Reconsidering Territorial Governance to Account for Enhanced Rural-Urban Interdependence in America

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  2. Professor David Brown
  3. Professor Mark Shucksmith OBE
Author(s)Brown DL, Shucksmith M
Publication type Article
JournalThe ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences
ISSN (print)0002-7162
ISSN (electronic)1552-3349
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The new rural-urban interface is one manifestation of a growing social, economic and environmental interdependence of places in contemporary society. Castells wrote in 1997 of the “annihilation of space” brought about by advances in information technology, modern transportation and other societal and global transformations facilitated by deregulation, devolution of authority, ever more mobile capital and labor, and heightened corporate penetration throughout national and global space. Interestingly the same phrase was used in 1852 by Frederick Douglass to describe the effects of the railway, steamship and telegraph. This paper examines what such a networked world, and associated developments in social science theory, namely a ‘relational turn’ (Massey 2004) and a ‘mobilities turn’ (Urry 2007), implies for the ways we understand and govern the interface linking rural and urban space. Specifically, we draw on the concept of 'soft space' to consider how, in a networked world, place-based policies might be framed in relation to the rural-urban interface as well as exploring the implications for designing, targeting, implementing, and evaluating development programs for this relational and multi-scalar space. In a more general sense, we explore the challenges and opportunities of governing the urban-rural interface where the traditionally defined logic of nested hierarchical and exclusive relationships among bounded territorial units are replaced by a more cooperative inter-place logic (Gualini 2006).
NotesDue to be published in July 2017 issue
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