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The missing politics of urban vulnerability: The state and the co-production of climate risk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Early online date28 Sep 2017
Accepted/In press25 Aug 2017
E-pub ahead of print28 Sep 2017


King's Authors


Studies of urban disaster and climate change risk have increasingly invoked governmentality as a theoretical frame for understanding how urban risk governance functions. This article argues that the use of governmentality in this context can advance political readings of urban vulnerability to climate risk. However, using the idiom of co-production from Science and Technology Studies, I question current treatments of the politics of expertise in the urban risk governance literature, highlighting the need to understand the political commitments and practices that shape the implementation of purportedly technical risk knowledge and their particular manifestation in the context of informal, urban settlements. A case study from Bogota, Colombia, links the science and practice of state risk management to vulnerability outcomes in informal urban settlements. It shows how a new suite of qualitative methodological approaches are revealing of the power-knowledge dynamics in governance that influence vulnerability, and their differential social effects.

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