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Political parties and the city: some thoughts on the low profile of partisan organisations and mobilisation in urban political theory

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The author considers the strange absence of political parties in urban political theory. Having set out the problem, the author proceeds through a set of hypotheses concerning why parties are such elusive characters on the urban-studies stage. These involve, in turn: the characteristics of the literature on parties; the treatment of ‘change’ as a theme in human geography and urban studies; the effects of the dominance of the United States in the theoretical literature on urban politics; the characterisation of political ‘actors’ in this literature; and related issues surrounding the challenges which parties pose to research at a normative – democratic level. In the process it is cautiously suggested that parties be reinserted as forming part of an array of urban collective forms which repay attention in accounting for urban political transformation and, of course, inertia. The usefulness of parties as a space within which to think through problems of agency and democracy in the city and beyond, is also emphasised.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/35968/

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