The Governance of the City
Who governs the city? This is the classical question of political thought. It concerns the changeable relations between political structures and civil society, the democratic constituency and the voice of public opinion, relations between different social groups, interests and visions of the city. The course starts from the vita activa in the polis and, through analysis of the mediaeval city, comes down to modern and contemporary thinking about the city-territory, metropolis and global city. The conceptual categories favour the spatial dimension of city government, interpreted through the categories of power: from direct democracy to the absolute power of the state, to the polyarchy of pluralist democracies, to authoritarian and postcolonial regimes.