The second international workshop of the research program « Internationalizing cities » co-organized by the PUCA and LATTS will take place on February 3rd in central Paris and will address the following topic: »Neoliberalization and internationalization of cities ».
The debate on how neoliberalization processes affect city-regions throughout the world remains a heated one. While a tradition of works rooted in the neomarxist political economy paradigm insists on the ceaseless reconfigurations of “neoliberal urbanization” and “neoliberal urbanism” (Harvey 1989, Swyngedouw et al. 2003, Peck et al. 2009, 2013), authors from a more neo-weberian tradition have recently discussed some putative limits to the “Neoliberal City” concept (Pinson & Morel Journel 2016). This present workshop seeks to engage with this debate by questioning the relations that exist between these two “macro” processes, namely the neoliberalization of urban agendas and policies and the internationalization of cities. We question how the ongoing transnationalization and circulation of mobile actors, capital, and policy models may be a factor in understanding the ways neoliberalization may be spread, shaped and, at times, contested in different national and urban political-economic institutional systems. What is the role of transnational actors (investors and real estate professionals, planning consultants) and their cognitive, human and financial resources in promoting and disseminating neoliberal-inspired policies? How are policy-makers and planers’ agendas and practices influenced by the growing transnational circulation of neoliberalizing strategies and practices? (How) are urban movements and activists reconfiguring their actions and priorities, including by mobilizing global/transnational networks, to resist ongoing transformations at the urban and local levels? Can internationalization and increased mobilities of ideas and standards be the vehicle of something else than pure neoliberalization? In other worlds, can alternative values and policy schemes benefit from internationalization?