The topic we propose for the 2017 EURA conference is
Following an often quoted Castells’s methaphor of space of flows we must recognize cities not only as nodes concentrating those flows, but also as political agents entangled into innumerable networks encompassing the globalised world. Those networks may operate on various scales – from the very local one (like in case of local community or entrepreneurs engaged in public governance) to the regional (metropolitan cooperation) and international ones (twinning or urban organisations). As a result, cities operate in multi-scalar spaces. It allows to look at the cities as political agents shaping their presence on the global political and economic arena. It also provides scope for treating inner urban politics and policies as signs of downscaling.
The lock-in concept is brought up not only to underline that the importance of network structure for contemporary development and policy can have positive and negative influence on different processes and places, but foremostly to enhance discussion about origins and history of the diverse sets of factors influencing policy implementation with which the cities struggle in the 21st century. The lock-in concept brings to the discussion such notions as: sustainability, flexibility, incremental changes, evolution, durability, permanency, and self-reinforced mechanisms.
This perspective allows to embrace all the topics related to the relations constructed by cities and urban actors towards external actors. The proposed conference tracks encompass political, social, democratic, functional, economic and spatial relations providing scope for participation of scholars and practitioners dealing with cities from various perspectives.