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Clark University
Review: [untitled]Author(s): Antonio LunaSource:
Economic Geography,
Vol. 74, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 194-196Published by:
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Accessed: 27/09/2011 20:43
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ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHYCONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
aspectsof hooks'stheorizing.HecreditsGillianRose,buthemightmorefully reg-ister the critical work of CarenKaplanandNeil Smith andCindiKatz.But,moreimportantly,hooks'stheorizingitselfemergesout of acommunityofwritingandherpositionhas beendebated within thatcommunity,sometimesinwaysthatprob-lematize the claims thatSojamakes forit.SaraSuleri,forexample,criticizeshookspreciselyforexacerbatingdivisionsbetweenAfricanAmerican and "ThirdWorld" feminists. Whether or notoneappreciatesandendorses Suleri'spolemi-calstyleofargumentation,thereis acom-munityofdebate thatSojachoosestoignore.Whenitcomesto histreatment of femi-nistgeography,Sojaisengagingly openabout the fact that hisgraduatestudent,BarbaraHooper,has"triedwith somesuc-cesstocontrolmyimpulsestotweak a fewof thefeministgeographerswhoseemed todismissmyadmittedlygender-biasedPostmodernGeographiesasmasculinistposingtout court"(p.13) (Thankyou,Barbara)andispositiveabout GillianRose'sattemptstoimagine thirdspace.Butonthewhole,feministgeographycomesoffratherbadly:"Despitethedevelopmentof avigorousfeministmovement andthecentralityofspaceinthediscipline,therehavebeenrelativelyfewcontributionsbygeographerstowhat Ihave described asthepostmortem spatialfeministcritique"(p.119).He notes that this haschangedinthepastfewyears,citingGillianRose,butclaimsthat "anappreciationfor thewiderrangeofothernessesandmarginalities"s"stillmissing"p.125).Itis difficulttoeval-uatethisclaim;withno references tokeypublicationssuchas GenderPlaceandCulture,MappingDesire,WritingWomenandSpace:Colonial and PostcolonialGeographies-journalsandlargeeditedvolumes thatintroduce theuninitiatedtothe vast andlivelysubfieldsofpostcolonialfeminist andqueergeographies-itisunclear whetherSojaisunfamiliarwithordismissive ofagooddeal ofcontemporaryworkwithingeography.At onelevel,thisisaspectsof hooks'stheorizing.HecreditsGillianRose,buthemightmorefully reg-ister the critical work of CarenKaplanandNeil Smith andCindiKatz.But,moreimportantly,hooks'stheorizingitselfemergesout of acommunityofwritingandherpositionhas beendebated within thatcommunity,sometimesinwaysthatprob-lematize the claims thatSojamakes forit.SaraSuleri,forexample,criticizeshookspreciselyforexacerbatingdivisionsbetweenAfricanAmerican and "ThirdWorld" feminists. Whether or notoneappreciatesandendorses Suleri'spolemi-calstyleofargumentation,thereis acom-munityofdebate thatSojachoosestoignore.Whenitcomesto histreatment of femi-nistgeography,Sojaisengagingly openabout the fact that hisgraduatestudent,BarbaraHooper,has"triedwith somesuc-cesstocontrolmyimpulsestotweak a fewof thefeministgeographerswhoseemed todismissmyadmittedlygender-biasedPostmodernGeographiesasmasculinistposingtout court"(p.13) (Thankyou,Barbara)andispositiveabout GillianRose'sattemptstoimagine thirdspace.Butonthewhole,feministgeographycomesoffratherbadly:"Despitethedevelopmentof avigorousfeministmovement andthecentralityofspaceinthediscipline,therehavebeenrelativelyfewcontributionsbygeographerstowhat Ihave described asthepostmortem spatialfeministcritique"(p.119).He notes that this haschangedinthepastfewyears,citingGillianRose,butclaimsthat "anappreciationfor thewiderrangeofothernessesandmarginalities"s"stillmissing"p.125).Itis difficulttoeval-uatethisclaim;withno references tokeypublicationssuchas GenderPlaceandCulture,MappingDesire,WritingWomenandSpace:Colonial and PostcolonialGeographies-journalsandlargeeditedvolumes thatintroduce theuninitiatedtothe vast andlivelysubfieldsofpostcolonialfeminist andqueergeographies-itisunclear whetherSojaisunfamiliarwithordismissive ofagooddeal ofcontemporaryworkwithingeography.At onelevel,thisissurelyapetty complaint,but,atanother(andIanticipatethatSojawillsympathizewiththispoint)itspeaks directlytogen-der/sexualpoliticsin thedisciplineofgeog-raphyand to thequestionof who hastherightandprivilegetonarratewhosehis-tory.Despite(orperhapsbecause)ofthefactthatIfoundmyselfinvigorousdebatewithThirdspaceat certainpoints,it is animpor-tantandinvigoratingtext. The last threechaptersare,quitesimply,essentialread-inginanyupper-levelurbangeographyclass.Theyoffercompelling examplesofnewwaysofwritingandawindowinto theconceptofthirdspacewhichdisruptsandenergizesconventionalaccounts oftheurban. Andif IamuneasywithSoja'sencounter withfeminism,I amnonethelessdeeply appreciativeofthepoliticalvisionandcommitment that underlies it.GeraldinePrattUniversityofBritishColumbiaPreparingforthe Urban Future:GlobalPressures and Local Forces.EditedbyMichaelA.Cohen,Blair A.Ruble,JosephS.Tulchin,and Allison M.Garland.Washington,D.C.:WoodrowWilsonCenterPress,1996.InJune1994theWoodrow WilsonCenter'scomparativeurbanprogram,incooperationwith theUrbanDevelopmentDivision of theWorldBank,organizedanopendiscussionabout thecurrentstate andevolution of theworld'scities asprepara-tion for HabitatII(Istanbul,June1996).Thisbookis theproductof thatdiscussionamongacademics,practitioners,and localandnational officials.Themaingoalof thebook istoexplorehowcities' issues havechangedsinceHabitatI in1976. Thetwomostimportantchangesare thedisappearanceofthe East-Westpoliticaland economicdichotomyafter the fall of the Berlinwallin1989 andtheincreasingrateof urbanization world-wide.Oneofthestrongest pointsofthisbook isadiversethematicanddisciplinaryfocus.Seventeenchapters,classifiedinsixsurelyapetty complaint,but,atanother(andIanticipatethatSojawillsympathizewiththispoint)itspeaks directlytogen-der/sexualpoliticsin thedisciplineofgeog-raphyand to thequestionof who hastherightandprivilegetonarratewhosehis-tory.Despite(orperhapsbecause)ofthefactthatIfoundmyselfinvigorousdebatewithThirdspaceat certainpoints,it is animpor-tantandinvigoratingtext. The last threechaptersare,quitesimply,essentialread-inginanyupper-levelurbangeographyclass.Theyoffercompelling examplesofnewwaysofwritingandawindowinto theconceptofthirdspacewhichdisruptsandenergizesconventionalaccounts oftheurban. Andif IamuneasywithSoja'sencounter withfeminism,I amnonethelessdeeply appreciativeofthepoliticalvisionandcommitment that underlies it.GeraldinePrattUniversityofBritishColumbiaPreparingforthe Urban Future:GlobalPressures and Local Forces.EditedbyMichaelA.Cohen,Blair A.Ruble,JosephS.Tulchin,and Allison M.Garland.Washington,D.C.:WoodrowWilsonCenterPress,1996.InJune1994theWoodrow WilsonCenter'scomparativeurbanprogram,incooperationwith theUrbanDevelopmentDivision of theWorldBank,organizedanopendiscussionabout thecurrentstate andevolution of theworld'scities asprepara-tion for HabitatII(Istanbul,June1996).Thisbookis theproductof thatdiscussionamongacademics,practitioners,and localandnational officials.Themaingoalof thebook istoexplorehowcities' issues havechangedsinceHabitatI in1976. Thetwomostimportantchangesare thedisappearanceofthe East-Westpoliticaland economicdichotomyafter the fall of the Berlinwallin1989 andtheincreasingrateof urbanization world-wide.Oneofthestrongest pointsofthisbook isadiversethematicanddisciplinaryfocus.Seventeenchapters,classifiedinsix
19494
 
