Você está na página 1de 17

Cities and states in geohistory

Author(s): Edward W. Soja


Source: Theory and Society, Vol. 39, No. 3/4, Special Issue in Memory of Charles Tilly (1929
2008): Cities, States, Trust, and Rule (May 2010), pp. 361-376
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40587540
Accessed: 25-12-2015 02:13 UTC

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/
info/about/policies/terms.jsp
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content
in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship.
For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Springer is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Theory and Society.

http://www.jstor.org

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

DOI 10.1007/s11186-0 10-9 113-5

Citiesand statesin geohistory


Edward W. Soja

Publishedonline:5 March2010
The Author(s)2010. This articleis publishedwithopenaccess at Springerlink.com

AbstractIn his lastmajorwork,CharlesTillypresentsa schematichistory


of the
and
I
of
trust
networks
over
the
five
millennia.
cities,
states,
development
past
his
"look
across
from
a
more
reconfigure
history"
assertively
spatialperspective,
backthestarting
ofcitiesanother
5,000yearstowhatis
pushing
pointofthegeohistory
ofthree"urbanrevolutions."
Fromthisgeohistorical
as thefirst
viewpoint,
presented
de novoinSumeriabutthestateis seenas being
citiesandstatesdo notemergetogether
as thestimulus
fromearlierurbanization
processesorwhatcanbe described
generated
cities
or
urban
ofurbanagglomeration.
Thegenerative
of
power
rarely
spatialcausality,
is beingre-discovered
addressedin thesocial scienceliterature,
todayas a primary
In my
andcultural
sourceofsocietaldevelopment,
innovation,
technological
creativity.
the
stimulus
of
urban
schematic
is
traced
over
10,000years
agglomeration
geohistory,
itsearlyroleinthedevelopment
offull-scale
andtheremarkable
artistic
from
agriculture
from
the
of
the
earliest
urban
settlements;
Catalhyk, largest
creativity
emanating
theformation
ofpolitically
and city-based
chargedcity-states
empires;to the
through
Industrial
Revolutionand the originsof urbanindustrial
capitalism;
city-generated
in
at
the
of citiesand statesandtheshift
a
look
reconfiguration
ending
contemporary
frommetropolitan
toregionalurbanization.
CharlesTillytakes
To beginhis lastmajorwork,Citiesand Statesin WorldHistory,
of
the readerback nearly5,000 yearsto the thriving
city-state Uruk,near the
confluence
of theTigrisand Euphratesrivers.At thattime,Urukwas alreadywell
and probablythe world's
establishedas one of the firstfullyformedcity-states
with
urban
as
50,000 people livingwithinits walls.
largest
agglomeration well,
Uruk'srulerduringpartof thiserawas thegreatkingGilgameshand Tillyuses the
clay tabletinscribedGilgameshepic to open up his own "look across history."
as he describedit, Tillypresentsa highly
furiously,
Sketchingand schematizing
E. W. Soja {M)
of California-Los
of UrbanPlanning,Schoolof PublicAffairs,
University
Angeles,
Department
Los Angeles,CA, USA
e-mail:esoja@ucla.edu
Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

362

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

overviewof thedevelopment
of cities,states,and trustnetworks
over
personalized
thepast fivemillennia,sincewhathe and mostexpertsconsiderto have been the
originalmomentof cityand stateformation.
SpatializingTilly
WhatI proposetodo here,also sketching
andschematizing
is add a more
energetically,
assertiveand explanatory
to the storyTillytells,to look at the
spatialperspective
intertwined
of citiesand statesacrossgeohistory.
This infrequently
used
development
much
more
than
an
extra
dose
of
to
term,
geohistory,
represents
adding
geography the
of
or
that
I
matters."
As
see
is
it,geohistory
writing history simplyrecognizing "space
indicative
of a radicallydifferent
of
at
and
way looking history geography
together,
themas mutually
formative
and co-equalin theirinterpretive
treating
power.(Soja
1989) Such a balancedview runsagainsttheprevailing
grainof a powerfulsocial
historicism
has
that,sinceat leastthemid-nineteenth
century, intellectually
prioritized
timeoverspaceandinterpretively
thehistorical
andsociologicalimagination
privileged
overgeographical
or spatialperspectives.
My aim in spatializing
Tilly'slook across
is
to
build
on
a
of
this
social
historicism
to
his fundamental
enrich
history
critique
more
to
new
and
innovative
avenues
and,
arguments
ambitiously, openup potentially
forinvestigating
and
their
coordinative
networks
of
trust.
cities,states,
The need forsuch spatialization
of even thebesthistorical
arisesfrom
writings
whatcan be describedas theGreatOntologicalDistortion
thattookplace in Western
inthelasthalfofthenineteenth
Almostentirely
inthe
unnoticed
scholarship
century.
mainstreamliteraturewas an intellectualfixationon temporaland historical
thatwould injecta socio-historical
bias intothethenemerging
social
perspectives
sciencesas well as into Marx's historicalmaterialism.
historical
Foregrounding
of social relations,social will, and societal development,
while
interpretations
subordinated
to
to
decidedlyinsightful,
essentially
space time,geography history,
an ontological
thatwouldcarryoverto affect
creating
predisposition
epistemological
and empiricalanalysisin all thehumansciences.Cities
debate,theoryformation,
and states,for example,came to be studiedliterallyand figuratively
"through
was reducedto a neutralbackground
history"whiletheirgeographyor spatiality
a containerof social life and history,
a stage for a social drama
environment,
across
time
and
across
unfolding
primarily
onlyincidentally
place and space.1
One of the few to recognizethis ontologicaldistortion
was Michel Foucault
who
it
asked
is
that
we
have
come
to thinkof timeas
(1986),
why
quizzically
dialectic
while
dynamic,
process,movement,
development,
spacetendsto be seenas
or
environment.
Did
it startwithBergson,he
fixed,dead,extra-social
background,
curious
as
to
how
such
a
imbalance
could
havedevelopedbetween
ponders,
peculiar
timeand space, seeminglyco-equal dimensionsof boththe physicaland social
worlds.Expectingthis social historicism
to be easily recognizedand repaired,
Foucaultwouldmoveon to demonstrate
in practicea morebalancedand mutually
causalspatio-temporal
orgeohistorical
in hismajorwritings.
perspective
Onlyin the
has thisre-balancing
ofhistorical
and geographical
past 10 years,however,
thinking
1 For moreon this
see EdwardSoja 1989, 1996,2000.
ontologicalhistoricism,
Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

