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African statecraft at the intersection of urbanization and financialization 
Sylvia Croese (University of the Witwatersrand)
Matthew Lane (University College London)
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James Christopher Mizes (Université Paris Dauphine)
Urban Studies (x) Futures (y)
Neues Seminargebäude, Seminarraum 12
Thursday 1 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

This session is interested in foregrounding the ways that state actors in Africa re-craft the city and instrumentalize urban assets in order to access new streams of finance. It aims to promote new understandings of the relationship between urban financialization and African state-building.

Long Abstract:

African cities are becoming an important new frontier for the mobilization of global finance. Rather than debating how the 'financialization of cities' dilutes existing state powers, this panel explores the ways that global finance serves to activate new forms of state-building. Inspired by empirical approaches to understanding the shifting and 'negotiated' nature of both African statehood and urban financing, we are particularly interested in the questions this raises for local governments across urban Africa. As national governments increasingly recognize the potential of new sources of urban finance what does the future hold for local governments for whom participation in managing and directing the flow of finance into their jurisdictions seems limited? To explore the new governance configurations emerging at the intersection of urbanization and financialization, the panel invites contributions which examine:

i) the different (eg. discursive, political, institutional) ways in which national governments instrumentalize and re-craft the city in order to gain access to urban finance and further political state-building agendas;

ii) the ways in which governments mobilize the intellectual, political and institutional capital held within local government institutions in order to achieve these aims; and

iii) the varying responses of local government actors to this, and the resulting alliances they forge with actors both inside and outside the existing state apparatus.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 1 June, 2023, -