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How do urban forms enable political projects? The affordance of nationalism and nationhood during the modernisation of European cities.

Charlton, Nathan (2018) How do urban forms enable political projects? The affordance of nationalism and nationhood during the modernisation of European cities. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.rzhpl8ukhufn


How do ideologies and cities shape each other? This work offers a theoretical strategy for explaining how urban forms and political projects have afforded each other's development historically, while avoiding a deterministic account of how political aims are realised in particular urban forms. To do this it focuses on the emergence of nationalism in the context of the modernisation of European cities in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. As background, the development of the concept of citizenship in the context of the medieval city is explored and an understanding of the exceptional political space of the city in political philosophy is outlined. The political philosophy of nationalism is seen to engender an urban-rural tension and the works of Rousseau and Herder are read to understand further the relationship between nationalist thought and the modern city. Then in order to structure an investigation of how urban form and ideology interact, an analytical framework is developed using JJ Gibson’s theory of affordances. The framework is applied to European urban forms which developed during the rise of nationalism, specifically in three historical city cases: Budapest, Vienna and Venice. The cases share in common an experience of Habsburg administration and the rise of nationalism in the nineteenth century but have quite different formal contexts. Urban forms and affordances are discussed more generally using the phenomenon and concept of Haussmannisation and the usefulness of that concept is discussed. More general conclusions are drawn in which political ideas, ideologies and urban forms are understood to afford each other ranges of such possibilities without determining them.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Nathan Gene Charlton
Uncontrolled Keywords: urban history, urban forms, affordances, politics, political ideas, ideology, history, nationalism, intellectual history, architecture, planning, modernity, philosophy, Budapest, Vienna, Venice
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Supervisor: White, Jonathan and Glendinning, Simon

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