363

whatsomehavebeen callinga "spatialturn"in thehuman


begunto occurthrough
some
sciences,as nearlyeverydisciplineand subjectarea has been experiencing
of
and
Arias
(Warf
spatialization
2009).
degree provocative
as it is used herecarrieswithit an ontologicalre-balancing
of the
Geohistory
andthespatial,withno one ofthemgivenpriority
or privilege
social,thehistorical,
of social historicism,
overtheothers.Giventhepersistence
however,a compensaon
critical
will
at
least
to be given
need,
toryemphasis
spatialthinking
temporarily,
no
matter
what
the
be.
What
follows
thenis the
attention
subjectmay
primary
a
of
a
how
of
foregrounding spatialperspective,
exploring itmight
product strategic
intothestudyof citiesand states.
add new insights
At the core of this look across geohistoryis an emphasison urban spatial
activelyshape social
causality,how citiesas spatiallyorganizedsocial formations
societaldevelopment.
relationsand helpto stimulate
Cityspacein thissenseis not
in
life
unfolds
and
a
which
social
majoreventsoccur but is also an
just place
context.Fromwhatcan be describedas thestimulusof
affective
and consequential
urbanagglomeration
emanatesa generative
forcethathas playeda powerfulbut
unnoticed
rolein societaldevelopment
as a sourceof accumulation,
almostentirely
and
cultural
Jane
innovation,
coercion,hierarchy,
creativity. Jacobsin TheEconomy
of
was
the
first
scholars
to recognizethegenerative
effects
Cities
(1969)
among
of
and herworkis used hereto beginour revisedlook at the
urbanagglomeration
of citiesand states.2
geohistory
Pushingback the originof cities
Tilly's look across historyis rich with insights,especiallywith regardto the
as integrative
mechanisms
the
of trustnetworks
holdingtogether
conceptualization
he
evolutionof citiesand states.In his creativeexcursion,
intertwined
however, is
of
the
historicist
led
writings others,andfundamentally
occasionally astrayby
- by his own intrinsic
his
fertile
unusually
geographicalimagination
despite
time
over
of
over
space,history
geography,
especiallyin therealmof
privileging
The subordination
of urbanspatialcausalityin Tilly'sinterpretation
socialcausality.
of citiesand statesbeginswiththedebateon urbanorigins.
of thedevelopment
of Urukand the Gilgamesh
Ratherthanbeginningwiththe thriving
city-state
needs
to
be
taken
back another5,000 yearsor
epic,thestoryof urbangeohistory
anditsevenmoreancientpredecessors.3
moreto Catalhyk
FollowingJaneJacobs
Mumford
it
can
be
that
theworld'searliest
rather
than
Lewis
(1961),
(1969)
argued
southern
Anatolia
tookplace in thehighlandbeltrunning
urbansettlements
through
to presentday Iranand southintothe Levantratherthanin the so-calledFertile
2 The

Economyof Cities has inspireda growingfield of geographicaleconomicsdealing with


Jacobs
thatarisefromurbanagglomeration.
"urbanization
economies,"thepositiveand negativeeffects
as we
and gatherers
cities,we wouldall be poor,we wouldhave remainedhunters
arguedthatwithout
werethroughout
(see McDonald1997)nowcall
nearlyall ofhumanexistence.Someeconomicstextbooks
and arguethatsuchurbanization
economiesarenowtheprimary
theseeffects
"JaneJacobsexternalities"
in theworld.
and technological
innovation
forcebehindeconomicdevelopment
3 Thisalternative
evolutionof citiesis developedin detailin thefirst
viewoftheoriginandgeohistorical
threechaptersof Soja (2000).
4y Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

364

to "ChatalHoyuk,"and also theeven


Crescentof alluvialMesopotamia.Tillyrefers
in dismissing
as
thesesettlements
olderJericho,
butbows to thecanonicalliterature
notyet"full-fledged
cities,"owingto a lackof centralauthority,
signsof inequality
and hierarchy,
and an elaborateddivisionof labor,notto mentionan alphabet,the
and city-based
"civilization."
to
what
the
time-minded
call "written
history"
key
in
and
Jericho
were
cities
is entangled
The debateaboutwhether
Catalhyk
truly
histories
oftheorigins
a kindofCatch-22thatbringsintoquestionnearlyall existing
of citiesand states,includingTilly's.So fixatedis the literature
on the Sumerian
that
the
a
such
as
Uruk
and
Ur
definition
of
becomes
city
confusingly
city-states
withthedefinition
ofthestate.Thatis, ifa settlement
does notexpressthe
conflated
and hierarchical
state,thenit cannotbe a truecity.
key featuresof a centralized
to
the
confusion,
Adding
large-scaleagricultural
developmentis thrownin as
ofbothcitiesandstates,withcitiesas wellas statesseenas
essentialtotheformation
an increasing
social division
evolvingfromexpansiveagricultural
villagesthrough
and generative
of labor.Thatcitiesas permanent
urbanagglomerations
can form
withoutstatesis generally
ruledout,as is theevenmoreaudaciouspossibility
that
and
stimulated
full
scale
urbanization
agricultural
preceded
development.
of a social surplus,primarily
in food,
The deeplyheldbeliefthattheproduction
was essentialto theformation
of citieswas turnedupsidedownby JaneJacobsin
The Economyof Cities.Buildingon excavationsat Catalhykin the late 1960s
whenwriting
TheCityinHistory),she claimed
(knowledgeunavailableto Mumford
thatcitiescame first,
beforetheAgricultural
thatcitieswere
Revolution,
implying
essentialto theproduction
of a social surplusrather
thantheotherway around.She
andpaleoanthropologists,
argued,to theridiculeand dismissalof mostprehistorians
thatthefirst
substantial
humansettlements
werestatelesscitiesformed
byegalitarian
bands of huntersand gathererswell beforethe developmentof "full-fledged"
agrariansocieties.They were, in essence, Neolithiccities,an impossibleand
to mostscholarsof antiquity.
contradictory
phenomenon
Citiesalmostsurelydid notprecedethedomestication
of plantsand animalsand
therewerepeople who knewhow to farmin the firstcities.But whatis clearly
archeologicalevidenceand the logic of distancesuggestedfromcontemporary
human
behavior
is thaturbanization
andagricultural
minimizing
spatial
development
in a mutually
evolvedtogether
causaland symbiotic
The creationof an
relationship.
thedevelopment
of cities,but
agricultural
surplusplayeda keyrole in stimulating
as
often
overlooked
urbanization
(and
entirely),
just important
playeda generative
role in theAgricultural
Revolution.
this
mutual
which,as
Understanding
causality,
we will see, can also be appliedto thedevelopment
of the state,buildsupon the
thatthe firsttrue cities were formedaround 12,000 years ago in
recognition
Southwest
Asia andthatthisepochalcommitment
to livingdenselyandpermanently
in
than
a
one
rather
together
place
maintainingrovingnomadicexistencemarkeda
kindof "big bang"in thedevelopment
of humansocieties.
Once humansdecideto settlein one place,as one oftheexcavators
ofJericho
put
it (Kenyon1960), all else follows:thegeohistory
of societaldevelopment
begins.
The settling
downintopermanent
urbanclusters
was perhapsthemostrevolutionary
eventin thehistoryof humansociety,followingafterat least2,000,000yearsof
existenceas smallnomadicbandsof fewerthana hundred
members.
Almostsurely,
thesefirstcitiescould nevergrowto muchmorethan10,000inhabitants,
butthis
4y Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

