Celebrating 50 years of publishing a Radical Journal of Geography, 1969-2019

Video abstract – ‘The Hollowing Out of Brazilian Metropolitan Governance As We Know It: Restructuring and Rescaling the Developmental State in Metropolitan Space’

Antipode 46(3) goes to the printers first thing in the new year, and it’s shaping up nicely. There are papers on: ‘adaptation machines’ and the ‘parasitic politics of life’; Agamben, postcoloniality and sovereignty; the ‘creative city’; forms of neoliberal reason; modernity and masculinity; colonialism and ‘spatial mimicry’; eviction and resettlement; the ‘death and re-birth’ of the Sinixt Peoples; gentrification and displacement; the criminalisation of homelessness; women’s movements in Venezuela; and the dispossession of land (and possession of bodies) in Cambodia.

There’s also ‘The Hollowing Out of Brazilian Metropolitan Governance As We Know It: Restructuring and Rescaling the Developmental State in Metropolitan Space‘, a fine article by

Here you can see Jeroen discussing his paper, and read the abstract in both English and Portuguese below…


Despite regulatory and financial roll-out of the state at a number of scales, and a strengthening of the institutional framework that guides territorial planning and management, Brazilian metropolitan governance continues to be characterized by fragmented and relatively competitive organizational structures. Likewise, the Brazilian metropolis is marked by economic dynamism and intense socio-spatial and environmental contradictions. Much of the mainstream literature on metropolitan governance has emphasized a natural “optimum” scale for planning and management in city-regions, articulated by public and private stakeholders aimed at the coordinated delivery of economic, social and environmental services. Combining the literature on new state spaces and critical Brazilian urban-regional studies, this paper provides an alternative framework to understand the impasse of Brazilian metropolitan areas, which is grounded within a geo-historic reading of the contradictory projects and strategies of the developmental state and the contested nature of metropolitan scale itself.


Apesar de um aumento da atuação do Estado, nas multiplas escalas, no campo da regulação e do financiamento, e também considerando o fortalecimento do arcabouço institutional que norteia o planejamento e gestão territorial, a governança metropolitana brasileira ainda se caracteriza pela presença de estruturas relativamente fragmentadas e competitivas. Da mesma forma, a metrópole brasileira é marcada pela confluência entre o dinamismo econômico e as contradições socioespaciais e ambientais. Grande parte da literatura hegemônica sobre governança metropolitana têm enfatizada a existência de uma escala natural, e “ótica”, para nortear o planejamento e a gestão em cidades-regiões, que seria articulada por agentes públicos e privados em torno da provisão coordenada de uma serie de serviços econômicos, sociais e ambientais. Procurando estabelecer um diálogo entre a literatura sobre escalas e regimes de organização e atuação territorial do Estado e os estudos urbano-regionais brasileiros críticos, apresentamos um arcabouço teórico alternativo para compreender os impasses que cercam as áreas metropolitanas brasileiras. A perspectiva apresentada neste artigo é baseada numa leitura geográfica e histórica acerca dos projetos e das estratégias contraditórios do Estado desenvolvimentista, e da natureza contestada da própria escala metropolitana.

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