Making urban theory: Learning and unlearning through southern cities

Mary Lawhon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book facilitates more careful engagement with the production, politics and geography of knowledge as scholars create space for the inclusion of southern cities in urban theory. Making Urban Theory addresses debates of the past fifty years regarding whether and why scholars should conceptualize southern cities as different and argues for the continued importance of unlearning existing theory. With examples from the urban question to environmental justice, urban infrastructure to basic income, this volume highlights the limitations of existing explanations as well as how thinking from the south entails more than collecting data in new places. Throughout the book, instances of juxtapositions, unease, unlearning and learning anew emphasize how theory-making from southern cases can open avenues to more creative possibilities. The book pulls theories apart, examining distinct components to better understand the universality and provinciality of empirical phenomena, causality and norms, including questions of what a city is and ought to be. This book delivers a clearer articulation of ongoing debates and future possibilities for southern urban scholarship, and it will thus be relevant for both scholars and students of Urban Studies, Urban Theory, Urban Geography, Research Methods in Geography, Postcolonial/Southern Cities and Global Cities at graduate and post-graduate levels.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages124
ISBN (Electronic)9781000767575
ISBN (Print)9780367344924
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2020


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