365

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

Environmental
factors
was an explosiveleap in societalscale andcomplexity.
played
an important
role in thesechanges,as a periodof global warmingmeltedback
of traditionalhunting,
continentalicecaps and encouragedthe intensification
in
zone
fromtheMediterranean
the
well
watered
and
technologies
gathering, fishing
understood
notas
urbansettlement,
to southern
China.Permanent
however,is better
a
and
choice.
induced
but
as
rational
specifically
spatial
environmentally
- thereis evidenceof plantdomestication
existed
Whileknowledgeof farming
- thevast majorityof inhabitants
of the firstcitieswere
goingback 18,000years
Thereis no clearevidenceof earlyagricultural
hunters
and gatherers.
villagesthat
somehowgrewintocities.Indeed,the idea thatreasonablepeople would cluster
dwellingsto farmdoes not make sense, especiallywhen
togetherin permanent
If anything,
thereversewas morelikely,
was nota factor.
defenseagainstoutsiders
led to thespawningoffofthefirst
thaturbanagglomeration
agricultural
villagesand
of livestockkeepers,initiallyto servethe needs of the urban
small settlements
andnomadic
as a ruralpeasantry
laterseekinggreater
autonomy
although
population
pastoralists.
and in some cases thousandsof people to createthefirst
So whatled hundreds
Not farming
orrearinglivestock(whichwerepossible
urban
settlements?
permanent
buttradeand exchange,
to practice12,000yearsago), norhuntingand gathering,
There
is
evidence
thatlong-distance
means
of
some
reciprocity.
probablythrough
Asia andtheeasternMediterranean
tradeexistedin Southwest
15,000yearsago and
evolve
intothefamousSilk
trade
routes
that
would
later
have
created
ancient
may
acrossEurasiato connectwithanother
Road Tillywritesabout,stretching
wellspring
in theloess plainsand rivervalleysof northern
China.
of urbanization
Tradethenwas theprimary
force,especiallyin theNeolithicor New
urbanizing
Stone Age, when the main commoditywas workablestonessuch as flintand
obsidian,the volcanicglass thatwas mostcloselyassociatedwiththe growthof
such
bynaturalfactors
Choosingan actualsiteprobablywas influenced
Catalhyk.
as the availabilityof watersupplies,includinglakes and marsheswithabundant
was mainlya logicaland
thousandsof inhabitants
wildlife,butgathering
together
in
to delivering
trade
of
to
the
efficient
heavygoods,especially comparison
response
This also meantthattherewereprobably
nomadicencampments.
themto scattered
centersalongthemainroutes.Fromthestartthen,urbanization
manysmallertrading
of varioussizes ratherthan
form
of a networkof settlements
took
the
probably
isolatedand insulatedcities.4
Catalhyk,perhapsthe major metropolisof the Neolithic,lasted fornearly
abouton two moundsand probablyrisingand fallingin size
2,000 years,shifting
beforebeingabandoned.Itsgenerative
leadingto expanding
powerwas impressive,
innovative
architecture
and
urban
design,a formofhighly
development,
agricultural
in
the
burst
of artistic
based
and
and
creativity
greatest
religion,
egalitarian family
almost
brilliant
of
earlier
cave
to
that
time.
The
most
humangeohistory
paintings
up
A fewwood or
scenesor elaborategeometric
patterns.
hunting
alwaysrepresented
4 Whether
we mayneverknow,although
andtrustcoincidedwiththeseurbannetworks
formsof identity
rather
of thefirstcitiessuggestsa strongfamilyfocusand householdautonomy
theegalitarian
character
thana largescale community
identity.
Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

366

stonesculptures
of whatare thought
to be fertility
goddesseshave been found,but
was extraordinary.
whathappenedin Catalhyk
Hundredsof goddess-likesculptures
wereproduced(possiblystimulated
by the
metalincludingcopperwas workedinto
to agriculture),
gradualshiftfromhunting
elaboratedesigns,thefirstknowntextilesand rugswerewoven,obsidianwas cut
and beautiful
muralswerepainted,
and polishedintothefirsthand-crafted
mirrors,
includingone thatalmostsurelyis the firstknownexampleof a cityscape,a
depictionof dozens of houses spreadingout in frontof a distanttwin-peaked
volcanoseeminglyerupting
withthe invaluableobsidianthecitydependedupon.
Here thenwas abundantevidenceof the transformation
of natureintosocialized
in
the
"cooked"
rather
than
the
"raw"
Levi-Strauss
's terms.In
cityspace,
representing
the previous2,000,000 years of homo sapiens existence,therewas nothingto
artistic
and culturalrevolution
thattookplace in
comparewiththeurbangenerated
Anatoliancity.
and fromthisremarkable
Emergingpolities:the cityand the statecombined
Derivedfromthisradicallyrevisedview of societaldevelopment
is the idea that
cities and the urbanization
have
the
most
process
providedperhaps
important
forcebehindeverymajorbreakthrough
in humangeohistory,
fromthe
generative
to
the
industrial
revolutions
to
bursts
of
artistic
and
agricultural
major
creativity
about
innovation.
From
to
the
stimulus
of
8,000 5,000 yearsago,
technological
urbanagglomeration
also played a key role in the formation
of the stateand
centralized
theemergenceof hierarchies
of differential
social power,the
authority,
in
of
this
of
and
cultural
ties,andtheriseof
rooting
hierarchy power gender,
kinship
class divisionsbased largelyon the ownershipof property.
So closelytied were
urbandevelopment
and stateformation
thatwhat emergedduringthisperiodis
calledthecity-state
from
the
the
defineas
or,
Greek, polis,whichsomedictionaries
or
either
state.
meaning
city
in Anatoliaas well as northern
Recentexcavations
SyriaandIraq suggestthatthe
earlieststatelessor acephalouscitiesevolvedoverthousandsof yearsintothecitybased statesof Mesopotamiaand probablyalso the Nile and Indus Valleys.
walls aroundit and therewas no evidenceof any
Catalhykhad no formidable
withinthe settlement.
or
Householdswere roughly
political religiouscentrality
with
walls
so
that
in thesamehomesite
few
shared
one
could
remain
similar,
family
formanygenerations,
each one buriedatoptheothers.(Hodder2006) Afteraround
of theMesopotamian
evidence
8,000BP, however,beforetheflowering
city-states,
of walled settlements
has been foundshowingsigns of increasingly
centralized
and growinghierarchy,
withsomebuildingsmuchlargerthanothersand
authority
withurbanspaces possiblydevotedto ceremonyand/orexchange.Interestingly
enough,no evidencewas foundat thesesitesof written
language.
Whatthissuggests,as notedearlier,is thaturbanization
and stateformation
grew
much
like
the
of
togethersymbiotically,
very
mutuallystimulating
development
citiesand agriculture
thatwas also continuing
to occurin thenew environments
of
thegreatrivervalleysof Eurasiaandnorthern
Africa.Thatstateformation
and large
scale irrigated
influenced
urbandevelopment
is nota newidea,butthere
agriculture
4y Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