analyzesthreedifferent historicalphases(colonial,independencenation-state build-ing,globalization)and theircorrespondingurban forms(hybrid,modern-pseudomod-ern,postmodern).Urbanism becomesoneoftherepresentationsof how the forms ofglobaldominationare mediatedbylocalstruggles.Ina final article inthissection,WeipingWuexploresalternativestrategiesandpracticesamongthe cities of NewYork,Barcelona,Santiago,andShanghaiastheyseek aplaceinthe newglobaleco-nomic order. Hepointsout twodifferentpathsto urban economiccompetition:alowroad ofincreasing competitivenessbydecreasinglabor cost underaderegulatedlabor marketandahighroadfocusingonefficiencyenhancement andinnovation.Part 3exploresthe social andeconomicdilemmas of citiesat the end ofthe cen-tury.The variousauthorsarguethatnationalandregionalactors are lessimpor-tant intheglobalizationera,whilelocalactors are morevisible,endorsingthespe-cificneeds of eachlocality.In ashort arti-cle,MichaelJ.Whiteanalyzesthepositiveeffectsthat urbanization has hadinaccel-eratingthedemographictransition.Next,JulieRoqueexposesthenegativeeffects ofthetechnologicalchange.Sheproposesthecreation of institutionsto ameliorate thedisparitiescreatedbyuneventechnologicaldevelopmentand theinformationalapartheid.Shefallsshort,however,inexplaininghow thoseinstitutions can beimplemented.InanotherchapterEdmun-doWerna,IllonaBlue,andTrudy Harp-hamanalyzethechanging agendafor urbanhealth.They proposea moreintegratedapproachthat focusesoninstitutional inte-grationand anincreasingroleforlocalorganizations(communityparticipation).The fourthpartevaluates the dilemmasofurbangovernance.K.C.Sivarama-krishnan,drawingnformationmostlyfromcitiesinIndia andChina,describes theanarchicalqualityofurbangovernance.Hefavorsa certaindegreeofdecentralizationand anincreasein theproximitybetweencitizen andgovernment,butalwaysinanenvironment ofpoliticalandinstitutionaldifferentsections,attemptto cover a broadrangeoftopicsoninternationalization,globalization,andgrowthof transnationalagreements.The fourchaptersinPart 1explore"UrbanConvergenceanda NewParadigm."Michael Cohen looks at howtheincreasinginternationalizationofhuman activitiesinthe last 20yearshascreated linksamongcitiesworldwide,sothat certainproblemsarenowsharedbycitiesofdevelopedanddevelopingcoun-tries.Hank Savitchgoesastepfurtherandproposesa setofpolicystrategiesforcitiestoincreasethe rate ofadaptabilityto achangingglobalenvironment.Althoughgovernment-induced developmentislim-ited,localofficials shouldplaywith theircities' naturaladvantages, supportsocialcapital,and increase theirrelationshipwithother cities. MarthaSchteingart analyzesthechangesthat have occurredintheurban arenabetween HabitatIandII.Sheiscritical of theneoliberalrhetoric of thepresentsituation,whichstressesthe libera-tion ofmarketsand thederegulationandprivatizationofmost urban services.Under thegenerictitle "FromGlobal toLocal,"thearticlesin Part2explorethetensionsproduced byglobalforcesinurbansettings.Global and local are seennot ascontradictoryphenomenabut as dif-ferentresponsestoidenticalprocesses.Globalchangesstronglyaffecturbanreali-ties.Itis also thecase, however,that localcommunities and institutionsmayinflu-ence thelivesofpeopleontheother side oftheglobe.Mohamed Halfani uses hisnativeAfrica toanalyzethisprocessinsome sub-Saharancities. Africancitieshave encountered tremendous crisis due tothe confluence ofimportant "global"trends. HalfanipointstotheimpactofSouth Africaninvestments,therevitaliza-tionofurbangovernance,theimportanceoftraditionalkinshipinstitutions,and thevitalityofthe informal sector asmediatorsof theimpactofglobalization.In anexcel-lentarticle,NezarAlSayyad explorestheimportanceofurbanism as awayof main-tainingthespecificityoflocal cultures. He
BOOKREVIEWS
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