Transatlantic City: Conjunctural urbanism, contagious governance


The Institute for the Study of Social Change and the School of Social Sciences present a visiting scholar seminar.

Start Date

31st Jan 2017 4:00pm

End Date

31st Jan 2017 5:00pm


Harvard Lecture Theatre 1, Centenary Building, Sandy Bay campus

RSVP / Contact Information

E:, T: 62261587

Presented by

Professor Jamie Peck

University of British Columbia

Recent debates around postcolonial and comparative urbanism have properly called into question provenance, veracity, and explanatory reach of “North Atlantic” urban theory. If a more reflexive, cosmopolitan, and provincialized genre of urban theory is to chart a new and different course, however, between the Scylla of metatheoretical universalism and Charybdis of ambivalent particularism, then there are some challenging issues to confront around the explanatory status of single-city cases, around the place of abstraction and midlevel concepts, and around the traction and pertinence of ostensibly panurban processes like neoliberalization and financialization.  With these methodological problematics in mind, the presentation traces an arc from the transAtlantic theater of urban-theory production to a single site of particularly stressed urban restructuring, the failing casino capital of Atlantic City, in order to revisit, rethink, and resituate some of the elemental concepts of urban political economy.  Atlantic City’s near-bankrupt state can be read as more than a(nother) sign of aggravated fiscal stress, and the deregulatory creep of austerity urbanism; it is also a bleeding-edge indicator of an emerging modality of harshly technocratic and constitutively financialized metropolitan governance, calling into question not just the jaded repertoire of urban growth-machine strategies but perhaps even the received model of the entrepreneurial city itself.

Jamie Peck is Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia, Canada.  With long-term research interests in urban restructuring, the political economy of neoliberalism, labor studies, the politics of policy formation and mobility, and socioeconomic governance, his recent books include Fast policy: experimental statecraft at the thresholds of neoliberalism (2015, with Nik Theodore), Constructions of neoliberal reason (2010), the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Economic Geography (2012, coedited with Trevor Barnes & Eric Sheppard), and the forthcoming Offshore: exploring the worlds of global outsourcing.  A former Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Jamie Peck is the editor of Environment and Planning A and a co-editor of the newly launched Economic Transformations book series with Agenda Publishing.