367

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

thatemphasizeson at leastan equal basis thatcitiesgenerated


is verylittlewritten
fromcentralizedroyaland religiousauthority
statesand all theirappurtenances,
expanding
(with the skyscrapingzigguratits synecdoche),class stratification,
The
state
was not
and
force,
impulses.
empire-building
power,military
patriarchal
it
of
the
and
social
in
the
built
environment
reflected
city,
emerged
geography
only
or,just as
fromthe urbancontextor habitat.It trulywas a city-generated-state
more
To
make
one
a
important
generative
process
descriptive, state-generated-city.
is to distort
whathappened.
thantheother,orto see eitheras developingseparately,
To be clear,I am notclaimingthaturbanization
explainsall aspectsof societal
I
am
state
or
formation,
purposefully
emphasizingthe
although
development
it
has
invisiblein
because
been
of
urban
virtually
spatialcausalitylargely
importance
and social
in
in
the
of
historians
the existingliterature
and, particular,
writings
oftheseideaswas behind
scientists
on statesandcities.I hopethatat leasta glimmer
to findmoreexcitingand interesting
challengesto urbanhistorians
Tilly'sfrequent
than
to
about
cities
events,butI cannotbe sure.Justas
simplychronicling
things say
revolution
it is widelyassumedthattheagricultural
precededand led to theriseof
of scholarssee stateformation
thefirstcities,so too do themajority
(and written
I
the
As
have
been
of
true
cities.
for
the
as
arguing,
growth
language) pre-requisites
coand
to
reverseis muchmorelikely,withurbanization
leading (or
preceding
processesassociatedwiththe rise of agrarian
evolvingwith)the transformative
state.
of thecentralized
societiesand theformation
The stimulusof urbanagglomeration
beganto have an effect12,000yearsago,
and wouldexplodeagainin Sumeriawiththe
reachedan earlypeak in Catalhyk,
whichwould subsequently
of city-states,
formation
spreador be independently
around
the
world.
in manydifferent
invented
Tillypicksup thestoryinUruk
regions
and theGilgameshepic. Whilehe is almostsurelycorrectin statingthat"no states
existedanywherein theworldbefore4,000 BCE" or 6,000-plusyearsago, he is
thatcitiesfirstappearedin thesame
almostsurelywrongin acceptingtheargument
that
in
and historicist
literature
a
canonical
as
as
and
periods places states, depicted
ofcity,state,andevenmoreEurocentrically
thedefinitions
muddlestogether
biased,
civilization.
inhiscommentary
on
Forthemostpart,Tillyavoidsthisdefinitional
confounding
the "ambiguous"and variablerelationsbetweencities and statesas distinctive
trend"(see Figure1 in
buthe developsa typologyand a "mainhistorical
entities,
than
clarifies
theserelations.The
that
confuses
more
in
this
article
issue)
Tilly's
trendline expressesthefamiliaridea thattheworldhas movedfroma timewhen
citiesdominatedto a timecloserto todaywhen centralizedstatesbecame more
powerfulthancities.Theremay indeedbe a trendtowardincreasingstateversus
urbanpower,but the coordinatesof Tilly's diagramconfoundhow thistrendis
framedand interpreted.
In theupperleftcornerof thediagramis the"autonomouscity,"a remarkably
categorythatTilly awkwardlyexemplifiesin
emptybut seeminglyoriginating
whichis morelikethe
and
the
Vatican,butnotSingapore,
HongKong
contemporary
at
the
more
upperrighthand
"integrated"
appearing
"city-state"
(non-autonomous?)
corner.The city-staterepresentsan extremeof urban dominance,while the
centralizedstate(China is describedas a formidable
example)is plantedat the
Leftoverin
were
dominant.
when
states
otherlowerrightand culminating
extreme,
4y Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

368

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

are
thelowerleftcorner(statesdominantbut "segregated"
ratherthanintegrated)
nomadicempires.
Whatis buriedunderthisAutonomousCities,City-States,
CentralizedStates,
Nomadic Empiresclassificationis the constantgenerativeforceof cities,the
possibilitythatall humansocietieshave been urbanizedsocietiesfor the past
fromnature,fromstate
12,000years.Firstof all, no citiesare ever autonomous,
when
it
or
from
networks
of
trust.
are also
exists,
Furthermore,
power
city-states
centralized
states.Theymaynotbe nation-states,
butthisis another
And
story. while
nomadicempiresmaybe less urbanizedand centralized
thanotherempires,fewif
disconnected
fromimportant
citiesandtheirgenerative
effects.
Yes,
anyareentirely
nation-states
have becomemorepowerfulbastionsof coercionand social control
thancity-states,
buttheyhave alwaysruledthrough
citiesand theaccumulation
of
- but never exclusively
- on the
nationalwealth has always hinged primarily
stimulus
of urbanagglomeration.
Tilly's diagramand discussionof the rise of nationalstatepower,earlierin
the conventional
social historicist
Europethanelsewhere,reflectsand reinforces
viewthathas led to thesubmergence
ofurbanspatialcausalityandtheprivileging
of
socio-historical
as
to
a
more
balanced
and
processes opposed
socio-spatial spatiothe storygoes, citiesbecome less important
temporaldialectic.AfterWestphalia,
whilethestategrowsin social power,leadingtoo easilyto theidea thatwiththe
formation
of the nation-state
scholarscan henceforth
forgetabout urbanspatial
the
of
and
urbanization
as thedriving
forcebehind
causality, generative
power cities,
economicdevelopment.
in Westernsocial and political
Cities were mummified
suchas theold Chicago
theory,
especiallyas causal factors(witha fewexceptions,
in
cities
but
not
because
of
cities.
Even
theurbanin urban
School). Thingshappen
industrial
of
another
revolution,
capitalism,part
major city-generated
disappears
fromview and hencefromsystematic
The existenceof
analysisin socialisttheory.
the nationalstateas a fundamentally
formalso tendsto be
spatialor territorial
as
states
become
abstracted
from
cities
and
the
urbanization
forgotten
process.
There is much more to be exploredin the co-evolutionof cities and states
between5,000and 300 BP, theonsetoftheindustrial
revolution
andtheriseofnew
urbanization
I
but
focus
here
on
the
processes,
briefly just
conceptof politics.As
therewas no evidenceof an organizedpolityor centralized
it can be said
authority,
thattherewas no truepoliticsin theearliestcities,althoughsome degreeof social
regulationwas needed and probablyexisted to maintaina permanenturban
evenifonlyderivedfroma genderor inter-household
divisionof labor.
settlement,
Almostby definition,
can
we
claim
that
however,
politicsemergesin conjunction
withtheformation
of thecity-state.
In his provocativegenealogyof the conceptof citizenship,
EnginIsin (2002)
rootshis analysisof "beingpolitical"in theurbanization
process,in thegenerative
forcesthatarisefromthesocio-spatial
or
ofurban
agglomeration clustering
together
communities.5
Isin
that
are
Aristotle,
Following
argues
politics
essentiallyurban
5 I have used theterm
to referto thestimulusof urbanagglomeration,
it fromthe
synekism
borrowing
Greeksynoikismos
as used by Aristotle
and Thucydides
to describetheformation
of thecity-state.
(Soja
refersto social groupscomingtogether
to live interdependently
in one homespace,
2000) Synoikismos
oikos meaninghome,the root of economicsand ecology as well as ekistics,the studyof human
settlements.
It also meansto wed,to live interdependently
together.
4y Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

