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The urban process under financialised capitalism


  • Louis Moreno


Over half a decade has passed since the first global financial crisis of the 21st Century, and political economists are still trying to make sense of its causes and ramifications. In a major recent intervention Costas Lapavitsas argues that what was thrown into relief was the sheer penetration of the financial process into all facets of everyday life. Financialisation represents, Lapavitsas says, nothing less than a historic transformation in the structural process of capital accumulation itself: one which has been globally unfolding and locally evolving over the last three to four decades, and has now installed itself at all levels and dimensions of everyday life. At the centre of this argument is an analysis which focuses on the way financial intermediaries have been able to draw people, and the social infrastructure people depend on, deep into the circuit of financial accumulation. To a considerable degree this thesis backs up Lefebvre and Harvey's analysis made some four decades earlier: that financial capitalism was liable to mutate into a new urban form, based on the intensification of 'secondary' circuits of exploitation operating both inside and outside the realm of production. In this paper I try to connect the financial and geographical frameworks of Lapavitsas and Harvey to see what new light is cast on emerging urban forms of rent-extraction. Through an examination of the financialisation of the urban landscape I argue that urbanism does not merely reflect or represent the culture of financial accumulation, but has been a crucial socio-spatial process enabling the permeation and penetration of finance into the fabric of daily life.

Suggested Citation

  • Louis Moreno, 2014. "The urban process under financialised capitalism," City, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 244-268, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:cityxx:v:18:y:2014:i:3:p:244-268
    DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2014.927099

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christian Marazzi, 2010. "The Violence of Financial Capitalism," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 1584350830.
    2. Eve Chiapello & Luc Boltanski, 2005. "The New Spirit of Capitalism," Post-Print hal-00680089, HAL.
    3. Costas Lapavitsas, 2009. "Financialisation, or the search for profits in the sphere of circulation," EKONOMIAZ. Revista vasca de Economía, Gobierno Vasco / Eusko Jaurlaritza / Basque Government, vol. 72(03), pages 98-119.
    4. Eve Chiapello & Luc Boltanski, 2005. "The New Spirit of Capitalism," Post-Print hal-00678024, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Desiree Fields, 2017. "Unwilling Subjects of Financialization," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 588-603, July.
    2. Jathan Sadowski, 2021. "Who owns the future city? Phases of technological urbanism and shifts in sovereignty," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 58(8), pages 1732-1744, June.
    3. Kitchin, Rob & Cardullo, Paolo & Di Feliciantonio, Cesare, 2018. "Citizenship, Justice and the Right to the Smart City," SocArXiv b8aq5, Center for Open Science.
    4. N/A, 2020. "Book symposium: Pike et al.’s Financialising City Statecraft and Infrastructure," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 52(4), pages 790-813, June.
    5. Michael Byrne, 2016. "‘Asset Price Urbanism’ and Financialization after the Crisis: Ireland's National Asset Management Agency," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 31-45, January.

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