Urban political ecology (UPE) has been conceptually influential and empirically robust, however the field has mainly focused on the way cities are metabolically linked and networked with resource flows and ecological processes. Currently, in the face of climate change challenges, scholars working on UPE are taking the field in new directions: from expanding the field of enquiry to include more than human actors, to shifting the geographical focus to overlooked peripheries, the Global South or the suburbs. Although cities are framed by the New Urban Agenda, adopted by the UN Habitat 2016, as central actors, the very ontological status of cities is also questioned, with important implications for UPE. We argue that in order to answer these emerging questions we need renewed, qualified, conceptually robust and empirically substantiated research that does not come from already privileged vintage points or geographical locations. This book launches an inquiry into a UPE better informed by situated knowledges; an embodied UPE, that puts equal attention to the role of more than -human ontologies and processes of capital accumulation. The book aims to extend UPE analysis to new places and perspectives. As discussions regarding the environment are now dominated by policy makers, planners and politicians, it is more crucial than ever, we argue to maintain a critical engagement with mainstream policy and academic debates.
How do dualist identifications such as peasants vs. urbanites support or impede democratic egalitarian politics? On the one hand, the ´planetary urbanisation´ thesis as unidimensional epistemology risks producing a pernicious universal ideological position which depoliticises the range of diversity and difference external to, and/or within, urbanisation. The rural may not just be the peripheral that feeds the expansion of urbanisation but also the ´outside´ left to be ´conquered´ in the sense of proletarisation or a source of ´resilience´ for these populations. On the other hand, the radicality of the ´peasant way´ such as the global movement Via Campesina, lies not only in the processes in addressing human rights critically but also in moving agrarian politics beyond typical reformist demands in search for structural ´nurturing´ of alternatives to organise planetary food production and consumption. In this paper I engage with these tensions by starting from the premise that in order to allow for ambiguousness to play a role in egalitarian social struggles, we have to allow for political imagination to undo the terms of any consensual politics about dualisms. I am looking at the limits of existing classifications such as ´food sovereignty´ or ´peasant rights´ and illustrating a repetitive tendency to conflate politics with ontology. I propose a zooming-out of this tendency in order to observe that such rhetoric places the peasantry again and again in the same meritocratic logic of policy-police that is to blame for the reproduction of inequalities in the first place. I discuss the limits of the politics of rights as an open question about what Ranciére discussed as the limits of justice as recognition. I am exploring the possibility to reflect on the ´political´ futures as being less about specific subjects with a series of virtues (such as good eco-citizens) and more about events of subjectification, which implies processes of disidentification. Finally, I discuss how such disidentifications may allow re-opening the interpretative practices of new generations.
, 2015 ). In our recent work, in collaboration with Christian Schmid and other scholars of planetary urbanisation, we have questioned this inherited epistemology of the urban (Brenner and Schmid, 2015 ; Brenner, 2016 ; Katsikis, 2018 ). We do not deny the fundamental connection between urbanisation and the power of agglomeration (and thus, with spaces that have been labelled as
‘Nature’, i.e., the discursive configurations through which nature is imagined and symbolised (Fraser and Jaeggi, 2018 ). The former will be discussed in the next part of the chapter, while the latter will be the key theme of the second section of the chapter. Planetary urbanisation, resource extraction, and the socio-ecological circulation of capital In Planetary mine
) Planetary mine reconfigures the thesis of planetary urbanisation, considering the planetary mine as world-historical spatial form, and emphasises how technologies, practices, and materials from the peripheries are imported into and transform the core. He critically comments that the planetary urbanisation thesis has overlooked the importance of logics and dynamics of resource extraction to processes of
scene. Now, the recent popularisation in critical urban studies of the planetary urbanisation thesis would have us believe that the rural ‘has now been thoroughly engulfed within the variegated patterns and pathways of a planetary formation of urbanization’ (Brenner & Schmid, 2015 , p. 174). This way of superseding the rural–urban binary has the benefit of highlighting
‘planetary urbanisation’ that can contribute to an ‘ecological, political understanding of contemporary urbanization’ (Angelo and Wachsmuth, 2014). The second debate ( Part II ) is the call for a ‘situated’ UPE coming from scholars working on and in the Global South and from feminist and intersectional UPE scholars who aim to create ‘the possibility for a broader range of urban experiences to inform theory
which had plagued urban life in previous centuries, recent decades have seen a (re)emergence of infectious disease in cities. This emergent phenomenon coincides with what has been referred to as planetary urbanisation/suburbanisation and the formation of ‘urban society’ or ‘the prodigious extension of the urban to the entire planet’ (Lefebvre, 2003
planetary urbanisation and/or overly sensitive to socio-political aspects. In the context of mounting ecological, economic and political crises, a unified approach to the study of sanitation which takes into account culture, identity and representation as well as predominant economic and ecological processes across a multitude of scales is needed. I suggest that a systems approach drawing on complexity theory and practice theory is a plausible starting point for the unravelling of sanitation and its socio-eco-technical entanglements. The notion of practice enables a more
which seek to transcend city boundaries – for example, through the implosion-explosion dialectic of planetary urbanisation (Angelo and Wachsmuth, 2020 ; Brenner and Schmid, 2015 ) – and also corresponds to a reductive understanding of the urban as ‘the city’ (Angelo, 2017 ; Millington, 2016 ; Wachsmuth, 2014 ). Practically, city-centric urban environmental interventions can undermine the very