City becoming world: Nancy, Lefebvre, and the global-urban imagination

David J Madden, "City becoming world: Nancy, Lefebvre, and the global-urban imagination" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, volume 30, 2012, 772 –– 787.

It is part of the self-conception of the contemporary era that the world is becoming increasingly global and urban. This paper explores the global–urban imagination in works by Jean-Luc Nancy and Henri Lefebvre. Both Nancy and Lefebvre understand globalization as a fundamentally violent and unequal process that unfolds through the uneven expansion of a particular sort of urban space. They both strive to articulate a critical stance towards this process by opposing globalization to the idea of mondialisation or world forming. While their respective approaches di! er in important ways, they both provide indispensible critical tools for conceptualizing the urban planet and its political possibilities. Their positions are brie" y contrasted to the conservative imagery of the urban planet as techno utopia that was produced at Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China.

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