Invoking the notion of `cosmopolitics' from Bruno Latour and Isabelle Stengers, this volume shows how and why cities constitute privileged sites for studying the search for and composition of common worlds of cohabitation. A cosmopolitical approach to the city focuses on the multiple assemblages of human and nonhuman actors that constitute urban common worlds, and on the conflicts and compromises that arise among different ways of assembling the city. It brings into view how urban worlds are always in the process of being subtly transformed, destabilized, decentred, questioned, criticized, or even destroyed. As such, it opens up novel questions as to the gradual and contested composition of urban life, thereby forcing us to pay more explicit attention to the politics of urban assemblages.
Focusing on changing sanitation infrastructures and practices, emerging forms of urban activism, processes of economic restructuring, transformations of the built environment, changing politics of expert-based urban planning, as well as novel practices for navigating the urban everyday, the contributions gathered in this volume explore different conceptual and empirical configurations of urban cosmopolitics: agencements, assemblies, atmospheres. Taken together, the volume thus aims at introducing and specifying a novel research program for rethinking urban studies and politics, in ways that remain sensitive to the multiple agencies, materialities, concerns and publics that constitute any urban situation.
Anders Blok is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and co-author of Bruno Latour: Hybrid Thoughts in a Hybrid World (Routledge, 2011). Ignacio Farias is Assistant Professor in the Munich Center for Technology in Society and the Faculty of Architecture at the Technische Universitat, Munchen, Germany. He is co-editor of Urban Assemblages: How Actor-Network Changes Urban Studies (Routledge, 2009).
Introduction: 1. Introducing urban cosmopolitics: Multiplicity and the search for a common world Ignacio Farias & Anders Blok Section 1: Agencements 2. Saving (in) a common world: Cosmopolitical instances from a low budget urbanities perspective Birke Otto & Alexa Farber 3. Infrastructural becoming: sanitation, cosmopolitics and the (un)making of urban life at the margins Michele Lancione & Colin McFarlane 4. Im/mutable im/mobiles: From the socio-materiality of cities towards a differential cosmopolitics Michael Guggenheim Section 2: Assemblies 5. Exploring urban controversies on retail diversity. An inquiry into the cosmopolitics of markets in the city Alexandre Mallard 6. Manifestations of the Market: Public Audiences, and the Cosmopolitics of Voice in Buenos Aires Nicholas D'Avella 7. The politics and aesthetics of assembling: (un)building the common in Hackney Wick, London Isaac Marrero-Guillamon 8. Matters of sense: pre-occupation in Madrid's popular assemblies movement Adolfo Estalella & Alberto Corsin Jimenez Section 3: Atmospheres 9. The aesthetic composition of a common memory: Atmospheres of revalued urban ruins Hanna Katharina Goebel 10. The cosmopolitics of `niching'. Rendering the city habitable along infrastructures of mental health care Milena D. Bister, Martina Klausner & Joerg Niewoehner 11. Water and Air: Territories, tactics and the elemental textility of urban cosmopolitics Manuel Tironi & Nerea Calvillo Afterword: 12. Whose urban cosmos, which urban cosmopolitics? Assessing the route travelled and the one ahead Anders Blok & Ignacio Farias