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Assembling urbanism: following policies and ‘studying through’ the sites and situations of policy making

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  • Eugene McCann
  • Kevin Ward

Abstract

Recent years have seen a challenge to the territorial orthodoxy in urban studies. An interest in policy assemblage, mobility, and mutation has begun to open up ‘the what’ and ‘the where’ of urban policy making. Unfortunately—but perhaps not surprisingly—theoretical developments and empirical insights have run ahead of significant methodological considerations. This paper turns to some of the methodological consequences of studying the chains, circuits, networks, and webs in and through which policy and its associated discourses and ideologies are made mobile and mutable. It focuses on three rubrics under which methodological decisions can be made: ‘studying through’ (rather than studying up or down), techniques of following actors, policies, etc, and relational situations in which mobilization and assemblage happen. The paper concludes with a brief reflection on how academic research design and writing assemble cities and urban policy making in ways that parallel the assembling practices of policy actors. Keywords: policy mobilities, methodologies, assemblage

Suggested Citation

  • Eugene McCann & Kevin Ward, 2012. "Assembling urbanism: following policies and ‘studying through’ the sites and situations of policy making," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(1), pages 42-51, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:1:p:42-51
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:ijurrs:v:41:y:2017:i:5:p:821-837 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jane M. Jacobs & Loretta Lees, 2013. "Defensible Space on the Move: Revisiting the Urban Geography of Alice Coleman," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(5), pages 1559-1583, September.
    3. Merje Kuus, 2015. "For Slow Research," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 838-840, July.
    4. repec:bla:ijurrs:v:41:y:2017:i:5:p:838-854 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:bla:ijurrs:v:41:y:2017:i:1:p:162-180 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gailing, Ludger & Röhring, Andreas, 2016. "Is it all about collaborative governance? Alternative ways of understanding the success of energy regions," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 237-245.

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