Blog #62 -Depoliticizing urban discourse

A new Article of mine that may be of interest has just appeared:

Depoliticizing urban discourse: How “we” write.


•The language of urban scholarship often suppresses critical questions and unwittingly reproduces urban power.
•This tendency is evident in the language of urban crisis and crises.
•Reinterrogating the language of urban policy analysis is an urgent priority.


The language in which policy discussions take place can have a real impact on the policies that result, a subliminal impact that resides in what the words imply. What is a “crisis” and what “normality” is to be restored, who is the “we” that is often called on to act, who or what is “a city,” what are the goals of “resiliency, are questions obscured by the very fact that their meaning is so often taken for granted. This paper argues that many words become one-dimensional in their frequent usage, suppressing alternate meanings and implicitly endorsing the status quo. Interrogating the language used in policy analysis should be a high priority in effective and socially aware public policy research.


The article ws published in a journal called  Cities (2015), pp. 152-15, and according to the publisher the full text is available at:

with free access valid for 50 days, until May 14, 2015. No sign up or registration is needed – just click and read!

Peter Marcuse