369

oxpolis,andreflective
ofdeepeninginequality
of
intrinsic
tothecity-state
generated,
and
wealth.
Without
a
sense
of
urban
this
becomes
spatialcausality, argument
power
and almostimpossibleto understand
and accept.Yet it is a vital
incomprehensible
in
the
of
theMediterranean
of
what
was
eastern
borderlands
starting
part
happening
as
and
stateless
cities became politically
8,000 years ago,
peaceful
egalitarian
chargedcity-states.
formative
relationamongcities,states,and politicsis blurredand
This mutually
in mostoftheliterature
whichtendsto avoid
fractured
shapedby socialhistoricism,
hint
of
urban
The
are
however, clearlyexpressed
any
spatialcausality. connections,
The city-state
orpolis givesus policy,
in languageandoururban-related
vocabulary.
while
the
Latin
civitas
is linkedto civil,
of
and, course,politics;
polite,police,polity,
and
to
the
The
Greek
word
civic,citizen,civilization, city.
distinguish urbandweller
outsiderorruralidiotes(henceMarx'slamentaboutthe"idiocy"
fromthebarbarian
of rurallife)is polites,a termredolentof thelinkbetweenbeingurbanand being
political.
itwouldrequirea greatdeal moreresearchthanhas beendoneor thatI
Although
ifthisinterdependency
I wouldnotbe surprised
can do to demonstrate
conclusively,
and
and
was
well
understood
politics
fairly
by philosophers
amongcities,states,
It
is
also
rise
of
social
historicism.
historians
beforethe mid-nineteenth
century
or
have subsequently
been buried,distorted,
likelythatthese interdependencies
modern
scholars.
made
to
inconceivable
to
indeed
overlooked,
Explicitly
appear
however,
theygivenewmeaningto whathappenedin thatsecondurban
recognized,
differentiation
of social and spatialpower,
was a pronounced
revolution.
Emerging
or class,
based on kinshipties,gender,property
thecreationof hierarchy
ownership
but also locationwithinthe
and place of residence,notjust urbanvs. non-urban
all sustainedby new forms
and less egalitarian
builtenvironment,
morecentralized
control.
of coercionand social
New populationsenteredthecityand theurbanfabric.A religiousand political
elite,increasingits powersof coercionand control,settledin the most favored
class enteredthecityand tookcontrolof theirturf;themilitary
places; a merchant
or
weregivena place to live and work,as wereothergroupssuchas city-managers
in
than
thousand
and
size
to
more
bureaucratsand slaves. Cities grew
fifty
as one city-state
forresources,
trade,andplunderled to empire-building,
competition
in
to receive tribute labor and goods.
attemptedto controlothercity-states
at least
and globalizationbegan to intensify,
unevendevelopment
Geographically
inNew Worldregions.City-based
also multiplied
intheOld World,whilecity-states
of
the spatialconcentration
statesand trustnetworksgrew together,
stimulating
three
Cs:
and
the
coordination
of
of wealth
Tilly's
powerover the accumulation
Theseconcentrations
of wealthand powerwere
capital,coercion,and commitment.
but were concretely
not social abstractions
expressedin spatiallyorganizedcityand
states/state-cities,
symbolically
physicallypunctuatedby palaces, markets,
castles,and churches.
as ithad been fromthe
to be a vitalpartof urbandevelopment,
Tradecontinued
was more
in
the
of
transformative
factor
but
the
start,
expansion thecity-state
largest
administration.
of centralizedterritorial
connectedto the geographicalefficiency
butin
do notoperateonlyin theabstract
and commitment
Coercion,coordination,
"urbanization
intense
of
nodal
spaces taking advantage unusually
organized
4y Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

370

and the wieldingof power.Managingmuchlarger


economies"of administration
to innovatenotjustin coordinating
labor
scaleurbansocietiesincreasedthepressure
but
for
control
over
forexpandingagricultural
maintaining
imperial
production
as
territories.6
The
of
individual
cities
as
well
increasingly
far-flung
tributary
growth
administrative
thepopulationsize of city-basedempiresincreasingly
hingedupon
and managerial
capacityand innovativeness.
The industrialcapitalistcity:a thirdurban revolution?
The city-state
andcity-state
basedempiresevolvedin manydifferent
directions
from
a
theirearliestforms.For many(Western)scholars,themedievalcityrepresented
version
of
urbanized
while
others
saw
new
freedoms
particularly
inspired
society,
in themercantile
in theHanseaticLeaguemotto
citiesof Europe,signified
emerging
Stadt luftmachtfrei. With the possible exceptionof the Greek philosophical
withthecitywas a relatively
discourseon democracy,
thisassociationof freedom
new idea,reflecting
theemergence
of merchant
based rather
thanstatebased cities.
The rise and globalizationof mercantilecities,many withoutsignificant
state
had
another
to
a
coastal
functions,
geographicaleffect,leading
rapidlygrowing
urbanization
process,as portcitiesand long distancetraderoutesconnectedthe
littoral
of all theworldsinhabited
continents
and contributed
to therelativedecline
of somecity-states
locateddeeperinland.
The urbanization
process and the stimulusof urban agglomeration
changed
with
the
IndustrialRevolution.As recentresearchin geographical
dramatically
economicshas been tellingus, the humanactivitythatbenefitsmostfromurban
and urbanization
economiesis factory-based
or large
agglomeration
manufacturing
scale industrialization.
The Industrial
Revolutionaccordingly
an
triggered exponentialsurgein urbanization
unlikeanythatprecededit.The proportion
of theworld's
in
that
lives
cities
remained
well
under
1%, forthe
population
verylow,probably
first6,000 years of societal development.It rises only slightlyover the next
the age of the city-state,
but explodesin the late eighteenth
5,000 yearsthrough
when
some
states
such
as
Great
Britain
and the Netherlands
became
century,
urban
for
first
time
as
a
third
the
mode
of
urbanization
predominantly
emergedin
associationwiththegrowthof theindustrial
capitalistcity.
remarkable
had happenedto theurbanization
By 1800, something
process.In the
new kindof city,industrialization,
economic
theexpanding
capitalist
development,
of
the
centralized
and
what
scholars
to
call
"modernizanation-state,
power
began
tion"becameinextricably
linkedto urbanization.
The macro-geography
of thisthird
urbanrevolution
was quitedifferent
fromthefirst
with
in
their
two,
originsprimarily
SouthwestAsia. Althoughtherewas a tendencyto Europeanizethe global
of thecity-state,
development
favoringGreekand Romanexperiences(something
industrial
in its initialstageswas
Tillyassiduouslyavoids),
capitalisturbanization
6

beforetheriseof thenation-state
wereTeotihuacan
in present
Amongthelargesturbanagglomerations
day Mexico, Xi'an (Sian) in China,Angkorin Cambodia,and, withperhapsas manyas a million
Alexandria
andimperial
Rome.Thereis stillverylittleknownaboutwhysomecities
inhabitants,
dynastic
thanothers.The literature
thisquestionis sparse.
grewfasterand weremoregenerative
addressing
4y Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

