Spacing abstraction: capitalism, law and the metropolis

Cunningham, David I. (2008) Spacing abstraction: capitalism, law and the metropolis. Griffith Law Review, 17 (2). pp. 454-469. ISSN 1038-3441


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In considering contemporary accounts of the interrelations of economic, legal and urban forms of social relations in the emergence of a global capitalist modernity, this paper argues that politico-juridical imaginaries of new forms of transnational universality have tended to be limited by virtue of both an anachronistic recourse to spatial models of the polis and a failure to confront the ineliminability of abstraction to any idea of global social interconnectivity. In such terms, it argues, Lefebvre’s famous call for a ‘right to the city’ needs to be reinscribed as a properly modern right to the metropolis; one that would allow us to conceive of the possibility of new kinds of relation between individual and collective subjectivity and the development of abstract social forms.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Special Issue: 'Invisible Laws, Visible Cities', edited by Sharron Fitzgerald and Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos
Uncontrolled Keywords: Law, abstraction, metropolis, capitalism, Lefebvre, Sassen, Balibar, abstract space, right to the city
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2009 11:23
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2010 14:35

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