City Space, Global Politics and State Building Dr. Saurav Sen Gupta althusserganesha@gmail.


Cities are an integral part of 21 century global capital accumulation. As cities grow into megacities and then ‘hypercities’ as Mike Davis says, most of the burgeoning population is accommodated by the socalled second and third tier cities where basic infrastructure is abysmally poor. Historical approaches to the problem discuss the role of urbanization in the creation of modernity and transcend the experiences of individual urban communities. Functional arguments deriving from geography, demography and population studies assess city systems as mapping economic developments. My paper seeks to examine the role of government agencies in the emerging scenario, in terms of spatial dynamics, when globalization marks an increasing movement of population across multiple time zones. Governments in developing cities are seen favoring certain cities over others because they are either liked by elites or bureaucrats who want governments to pull in greater capital to the Capitol in terms of plant, equipment and infrastructure and restrict access of smaller cities to the same. States in developing countries then enforce urbanization, notwithstanding its benefits to keep labor costs down and increase selective productivity to encourage sector and class imbalances. In this regard, I draw from James Harvey’s location of ‘space’ within the Marxian dialectics of capital that argues that residential and infrastructural differentiation in cities is a product of trade policies, population movement, production activities and state intervention.


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