371

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

decidedlyfocusedon northwest
Europe,at theouteredgesoftheold Romanempire
in theBritishIsles and Euro-lowlands.
would
The greatimperialand commercialcentersof London and Amsterdam
on a granderscale thanmostothercities,but
feelthe effectsof industrialization
processestook
perhapsthe "purest"expressionof the radicallynew urbanization
to over a
in
from
a
small
market
1850
town,grewby
which,
place Manchester,
as the secondlargestEnglishcity,afterLondon.Manchester's
millioninhabitants
industrialization
was in largeparta productofthe
(likeLondon'sandAmsterdam's)
and
the
formation
of tradingnetworks
of
mercantile
along
capitalism
globalization
theinhabited
coastsof all theworld'scontinents.
theintertwined
co-evolution
of urbanizaillustrates
Manchester
paradigmatically
in a chickenand egg dynamicresembling
whathappened
tionand industrialization
earlier with regard to agriculturaldevelopmentand state formation.Stated
andtheexpansionofurbanindustrial
theindustrial
revolution
capitalism
differently,
in and fromcities.The conventional
wisdom
weregeneratedand carriedforward
the
this
After
historians
or
all,
say,
possibility.
barelyrecognizes totallyrejects
builtalongruralstreamswhererapidshelpedto generate
weren'tthefirstfactories
in thefirstcities
neededpower?Butjust as it can be said that,whilesome settlers
Revolution
knew how to farm,the full-fledged
grew out of the
Agricultural
so too can it be
stimulus
of
urban
and
the
urbanization
agglomeration,
process
could
not
have
Industrial
Revolution
that
the
developedas it did
argued
expansive
thegenerative
forceof urbanspatialcausality.
without
thisview.Urbangrowthwas
A brieflook at theinternal
geographyreinforces
of
three
sizeable
the
fueledprimarily
entry
populationsthatwerenotpresentin
by
the
First
was theindustrial
cities
to
bourgeoisie,
degree.
anysignificant
preindustrial
the
most
could
take
with
their
economic
owners,who
power
up
growing
factory
favoredlocationsbothin thecenter(oftendisplacingthemercantile
petitbourgeois
residents)and outsidethecore city,in ruralmanorsand villas once theexclusive
torn
Much largerin numberswas theurbanproletariat,
preserveof thearistocracy.
in
the
than
their
labor
of makinga livingother
by selling
awayfromthepossibility
was
a
free-floating
process
city.Addingto this highlycentralizedurbanization
thatprovidedbotha laborreservoir
and, in
population(Marx's lumpenproletariat)
theirmiserableconditions,an effectivetool to keep the workingclass from
challengingthe new economic systemtoo vigorously.For the firsttime in
and
and inequalityservedpositiveaccumulation
urbanslums,poverty,
geohistory,
functions.
integration
of theindustrial
In thefirst
capitalistcity,theworkers,
phasein thedevelopment
factories
were overwhelmingly
the jobless, and the majorityof machine-driven
was
the
stimulus
of
urban
where
aroundthecitycenter,
concentrated
agglomeration
on
as
industrial
were
forces
at itspeak.Centripetal
enormous,
gorged the
producers
toward
in
tendencies
the
centers.
economies
urbanization
Strong
wellingup
city
order
of
the
to
the
city,creatingthe
sociospatial
shape
concentricity
helped
in
and
laterconceptuManchester
noticed
first
by Engels
regularities
geographical
alized by thespatiallyorientedChicagoSchool of UrbanEcology.(Soja 2000) By
suchdensecentrality
theendofthenineteenth
spawnedpoliticalunrestand
century,
that
would continueto the
and
decentralization
a
selective
centrifugal
sparked
and
suburbanization.
urbanization
in
the
form
of
metropolitan
present
Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

372

is usually
The evolutionof thestateand statetheoryoverthepasttwocenturies
fromthegeohistory
of urbanindustrialization,
or markedwitha
treatedseparately
thedeclineof urbansocial and spatialpower.Froma
noteproclaiming
triumphal
however,it maybe moreaccurateto say thatthe
contemporary
spatialperspective,
and hierarchical
nationalurbansystemthat
stateconsolidated
arounda multi-scalar
of services,commercial
wove together
administrative
the provisioning
functions,
In some
interaction
andtrade,andthesurging
of
urban
industrial
growth
production.
in
at
the
such
dominant
cities
as
London
states,all thesehierarchies
converged
top
In all
and Paris.In manyothers,themajorpoliticaland economiccitiesdiffered.
cases, however,it would be misleadingto say thatcitiesand urbanpowerwere
was no longerdefined
and subsumedby thestate.Citizenship
simplysubordinated
it
residence
but
functioned
and
was
sustained
the
of
by
cityregion
by an urban
of
the
iconic
focusedlegal systemand theoverarching
power
"capital"city.
theindustrial
to sketchandschematize
furiously,
capitalist
cityandstate
Continuing
a
of
boom
canbe seenas developing
series
together
throughremarkably
regular
lengthy
such
as
that
which
followed
after
1848
and
the
Second
World
and
War, equally
periods,
whennew formsof
longperiodsof whatcan be calledcrisis-generated
restructuring,
andurbanization
tookshape.Untilroughly
around1970,national
capitalist
development
statesconsolidated
theirpoliticaland economicpowerand sovereignty
so powerfully
thattheworldseemedto consistonlyofstateactors,
nowexpandedinnumber
through
de-colonization.
Theflatmapoftheinternational
statesystem
tookholdoftheacademic
all othersourcesofpolitical
andpopularimaginations
tosucha degreethatnearly
power
andauthority
seemedto disappearandalternatives
werealmostinconceivable.
The contemporary
of citiesand states7
reconfiguration
Overthepast30 years,as almosteveryoneagrees,thesovereignty
andpowerofthe
nation-state
has come undergreaterchallengethanat any othertime since the
establishment
of thenation-state
not led to the end of
system.This has certainly
it has involveda
the nation-state,
but
as some writersprematurely
presumed,
that
has
the
or
become
profound
restructuringreconfiguration
subjectof a growing
new literature.
As thesepast 30 yearshave also seen a markedspatialturnin the
socialsciencesandhumanities,
it is notsurprising
to findthatan important
segment
of thisnew literature
on staterestructuring
has emphasizeda highlysalientcritical
(Brenner2004; Fraser2008).
spatialperspective
the
same
During
period,the urbanization
processand urbantheoryhave been
an
an emergent
new
experiencing equallyprofound
restructuring.
Manyareproclaiming
the
urbanage,drawing
from
UN
announcement
that
the
of
encouragement
majority the
world'spopulation,
morethan3.3billionpeople,nowliveincities.Others,
withthesame
"endof exaggeration
the
that
are
to
cities
obsolete
nation-state,
argue
becoming
applied
7 I have

so do notknowhow he
onlyreadthefirstchapterof Tilly'sCitiesand Statesin WorldHistory,
would deal with the past two centuries.In his continuingconnectionof accumulation,
coercion,
and trust,thereis at least the suggestionthatour views of capitalist
coordination,
commitment,
In thisconcluding
urbanization
andstateformation
arenotentirely
I tryto
section,however,
incompatible.
and to illustrate
further
thenew ideas thatare generated
clarifythemainsourceof our differences
by
emphatically
spatializing
Tilly'slook through
history.
4y Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

