Circulation and Urbanization is a foundational investigation into the history of the urban. Moving beyond both canonical and empirical portrayals, the book approaches the urban through a genealogy of circulation – a concept central to Western political thought and its modes of spatial planning. Locating architectural knowledge in a wider network of political history, legal theory, geography, sociology and critical theory, and drawing on maritime, territorial and colonial histories, Adams contends that the urban arose in the nineteenth century as an anonymous, parallel project of the emergent liberal nation state. More than a reflection of this state form or the product of the capitalist relations it fostered, the urban is instead a primary instrument for both: at once means and ends. Combining analytical precision with interdisciplinary insights, this book offers an astonishing new set of propositions for revisiting a familiar, yet increasingly urgent, topic. It is a vital resource for all students and scholars of architecture and urban studies. This book is part of the Society and Space series, which explores the fascinating relationship between the spatial and the social. These stimulating, provocative books draw on a range of theories to examine key cultural and political issues of our times, including technology, globalisation and migration.
Circulation, Territory and the City
It is hard to place the role of the city in the spatial hierarchy of the continental, territorial state or in the fluid world of England’s maritime empire. With the irruption of the modern European world, the construction of a space the political consistency of which privileges either the ‘empty’ spaces of the territory on the one hand or the open navigable ocean on the other, what possible status can the figure of the city hold? We can begin to chart its transition into modern history by looking at how certain authors of state and economic theory treat this category. Of note is that, in almost all texts, from Botero to Smith, there emerges a ...