Book Launch: Between Realism and Revolt: Governing Cities in the Crisis of Neoliberal Globalism
Professor Jonathan Davies, Director of the DMU Centre for Urban Research on Austerity will be presenting his new book. Between Realism and Revolt: Governing Cities in the Crisis of Neoliberal Globalism (Bristol University Press) explores urban governance and resistance in the “age of austerity”, focusing on the period between the global financial crisis of 2008-9 and the beginning of the global Coronavirus pandemic at the end of 2019. It considers austerity governance from the perspective of governability. How did cities navigate the crisis and the aftermath of austerity, with what political ordering and disordering dynamics at the forefront? To answer these questions, the book engages with two influential theoretical currents, Urban Regime Theory and Gramscian state theory, with a view to understanding how governance enabled austerity, deflected or intensified localised expressions of crisis, and generated more-or-less successful political alternatives. It develops a comparative analysis of case studies in the cities of Athens, Baltimore, Barcelona, Greater Dandenong (Melbourne), Leicester, Montreal and Nantes, and concludes by highlighting five characteristics that cut across the cities, unevenly and in different configurations: economic rationalism, weak hegemony, retreat to dominance, weak counter-hegemony and radically contagious politicisations.