373

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

newinformation
and communications
So
withthedistance-compressing
technologies.
of
cities
and
states?
How
different
whatcanwe sayaboutthisprofound
reconfiguration
havecitiesandstatesbecome?
fromtheir
predecessors
forceshave beenprimarily
thatthreeinteractive
Therehas beenbroadagreement
in
of
cities
and
states
the
era.The new
for
the
restructuring
contemporary
responsible
in
an
accelerated
of
a
facilitative
role
have
fostering
globalization
technologies played
a
"New
of
what
is
called
and
culture
and
the
formation
summarily
capital,labor,
information
andglobal.
as postfordist,
described
intensive,
flexible,
variably
Economy,"
to
ofthesethreeforcescan be foundnearlyeverywhere
Whileevidenceoftheeffects
some degree,theycombinein uniqueways in everycityand stateto pose new
to interpretation,
analysis,andtheory-building.
comparative
challenges
of outcomesand in keepingwithmy assertively
Faced withthis complexity
spatialemphasis,I focushereon two closelyrelatedaspectsof thecontemporary
of citiesand states:rescalingand regionalization.
Rescalingrefersto
restructuring
which
structures
of the spatialscales and hierarchical
there-organization
through
been seen as rigidlydefinedand
citiesand statesoperate.Scale has conventionally
almostnaturally
by thespatialtheoriesof HenriLefebvre,many
given.Influenced
scale
as
sociallyproducedand capable of being reconceptualize
geographers
arethe
hierarchical
in
different
Particularly
important
arrangements.
organized many
scales on theone handand urban,
relations
betweenthenationaland supranational
and regionalscales on the other.The notionsof rescalingand
metropolitan,
forunderin this sense providea specificallyspatialframework
regionalization
of
cities
and
states.
the
co-evolution
standing
are usuallyassociatedwiththenation-state.
scales of government
Threedistinct
withclearlydefinedand almostalways
At the top is the nationalgovernment,
of
and the maintenance
of
coordination,
superiorpowers coercion,accumulation,
local
has
its
own
the
terms.
Local
nationaltrust,
state)
(or
government
usingTilly's
with cities and municipalitiesoftengiven additional
distinctresponsibilities,
In between,dependingon manygeohistorical
and autonomy.
functions
variables,
At each of
authorities.
areregions,provinces,
states,and other"mesogeographical"
where
theselevels,therearedesignated
headquarters
capitalcitiesandadministrative
concentrated
to varyingdegrees.
poweris geographically
stablein
hierarchies
remained
theseterritorial
For morethana century,
relatively
ifatall tochanging
andcultural
moststates,
economic,
onlyslightly
political,
adjusting
have
structures
Over the past 30 years,however,thesegovernmental
conditions.
of
deterritorialto
of
simultaneous
becomemorefluid,leadingsome speak
processes
territorial
authorities
izationand reterritorialization,
wherebysome longstanding
territorial
time
new
and
different
while
at
the
same
changes
experiencesignificant
at theglobal
formsbeginto emerge(Brenner2004). Whileeconomicrestructuring
state
structures
of theterritorial
thegovernmental
scale has beenextensive,
however,
seriesofwhat
havetendedto changemuchmoreslowly,givingriseto a multi-scalar
manyperceiveto be crisesofgovernance*
8 The

of state
is itselfa reflection
growinguse of the term"governance"ratherthangovernment
structures
continueto resistsignificant
and rescaling.To thedegreethatrigidgovernmental
restructuring
of the statetendto become
changes,the relationsbetweenthe politicaland economicorganization
often
to changeexistinggovernmental
Ratherthantrying
systems,attention
increasingly
dysfunctional.
thatare moreflexibleand adaptive.
formsof regulatory
alternative
shiftsto creating
governance
Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

374

of the nation-state,
mostclearlyin the hierarchalstructures
While manifested
at manydifferent
crisesof governancecan be identified
scales,from
geographical
environmental
theglobalto thelocal. Intensifying
challengesarisingfromclimate
as well as worsening
politicalproblemslinkedto global
changeand globalwarming
have
focused
attentionon the weaknessesof
and
economic
crises
geopolitics
as
the
United
Nationsand theWorldBank.
international
authorities
such
existing
Similarbut much smallerscale problemshave been on the rise with local
seem no longerto be able to handleincreasing
as existingstructures
government,
infrastructure
of
repair,and publichealthand safety.
problems poverty,
of statepoweris a responseto theseglobaland
The rescalingandregionalization
and reconstituted
local tensions.As theglobal economybecomesmoreintegrated
around a new hierarchyof global or world cities and city regions,national
its
becomemoreporousandtheterritorial
ofthenation-state,
boundaries
exclusivity
within
on
what
its
is
diluted.
We
to
act
without
boundaries,
challenge
happens
ability
but
have not yet reacheda "borderlessworld"or the "end of the nation-state,"
and
have
been
takingplaceglobally,
nationally,
regionally, locally.
profound
changes
effectsof globalizationand economicrestructuring
Amongthemostimportant
has been a resurgenceof regionalismabove and below the normalscale of
ofthenation-state.
operations
Buildingon themodeloftheEuropeanUnion,thefirst
has beena proliferation
confederation
ofindustrialized
statesin geohistory,
ofmultistatetrading
blocssuchas NAFTA,MERCOSUR, ASEAN, andmanyothers,
filling
in what50 yearsago was a virtually
scale,betweenthenational
emptysupranational
and the global. Similarly,
therehas been a worldwideresurgence
of subnational
and
to
and
The
from
Catalonia
Eritrea
Aceh.
Quebec
metropolitan
regionalisms,
regionalscale also seem to be changingrapidlywiththe growthof expansive,
themselves
as drivingforcesin the
cityregionsincreasingly
asserting
polynucleated
This
has
global geopoliticaleconomy(Scott 1998, 2001).
givennew meaningto
in
a
recent
such termsas the city-state
more
the "region-state"
to
or,
invention,
entitiesas Quebec or Catalonia.
describesuchquasi-autonomous
It is important
to note,however,thatsupranational
and subnational
regionalization have not necessarilyweakened the power of nation-states.
As notably
in theresuscitated
nationalisms
(or perhapsstatismsis a betterword)
exemplified
of some membersof theEuropeanUnion,thestatemaynotbe losingpowerbut
thatis, continuing
to be in controlof
enhancingit through
rescalingits activities,
while
also
decentralization
and devolution
supranationaldevelopments
using
than
to
maintain
rather
transfer
over
its
internal
urban
andregional
policies
authority
What
is
clear
is
that
we
cannot
about
whether
thestateis
governments.
generalize
in
that
or
and
the
current
but
we
must
realize
era,
gaining losingpower
sovereignty
it
thenation-state
is
no
what
used
to
be
and
new
modes
of
system
longer
requires
and
understanding analysis.
Similarprocessesofrescalingandregionalization
havebeenaffecting
themodern
In
I
described
this
urban
metropolis. Postmetropolis(2000),
crisis-generated
a
as
of
the
new
of
flexible
restructuring product globalization,
economy
capitalism,
and the revolutionin information
and communications
technology.Hedging
I describedwhatwas happening
as thepostmetropolitan
transition.
More
somewhat,
I have emphasizedthe emergenceof a new development
I
recently,
process have
calledregionalurbanization
(Soja 2009, 2010).
a Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

