52nd Newsletter of the Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies (Berlin)

Topics: *** “Austerity urbanism”: American cities under extreme economy (Jamie Peck) *** Think & Drink Colloquium ***12.-14.7. Conference City of flows *** 18.07. Interest and planning meeting – Study group Berlin-based scholars who share interests in cities and social theory *** GSZ-Graduate Studies Group ***


“Austerity urbanism”: American cities under extreme economy

Austerity budgeting in the public sector, selectively targeting the social state, is a long-established trait of neoliberal governance, but it has been enforced with systemic intensity in the period since the Wall Street crash.  Austerity represents an historic opportunity to press for yet smaller small-state settlements at the urban scale; in defining government downsizing and rolling privatization as fiscal necessities, it is neoliberal terrain. These conditions of devolved fiscal constraint are defining a new operational matrix for urban politics in the United States.  Examining some of the leading and bleeding edges of austerity’s ‘extreme economy’ in American cities, these developments are located in the context of mutating processes of neoliberal urbanism, along with it social and spatial consequences (Peck, 2011: Theodore et al, 2011). [Text: Jamie Peck]
Jamie Peck’s latest findings will be discussed on July 9th at 6:00 pm at the Soziologisches Institut as part of the Georg-Simmel Think & Drink Colloquium. Two of his recent articles are “Neoliberal suburbanism: frontier space. Urban Geography 32(6) 884-919 (2011)” and together with Neil Brenner and Nick Theodore “Neoliberal urbanism: cities and the rule of markets. In G Bridge & S Watson (eds) The new Blackwell companion to the city. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 15-25 (2011)”. Jamie Peck is Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia, and the Canada Research Chair in Urban and Regional Political Economy (http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~peck/).
Georg Simmel Think & Drink Colloquium: The complete list of lectures to be held next Semester can be found by end of September under: http://www.sowi.hu-berlin.de/lehrbereiche/stadtsoz/think_drink/wise_1112.
12.-14.7. Conference “City of  flows”: The conference is organised and conceptualised by the »City-Climate Potsdam« Innovation Institute of the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Potsdam City Council. The following questions are dealt with: What does being connected to global networks mean for today’s cities? How do global networks manifest themselves in everyday life? And how are limited analog spaces reflected in the potentially unlimited realm of the virtual? For more information please see: http://www.stadt-der-stroeme.de/en/.
18.7.: Interest and planning meeting – Study group Berlin-based scholars who share interests in cities and social theory: Talja Blokland and Craig Calhoun would be delighted to welcome interested graduate students to this interest and planning meeting for the 2012-2013 academic year at the BGSS Lounge (Luisenstraße 56, Room 227). The meeting will last from 17-18.30 and be followed by a brief informal reception.
GSZ-Graduate Studies Group: If you are a post-graduate student in the field of metropolitan studies, currently living in Berlin and looking for discussion partners – please contact the GSZ Graduate Studies Group. Contact: Martin Schwegmann (graduates@gsz.hu-berlin.de).

Heike Oevermann, Jonna Josties
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