Ron Johnston on the legacy, and last books, of Peter Hall

Professor Sir Peter Hall died in July 2014. Active as a scholar, policy analyst and future-thinker almost to the end, his most recent book – Good Cities, Better Lives – appeared earlier that year, alongside a festschrift edited by his colleagues – The Planning Imagination. Here Ron Johnston reviews those two books as a contribution to appreciating this amazingly prolific – in every sense – scholar’s contributions to British academic and public life.

 

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Volume, Depth, and the (In)visibilities of Water

stuartelden:

Phil Steinberg reflects on mapping, the sea, and the question of volume.

Originally posted on :

8dfgx72x-1412854892Thanks to a retweet from Klaus Dodds, I recently read this blogpost by marine ecologist Jon Copley on seabed mapping. Copley’s central message is that the statistics that we continually see reproduced in the media about 95% of the seabed being ‘unexplored’ and about us knowing more about the surface of Mars than we do about the ocean floor are oversimplifications. Different kinds of maps and ‘explorations’ reflect different knowledges and serve different purposes. Copley brilliantly moves from a technical discussion of mapping techniques (e.g. satellites vs. surface-based sonar vs. submersibles) and attendant issues of resolution and scale to suggest that our acceptance of depictions of the ocean as ‘unknown’ derives from our failure to ask more conceptual questions regarding the representative power of the map and the nature of knowledge.

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Graham and McFarlane (eds.) Infrastructural Lives: Urban Infrastructure in Context

A new collection edited by two former colleagues – Stephen Graham and Colin McFarlane.

9780415748537

Infrastructural Lives is the first book to describe the everyday experience and politics of urban infrastructures. It focuses on a range of infrastructures in both the global South and North. The book examines how day-to-day experience and perception of infrastructure provides a new and powerful lens to view urban sustainability, politics, economics, cultures and ecologies. An interdisciplinary group of leading and emerging urban researchers examine critical questions about urban infrastructure in different global contexts.

The chapters address water, sanitation, and waste politics in Mumbai, Kampala and Tyneside, analyse the use of infrastructure in the dispossession of Palestinian communities, explore the pacification of Rio’s favelas in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup, describe how people’s bodies and lives effectively operate as ‘infrastructure’ in many major cities, and also explores tentative experiments with low-carbon infrastructures.

These diverse cases and perspectives are connected by a shared sense of infrastructure not just as a ‘thing’, a ‘system’, or an ‘output,’ but as a complex social and technological process that enables – or disables – particular kinds of action in the city. Infrastructural Lives is crucial reading for academics, researchers, students and practitioners in urban studies globally.

Posted in Politics, Stephen Graham, urban/urbanisation | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Foucault Studies 18 now published – includes two translations of Foucault, all open access

cover_issue_568_en_US (1)Foucault Studies 18 is now published. A wide range of contents including a theme section on ‘Ethnographies of Neoliberal Governmentalities'; translations of Foucault’s 1979 version of ‘Politics of Health in the Eighteenth Century‘ and his review of Jacques Ruffié, De la biologie à la culture under the title of ‘Bio‐history and bio‐politics‘; and a review forum on Colin Koopman’s Genealogy as Critique. As ever, all articles are open access.

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Symposium on Mark Neocleous, War Power, Police Power – LSE, 20 November 2014

lril symposium flyer_a4 copy

Details of a book symposium on Mark Neocleous’s latest – War Power, Police Power.

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Henri Lefebvre, Vers une architecture de la jouissance

criticat14cover210690034_387393451417965_7363263115971561396_nWhile there is a published translation into English, Henri Lefebvre’s 1973 manuscript Vers une architecture de la jouissance has, until now, not been available in French. Now an excerpt has been published in Criticat, and a full edition may be forthcoming. This issue of the journal also includes an analysis by Łukasz Stanek, editor of the English edition.

 

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David Campbell, Politics without Principle – free 1993 book online

Politics-without-Principle

David Campbell has made his 1993 book Politics without Principle: Sovereignty, Ethics and the Narratives of the Gulf War available online as a pdf. He says something about the book here.

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