GY311      Half Unit
The Political Economy of Urbanisation

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jayaraj Sundaresan STC3.04


This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Economic History and Geography, BSc in Environment and Development, BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics and BSc in Geography with Economics. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

This course covers theories and processes of contemporary urban development from a critical political economy perspective, addressing urban problems and policy responses in our rapidly urbanizing world. The course examines what urbanisation means to the state, to (global/domestic) businesses, and ordinary citizens, focusing on a selected set of key themes that are pertinent to the understanding of urban injustice. Such themes include, but not limited to, the understanding of the (social) production of unequal urban space, global circulations of urbanism, gentrification, displacement and dispossession. Case studies are largely drawn from cities in the majority world, especially East and Southeast Asia, which provide opportunities for students to contest urban theories that have largely been rooted in the experiences of the advanced economies.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce one formative essay outline in the Lent Term.

Indicative reading

Harvey, D. (1989) The Urban Experience. Johns Hopkins University Press;

Wu, F. (2015) Planning for Growth: Urban and Regional Planning in China. Routledge;

Park, B-G. et al. (Eds.) (2012) Locating Neoliberalism in East Asia. Wiley-Blackwell;

Labbé, D. (2014) Land Politics and Livelihoods on the Margins of Hanoi, 1920-2010. UBC Press;

Lees, L., Shin, HB and López-Morales, E. (Eds.) (2015) Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement. Policy Press;

Lees, L., Shin, HB and López-Morales, E. (2016) Planetary Gentrification. Polity Press;

Mathews, G. (2011) Ghetto at hte Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong, The University of Chicago Press;

Shao, Q. (2013) Shanghai Gone: Domicide and Defiance in a Chinese Megacity. Rowman & Littlefield


Coursework (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2017/18: Unavailable

Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable

Capped 2017/18: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication