Cities do not have much power in today’s world, and “global cities” are not moulding the world economy. But some cities, capitals in particular, are important sites of power. As such, they are strategic locations in the social structure of power, and they have crucial functions of representation. This CRASSH seminar will focus on how, in what variable forms, capital cities represent political power, which will take us to urban spatial forms and to urban political iconography and toponymy. Power entails (potential) resistance, and we shall pay attention to the cityscape of contestations of power.
Göran Therborn is Professor emeritus of Sociology at Cambridge, previously, co-Director of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences. He is the author of a number of books and articles on a wide range of topics, sometimes theoretical but mostly empirically macrosocial, comparative, and with a historical dimension. His latest book is a historical sociology of the world, The World. A Beginner’s Guide (Polity 2011)
He has an ongoing global project on Cities of Power, which has resulted in a number of book and article publications.