The project

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April 27th and 28th, 2016: Fourth International Seminar: Governance in large metropolis: Paris, London, Ciudad de México, Milan and São Paulo

6 november 2015: Workshop – Urban Capitals

The team organized a workshop, with the participation of Luciana Royer, Lucia Shimbo and João Sette Whitaker, in order to reflect collectively, through empirical studies, on the urban capitals category in order to understand their particularities and relations with Brazilian cities.

19 June 2015: Book Release ‘São Paulo, XXI century: Spaces, heterogeneities and inequalities’

On 19th June 2015, it was released the book organized by Eduardo Marques, Livre-Docente Professor at the Department of Political Sciences of University of Sao Paulo and researcher at the Center for Metropolitan Studies, ‘São Paulo, XXI century: Spaces, heterogeneities and inequalities’. The book contains thirteen chapters, organized around three parts on ‘Socio-economic dynamics’, ‘Demographics and segregation’ and ‘Processes of space production’.

The project

This research group analyses governance patterns of urban public policies in a comparative perspective. The research is part of an international comparison effort which includes the cities of São Paulo, Paris, London, Mexico City and Milan, undertaken by teams at the Center for Metropolitan Studies (CEM), Sciences Po Paris, Bartlett School at the University College London, Colegio de México and Università di Milano – Bicocca. The research about the São Paulo Metropolitan Region (SPMR) is conducted at the Center for Metropolitan Studies (CEM) and is financed by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Fapesp) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).

The point is not to compare policies, but the patterns of governance that structure them in each policy area and city. By patterns of governance we understand the sets of actors in and outside the state linked by formal and informal relations, being legal and illegal e surounded by specifc institutions, as well as influenced by policy legacies. We do not expect to find unique and coherent patterns in each of the cities (nor between them); we expect them to be diverse acros policy areas. The question involves a long tradition in political science, but our intention is to go beyond the classic question of “who governs?” to investigate “who governs what?” (and “how?”), as well as “who governs what the state doesn’t govern?” Understanding the variety of setting of actors as well as of institutions and relations helps us learn about the production by the state in several specific contexts, connecting the analysis of public policies with the investigation of urban policy. The project contributes to the construction of a field of studies about the politics of the city and not just of the politics at the city.

Since the 1970s, political science and urban studies have followed two different lines of development, reducing the accumulation of knowledge about urban policies and politics. While the former showed little interest in the city, the latter tended to treat politics as epiphenomenon of societal processes. We state that only the dialogue between the two fields may allow us to better understand the politics of cities.

The research works through saturation of case studies, allowing for a combination of learning about the detail of each policy and city and mid-level generalizing from the many cases. The studies try to simultaneously account for the policies developed and the politics around them, conecting these two dimensions which are usually approached by unassociated bodies of literature. On the other hand, the research departs from a dialogue with the political science tradition and the urban studies tradition, vastly unconnected in the majority of available studies.

The Center for Metropolitan Studies makes the data bases and cartography used in the project available for free here.