Climate riskscapes in world port cities: situating urban-cosmopolitan risk communities via Ulrich Beck's comparative tactics

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Building on empirical research into translocal connections among world port cities in addressing shared challenges of climate risk mitigation and adaptation, in this article I review two widespread tendencies in urban studies – methodological city‐ism and methodological globalism respectively – as a springboard for articulating a methodologically cosmopolitan alternative. This alternative, I argue, involves epistemological issues of how to interrogate ‘the urban’ as assemblages that constitutively draw together the near and the faraway, as well as more practical issues of mobile, multisited, and comparative urban research methods. Empirically, I compare the ways in which urban actors stage global climate risks on the waterfronts of four world cities – Hong Kong, Rotterdam, Yokohama and Copenhagen – to argue that such a comparative tactic of variable ‘riskscapes’ helps situate Ulrich Beck's notion of urban cosmopolitan risk communities more thoroughly into urban studies. In such ways, I suggest, Beck's methodological cosmopolitanism is germane to studying ongoing and far ranging transformation in world political geography, in which transurban networks, communities, and governance arrangements come to complement nation‐state centred institutions. Such conclusions must be tempered, however, by the deployment of Beck's equally strong impetus towards comparative attention to the varieties of second modernity; and doing so, I conclude, aligns well with ongoing transformations in urban studies itself.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs
ISSN1470-2266
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - Climate risks, comparative tactics, East Asia, Europe, methodological cosmopolitanism, urban studies

ID: 225381355