We are pleased to announce two recent publications by Dr Hyun Bang Shin of the UPD cluster:

  • Shin, Hyun Bang (2017): ‘Urban Movements and the Genealogy of Urban Rights Discourses: The Case of Urban Protesters against Redevelopment and Displacement in Seoul, South Korea’, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2017.1392844.The full text is available here.

Article Abstract:
Despite significant contributions made to progressive urban politics, contemporary debates on cities and social justice are in need of adequately capturing the local historical and sociopolitical processes of how people have come to perceive the concept of rights in their struggles against the hegemonic establishments. These limitations act as constraints on overcoming hegemony imposed by the ruling class on subordinate classes and restrict a contextual understanding of such concepts as the right to the city in non-Western contexts, undermining the potential to produce locally tuned alternative strategies to build progressive and just cities. In this regard, this article discusses the evolving nature of urban rights discourses that were produced by urban protesters fighting redevelopment and displacement, paying particular attention to the experiences in Seoul that epitomized speculative urban accumulation under the (neoliberalizing) developmental state. Method-wise, the article makes use of archival records (protesters’ pamphlets and newsletters), photographs, and field research archives. The data are supplemented by the author’s in-depth interviews with former and current housing activists. The article argues that the urban poor have the capacity to challenge the state repression and hegemony of the ruling class ideology; that the urban movements such as the evictees’ struggles against redevelopment are to be placed in the broader contexts of social movements; that concepts such as the right to the city are to be understood against the rich history of place-specific evolution of urban rights discourses; and that cross-class alliance is key to sustaining urban movements.

  • Shin, H.B. (2018) ‘Geography: Rethinking the “urban” and “urbanization”.’ In: Iossifova, D., Doll, C. and Gasparatos, A. (eds.) Defining the Urban: Interdisciplinary and Professional Perspectives. London: Routledge, pp.27-39Book available on Amazon.

Chapter abstract:defining-the-urban-book-cover-500x298 What is “urban”? How can it be described and contextualised? How is it used in theory and practice? Urban processes feature in key international policy and practice discourses. They are at the core of research agendas across traditional academic disciplines and emerging interdisciplinary fields. However, the concept of “the urban” remains highly contested, both as material reality and imaginary construct. The urban remains imprecisely defined. Defining the Urban is an indispensable guide for the urban transdisciplinary thinker and practitioner. Parts I and II focus on how “Academic Disciplines” and “Professional Practices,” respectively, understand and engage with the urban. Included, are architecture, ecology, governance and sociology. Part III, “Emerging Approaches,” outlines how elements from theory and practice combine to form transdisciplinary tools and perspectives. Written by eminent experts in their respective fields, Defining the Urban provides a stepping stone for the development of a common language?a shared ontology?in the disjointed fields of urban research and practice. It is a comprehensive and accessible resource for anyone with an interest in understanding how urban scholars and practitioners can work together on this complex theme.