TU Berlin

Center for Metropolitan StudiesThe Art of Governing Cities

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SE The Art of Governing Cities

SE The Art of Governing Cities

Barış Ülker

Modul 1: Urban Governance und Public Sector

Mi 12-14 Uhr • ONLINE • Beginn: 04.11.2020

The urban space is a social product and a crucial producer of everyday practices. It has never been free of hierarchies. On the contrary, it has served as an arena for struggles of emancipation/recognition and as a laboratory for conducting policies/regulations on the inhabitants. The ways these struggles and techniques played out, however, have undergone massive transformations, creating new institutions, subjects and social orders. How can one explain the relations between policy makers and different groups of people in a city? Does one dominate the other? Or, is it a continuous struggle? Historically, these and many other questions have been analyzed in the scholarship as a manifestation of the general will, a reflection of social and economic forces, and an outcome of autonomous bureaucratic organization.

This course aims to understand the ways of thinking about the practice of government in cities. It is arranged thematically, rather than temporally. Keeping in mind the historical ruptures and continuities, the course will bring in contemporary case studies from different parts of the world and trace the linkages of power and subjectivity backwards to the concepts of sovereignty, discipline, governmentality, hegemony, ideology, control and surveillance. In this framework, it will build up an interactive discussion that can be promoted with questions (including but not limited to): What does the art of governing mean? Who can govern in cities? What are the forms of this art of governing? What or who is governed in cities? What are the tools that are used in the art of governing cities? What are the historical ruptures in the art of governing? What is the role of agency in the art of governing cities?


  • Crampton, Jeremy and Elden, Stuart (2007). Space, Knowledge and Power. Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing.
  • Foucault, Michel (1991). "Governmentality.“ In The Foucault Effect, Studies in Governmentality, eds. G.Burchell, C. Gordon and P. Miller. 73-86. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
  • Inda, Jonathan Xavier ed. (2005). Anthropologies of Modernity. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing.
  • Osborne, Thomas and Rose, Nikolas (1999). Governing Cities: Notes on the Spatialization of Virtue. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Vol.17, 737-760.



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