375

intowhathas beenfor
Regionalurbanization
beganat least30 yearsago, layering
more than a centurya process of metropolitanurbanization.Metropolitan
urbanization
has become so familiarand intenselystudiedthat,like the nationit
is
consideredto be the only conceivableformof urban
state,
frequently
The
modernmetropolis
tendsto be monocentric,
annular
development. stereotypical
in thesenseof havingsomeidentifiable
a
most
concentricities, notably pronounced
dualismbetweenan urbancoreandvariousringsofsuburbanization.
Thereis almost
a
off
a
central
from
highlycentripetal
always steep densitygradient,dropping
in
a
and
out
much
less
dense
businessand government
suburbia,
district, flattening
ofwhoseworking
residents
commute
ofmanymunicipalities
themajority
consisting
to employment
centersin theurbancore.Urbanismand suburbanism
represent
very
and
of
moreculturally
and raciallyheterogeneous,
different
ways life,the former
filledwithgalleries,museums,highcrimerates,widespreaddruguse, and thick
whilethesuburbsare morehomogeneous,
monotonous,
layersof social interaction
know
the
rest.
healthy you
All thishas begunto changewithregionalurbanization.
The metropolishas
become increasingly"unbound"in an urban variationof deterritorializationThe once clearborderbetweenurbanand suburbanis blurring
reterritorialization.
as
the
densitygradientbegins to flattenthrougha paradoxical
significantly
of suburbiaand a selectivehollowingout of the innercity,in some
urbanization
fromaroundtheworld.It seemsas if
cases to be refilledwithflowsof immigrants
the city is being turnedinside-outand outside-inat the same time.As inner
boundariesblur,so too does theouterboundaryof theregionalcitybecomeless
distinct,as the urbanreachesoutwardto a global scale. The "postmetropolis"
of cities,and a newurban
enmeshedin a largernetwork
becomesmorepolycentric,
in
and metropolitan
between
the
subnational
the
form, globalcityregion,emerges
scales.9
The unboundingof the modernmetropolis,as in part the productof the
globalizationof the urban, creatingthe most culturallyand economically
citiestheworldhas everseen,has been at thesametimeleadingto
heterogeneous
of the entireglobe. It is thisextensionto its limitsof processes
theurbanization
begunhundredsif not thousandsof yearsago thatis drivingthe rescalingand
and
oftrust,
of cities,states,andtheirnetworks
coercion,regulation,
regionalization
and opens up
It bothconcludesour look throughgeohistory
formation.
identity
new avenuesof investigation.
challenging

under the termsof the CreativeCommonsAttribution


Open Access This articleis distributed
and reproduction
in any
License whichpermitsany noncommercial
Noncommercial
use, distribution,
medium,providedtheoriginalauthor(s)and sourceare credited.
9 To mention two extremecases of these
changes,theexpandedcityregionof Shanghai,covering
just
and several
beenestimated
to contain82 millioninhabitants
mostoftheYangtzeRiverdelta,has recently
othermegacity
regions(bothnewterms)nowexceed50 million.Justas startling,
regionsormegalopolitan
withwhatwas
new censuscategoryroughlycoincident
theurbanizedarea of Los Angeles(a relatively
as millionsof immigrants
New Yorkas thedensestin thecountry,
calledthebuilt-up
area)passedGreater
urbanized.
in theurbancorewhileLA's classicsuburbiabecomesincreasingly
concentrate
4y Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TheorSoc (2010) 39:361-376

376

References
N. (2004). New statespaces: Urbangovernanceand therescalingof statehood.New York:
Brenner,
Press.
OxfordUniversity
Foucault,M. (1986). Of otherspaces.Diacritics,16, 22-27.
Fraser,N. (2008). Scales ofjustice: Re-imagining
politicalspace in a globalizingworld.New York:
Press.
ColumbiaUniversity
New York:Thamesand
Hodder,I. (2006). The Leopard'stale: Revealingthemysteries
of catalhyk.
Hudson.
of MinnesotaPress.
Isin,E. (2002). Beingpolitical:Genealogiesofcitizenship.
Minneapolis:University
Jacobs,J.(1969). Theeconomyofcities.New York:RandomHouse.
in theholyland. London:ErnestBenn.
Kenyon,K. (1960). Archeology
McDonald,J.F. (1997). Fundamentals
ofurbaneconomics.New York:PrenticeHall.
L. (1961). Thecityin history.
New York:Harcourt,
Braceand World.
Mumford,
New York:OxfordUniversity
Press.
Scott,A. J.(1998). Regionsand theworldeconomy.
New York:OxfordUniversity
Press.
Scott,A. J.(2001). Global city-regions.
London:
Soja, E. W. (1989). Postmodern
geographies:Thereassertion
ofspace in criticalsocial theory.
Verso.
to Los Angelesand otherreal-and-imagined
Soja, E. W. (1996). Thirdspace:Journeys
places. Oxford:
Blackwell.
Criticalstudiesofcitiesand regions.Oxford:Blackwell.
Soja, E. W. (2000). Postmetropolis:
theories.In N. Thrift
& R. Kitchin(Eds.), The
Soja, E. W. (2009). Regionalplanningand development
intprnntinnnl pnrvrlrmprlin nf humnn oprtarnnhv Amterrlatrr Fipvifr

to regionalurbanization.
In A. Loukaitou-Sideris
& T. Banerjee
Soja, E. W. (2010). Frommetropolitan
and trends.London:Routledge.
(Eds.), Urbandesign:Roots,influences
London:Routledge.
Wart,B., & Anas, S. (Eds.). (2009). Thespatialturn:Interdisciplinary
perspective.
Edward W. Soja is Distinguished
Professor
ofUrbanPlanningat UCLA andoccasionalvisiting
professor
in the Cities Programme
at the London School of Economics.His majorbooks includePostmodern
Geographies(1989), Thirdspace(1996), and Postmetropolis
(2000). His mostrecentbook is Seeking
an analysisof labor-community
coalitionbuildingand struggles
overtherightto thecity
SpatialJustice,
in Los Angeles,publishedin 2010 by University
of MinnesotaPress.

&. Springer

This content downloaded from 79.112.147.165 on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 02:13:01 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions