of "neoliberalization" and the "city," or are they more or less consistent? To what degree do the individual essays conceptualize the city and the
urban as processes rather than as "things" or bounded territorial spaces?

2) Peck and Tickell argue that "contemporary politics revolve around axes the very essences of which have been neoliberalized" (p. 400). What are these axes and how have their essences been neoliberalized? What are the implications of this statement for the movements of resistance that many of us will be studying? Would the other authors agree with Peck and Tickell's insistence on the necessity, for opponents of neoliberalism, to move beyond local resistance to target the "macroinstitutional" and the "extralocal" (i.e., the big picture?)?


In Brenner's article, he mentions, "neoliberalism had become the dominant political and ideological form of capitalist globalization" it seems we cannot successfully contest "actually existing neoliberalism" (as opposed to the ideology of neoliberalism) without some kind of state power. It is state policies and regulatory mechanisms, which sustain and promote neoliberalism at the urban scale. My question would then be, is a strategy
of contesting the ideology of neoliberalism thought of as a precursor to direct action against the specific policies? Would contesting both of these at the same time be useful? Or would it not be possible without a competing ideology?

In Professor Peck's article, he mentions that the hegemony of neoliberalism is not completely impervious to targeted campaigns of disruption from alternatives. But he says that the effectiveness of this is muted absent a phase_shift in the constitution of extralocal relations. I wonder if he was addressing my question, or not?

1. Peck and Tickell argue that local resistance to neoliberalization is not enough, that it is necessary to 'challenge extralocal rule systems' (401). Where and how should these extralocal systems be challenged? Don't even these extralocal rule systems have local nodes, which would seem to call for multiple local resistances, and/or translocal activism?

2. Peck and Tickell say that discourses of neoliberalism are especially compelling because they seem to have 'a self-actualizing quality' (382). I don't find this unique to neoliberalism --it seems to me that discourse, so long as we understand 'discourse' not just as language but as an ensemble of practices including language/rhetorics, always does this. (I think I'm not happy with their use of discourse because they're using a Gramscian framework via Lipietz BB & T p. 359Cbut then tossing around the notion of discourse.) A question, then, that P & T raise but do not answer fully, is how (and where, and through what channels) is neoliberal discourse produced/transmitted. They focus on policy; MacLeod mentions the media. What other channels are important? And what allows the ideology of neoliberalism (free markets, individualism, etc.) to be linked to any increased state intervention? That is, why doesn't this contradiction make neoliberalism collapse?

3. Can we extrapolate from the authors' various discussions of urban neoliberalism, most of which do NOT focus on the everyday (with the exception of Keil) to think about how neoliberalism interacts with regimes of racialization and gender, and what the impacts have been?

4. I know we're focusing on urban neoliberalization, but rural places are very much linked to cities. MN Gov. Pawlenty is talking about setting up 'free trade zones' in rural areas of MN even now. What about the diffusion of neoliberalism to small towns in rural areas?


1. Brenner and Theodore give a good explanation of factors involved in the Process of neo?liberalization of cities. By describing all the destruction of former Keynesian/Fordist national?level systems, they seem to risk glorifying the 'golden olden days' (which is tempting considering what has happened with neo?liberalization). But 20 years ago, Jane Jacobs was pointing out that the notion of "national" economies was silly, when really city-regions were the operative economic units. How do her ideas precede, support or contradict these later critiques? When pressed, even Jamie last week came up with examples of some positive effects of the new forms of governance and economics. Should we be cautious about valorizing national economies over city?level? Perhaps I'm not giving them enough credit ? I'm sure they're not naive about the nation-state. But the frame of the discussion leans that way perhaps.

2. Swyngedouw, et al, point out that there has been significant resistance to very few of the major urban development projects in the EU. Partly they say this is due to a "veil of secrecy" surrounding decision?making and the closed?circuits of participation in planning. (562) Partly also because of the project?based nature of the developments, any resistance is pushed down to 'operate through localized actions" (574) What else is keeping information on the results of these projects from spreading and creating a social movement against them? Echoing my question from last week, where's
the data and where are the traveling organizers who can help citizens in various cities when they are faced with a new spectacular(ly expensive) development?

3. Clarification: "what are sunrise industries"? (Brenner & Theodore, p364)

In their article, Brenner and Theodore higlight "the path?dependent character of neoliberal reform projects" and "the strategic role of cities in the contemporary remaking of political?economic space"; that is, the city is the site in which neoliberal policy agendas have changed with particular intensity over the last few decades through their interaction with inherited institutional and regulatory landscapes and as a result of context-specific socio-political struggles. For Brenner and Theodore (and Harvey as well) the space for radical opposition to "neoliberalization" is not open yet (p. 376). I disagree. Radical opposition to neoliberalization emerges from time to time taking different forms, diffusing more or less, and resulting in radically different outcomes. Shouldn't we complement the geography of "actually existing neoliberalism" with a more nuanced understanding of how workers and other disaffected agents shape
political-economic space?


1) I appreciate Peck and Tickell article's emphasis on nepliberalism as a political project as well as the ways in which neo-liberalism has changed to address its own failures and short comings. However, it made me think about the ways in which neo?liberal discourse is but the policy it is describing is either status quo or seemingly anti-neoliberal (I am thinking specifically about the 1996 and 2002 farm bills in which the language of freedom and competition was used but the policies amounted to more subsidies to shield farmers from the cruelties of the market. I'm sure there are lots more examples). How do we integrate this use of neoliberalism into our understanding of the ever-adapting neoliberalism?

2) I enjoyed Keil's case study of Toronto quite a bit. I was interested in his notion of the "everydayness" of both the neoliberal project and resistance to it. However, I was a little bit concerned about his localization of resistance to this notion of everydayness. It seems to limit resistance to the local and the ad hoc. Are there other forms of resistance in other places and spaces that we should also be paying attention to?

When are you planning to post the questions for discussion for tomorrow? Could you please let me know.
Cheers, Helga