The world’s cities are networked together through globalization and consequently demonstrate similar economic, social, cultural, and political characteristics. The module introduces students to a neo-Marxist literature on world and global cities which has attempted to explain that phenomenon by envisioning the global economy as controlled and/or commanded through a few major cities. The step-by-step construction, from 1972 to date, of the neo-Marxist world and global city concepts is detailed, before subsequently introducing students to the interlocking world city network model and a broader ‘quantitative turn’ in the research field. Finally, the neo-Marxist concepts are critiqued to enable students to be introduced to an alternative intransitive and immanent poststructuralist approach to understanding cities as networks which not only recasts the conceptual apparatus: boundaries, centrality, network, place, power, scale, space, territory, time; and empirical approach of urban studies, but also effectively critiques and overturns the neo-Marxist world city, global city, and interlocking world city network concepts, to understand cities not only as connected, but as always striving to prohibit and disguise their unbinding and destabilization as networked assemblages.
The coursework this year concerns either ‘London After Brexit’ or ‘London After Covid-19’.