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Transcending path dependencies: Why the study of post-socialist cities needs to capitalise on the discussion on urbanisation in the South (and vice versa)

Galuszka, Jakub

Recently, the theoretical relevance and utility of the regionalised notion of post-socialist cities have been questioned. The ensuing debate has resulted in several positions, including suggestions to drop the term entirely or to create a distinctive narrative based on the concept of a Global East, in order to position the knowledge as equal vis-a-vis discourses originating from Western power centres. This article responds to this call through efforts to transcend the dominant frames of research on post-socialist cities. However, I argue that the first step in overcoming the subaltern positioning of local knowledge is to refocus attention on previously marginalised urban phenomena, and to link the post-socialist research agenda to existing empowering discourses. The importance of creating linkages with the research originating from the South, and the potential for such joint engagements to contribute to global theory-making are discussed in the context of the study of urban informality.
Published in: Urban Studies, 10.1177/00420980211047182, SAGE