Comparing cities, a posteriori
The Many Urbanisms of the Global South: Policy Nuances and Particularities
October 18, 2023
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
412 S. Peoria St., Chicago, IL 60607
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Celebrating 50 years of excellence, the Department of Urban Planning and Policy (UPP) at the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA) is excited to organize a seminar series featuring cutting-edge, campus wide urban scholarship and research on the Global South. A program for the series is available here.
Urban studies scholars have engaged in a lively debate on how to reformat comparative methods in the face of critical scrutiny of the discipline’s purported universalism. In this talk, Prof. Sergio Montero will discuss a recently published article on comparative urban methods co-authored with Gianpaolo Baiocchi (NYU). Sharing the enthusiasm for a reformatted urban comparativism, Prof. Montero will turn to the thorny and more pragmatic question of how to actually do it. While traditional comparisons in urban studies have sought to find variation among similar cases by selecting a priori, the authors propose to compare the findings of different researchers through a posteriori, that is, after the research has been done. They argue that urban researchers need to focus on urban processes rather than cities; on repeated instances rather than on controlling for difference; and on mid-level abstraction rather than on grand theory or descriptive empirical cases.
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