Cities in Global Capitalism
Cities in Global Capitalism

In what ways are cities central to the evolution of contemporary global capitalism? And in what ways is global capitalism forged by the urban experience? This book provides a response to these questions, exploring the multifaceted dimensions of the city–capitalism nexus.

Drawing on a wide range of conceptual approaches, including political economy, neo-institutionalism and radical political theory, this insightful book examines the intimate relationship linking cities to capitalism in times of advanced globalization. Looking at such different forces as financialization, innovative entrepreneurship, the housing sector, consumption, technology, the experience economy, Ugo Rossi offers a comparative analysis of the ways in which urban economies and societies reflect and at the same time act as engines of global capitalism.

Ultimately, this book shows how over the past three decades capitalism has shifted a gear – no longer merely incorporating key aspects of society into its system, but encompassing everything, including life itself – and illustrates how cities play a central role within this life-oriented construction of global capitalism.

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  • January 2017
  • 232 pages
  • 210 x 148 mm / 8 x 6 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9780745689661
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9780745689678
  • Open eBook $22.95
  • 9780745689708
Table of Contents


1. Emergences

2. Extensions

3. Continuities

4. Diffusions

5. Variations

Conclusion: Living in the Age of Ambivalence

About the Author
Ugo Rossi is Senior Researcher in Political and Economic Geography at the University of Turin
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'Rossi provides a remarkably comprehensive, clear, and tremendously useful survey of theorizations of the relation between cities and capitalism. As he does so, he offers the reader a rich exploration of the many facets of that complex and mutually constitutive relation.'
Miranda Joseph, University of Arizona

'Ugo Rossi offers a highly original analysis of the current urban condition. The book plays imaginatively on the complex relationships linking cities, neoliberal capitalism and globalization, and extracts from these materials a remarkably informative and incisive diagnosis.'
Allen J. Scott, University of California, Los Angeles

'Reading contemporary global capital from the perspective of the city, Ugo Rossi's Cities in Global Capitalism presents a critical geography, rich in analysis and haunted with spectral figures. Rossi shows how the city – the site of historical struggle, artistic and social innovations, and revolutionary uprisings – has been shaped by capital and its state partners with new spatial inequalities, potentialities, and peripheries. As the city once again becomes the destination for the global rich, economic innovation becomes a leading edge of gentrification and the abandoned warehouses of Fordist production become the ghost towers haunting the urban sky – vast areas the mega rich own but rarely inhabit as the ever-expanding homeless below pass by.'
Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Columbia University

'Cities in Global Capitalism presents an impressive tour de force on the mutually reinforcing relationship between cities, on the one hand, and the capitalist system on the other. Sifting through a wide range of work from across numerous disciplines, Ugo Rossi's account of the contemporary global urban condition is conceptually sophisticated, geographically nuanced and historically sensitive!'
Kevin Ward, University of Manchester

'Ugo Rossi's book is a clear and illuminating overview of the complex relationships between globalized capitalism and urban spaces. A valuable contribution to the project of critically reflecting on our contemporary condition.'
Nick Srnicek, author of Platform Capitalism and Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work

'In this historically grounded, highly current, and well-argued volume, Ugo Rossi presents an incisive account of how the mutual imbrication of cities and capitalism is reflected in, and drives forward, changes in the spatio-temporal dynamic, substantive logic, and hegemonic imaginaries of capitalist development. Combining critical reviews of diverse theoretical currents and empirical analyses, the author highlights recent trends, crises and struggles in and beyond the capitalist heartlands. He explores the links between neoliberalism and globalization and also shows how accumulation depends ever more on the real subsumption not just of social relations but also life itself, making cities ever more critical as sites of everyday resistance as well as crucial spaces of accumulation. Enjoy reading this book and acting upon it.'
Bob Jessop, Lancaster University

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