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If you would like to attend, please send a short paragraph explaining youresearch interest in the topic to Marianne Knight (Marianne.knight@ucl.ac.uk). Places are limited, but we very much welcome participation from those whose research is related to the topic. There is a public meeting after the workshop at 6pm in Pearson Building G07 to which all are welcome. Lisa Hoffman, Urban Studies University of Washington
Tacoma, will be speaking on "Professionalism, volunteerism, and neoliberalism: questions of subjectivity and governmentality in urban China"

For some time now the trajectories of city development and urban politics has been interpreted through the lens of neoliberalism. Critiques of urban neoliberalism have dominated interpretations of economic policies, social welfare and sustainability agendas. Neo-Marxist and regulationist accounts of neoliberalisation, while
sophisticated, suggest that despite great variety and hybridity policy circuits provide a site for invention and experimentation in search of consistent growth paths for a crisis-ridden capitalism (Brenner et al, 2010). Alternative neo-Deleuzian narratives seek to disarticulate these associations between capitalism and policy, preferring to see neoliberal ideas and technologies as more free-floating elements, available for reassembling alongside a wide range of processes shaping urban outcomes (Ong, forthcoming).

This workshop will seek to move the debate on by focussing on possible lines of analysis beyond neoliberalism. Instead we will begin with the acknowledgement that the different processes with which broadly neoliberal ideas and governmental technologies are interwoven might produce outcomes which no longer reference neoliberalism in any meaningful way (Robinson and Parnell, forthcoming). Instead these might be strongly aligned with social democratic, developmental and national-patriotic ambitions, for example - as Larner (2000), Ferguson (2007) and Hoffman (2009) respectively argue.

Apparently neoliberalising transformations in urban governance might instead require us to theorise the ambitions of the state more closely, to understand how subjects shape and reframe forms of governance directly, and to see new forms of rule as emerging from the contradictions and contestations of pre-existing political forms (Barnett, 2010; Clarke, 2008).

The workshop will involve:

1. Pre-circulating the 8-10 key readings which establish this agenda - these should be read in advance of the meeting.
2. Short contributions from some of the participants (Wendy Larner, Lisa Hoffman, Clive Barnett, Jenny Robinson, Yvonne Rydin)
3. Small group work to establish key lines of urban analysis beyond neoliberalism
4. Plenary discussion to consider a short collective output from the discussion and to explore possible research agendas

The meeting will begin with lunch at 1pm at UCL in the Geography Department's Mac Room, 1st floor, Pearson Building, Gower Street. It will conclude with a meeting at 6.15 of the Urban Salon (A London Forum for International Architecture and Urbanism) at which Lisa Hoffman will be speaking, and Wendy Larner will be discussant.

UCL Grand Challenges

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in 03/12/2010

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