GY439      Half Unit
Cities, Politics and Citizenship

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Murray Low STC.S.512


This course is available on the MSc in City Design and Social Science, MSc in Culture and Society, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Environmental Policy, Technology and Health (Environment and Development) (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

Perspectives on contemporary urban politics. The course will equip students interested in urban change and development to understand and critically assess the variety of ways in which urban politics and policies are imagined and discussed in universities as well as in the world of policy. It will also develop their understandings of key debates and themes in contemporary urban political life.

Topics covered will include: imagining urban politics; theories of urban politics, 'globalisation' and urban political life; urban governance; civil society and urban social movements; urban dimensions of citizenship and migration; policing, violence and urban politics; urban politics and ‘neoliberalism.’


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures, in-person lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.

This course is delivered through interactive seminars across Lent Term

This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Lent Term

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

Indicative reading

J Borja and M Castell, Local and Global, 1997; J Davies and D

Imbroscio, eds., Theories of Urban Politics (2nd Edition), 2009; M

Douglass and J Friedmann, eds., Cities for Citizens, 1998; D Judge, G

Stoker and H Wolman, eds, Theories of Urban Politics, 1995; P Le Galegrave;s,

European Cities, 2002; L Sandercock, Towards Cosmopolis, 1998; S. Sassen

Territory, Authority, Rights, 2006; M P Smith, Translocal Urbanism,



Online assessment (100%, duration: 7 days) in the ST.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 34.2
Merit 52.6
Pass 10.5
Fail 2.6

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2020/21: 9

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication