This book facilitates more careful engagement with the production, politics and geography of knowledge as scholars create space for the inclusion of southern cities in urban theory.

Making Urban Theory addresses debates of the past fifty years regarding whether and why scholars should conceptualize southern cities as different and argues for the continued importance of unlearning existing theory. With examples from the urban question to environmental justice, urban infrastructure to basic income, this volume highlights the limitations of existing explanations as well as how thinking from the south entails more than collecting data in new places. Throughout the book, instances of juxtapositions, unease, unlearning and learning anew emphasize how theory-making from southern cases can open avenues to more creative possibilities. The book pulls theories apart, examining distinct components to better understand the universality and provinciality of empirical phenomena, causality and norms, including questions of what a city is and ought to be.

This book delivers a clearer articulation of ongoing debates and future possibilities for southern urban scholarship, and it will thus be relevant for both scholars and students of Urban Studies, Urban Theory, Urban Geography, Research Methods in Geography, Postcolonial/Southern Cities and Global Cities at graduate and post-graduate levels.

chapter |18 pages


ByMary Lawhon

chapter 1|6 pages

Postcolonialism and urban studies

Shifting the gaze from the city to the academy
ByMary Lawhon

chapter 2|11 pages

Disambiguating the southern urban critique

ByYaffa Truelove

chapter 3|11 pages

Provincializing the urban question

Against the rural-in-the-urban
ByMary Lawhon

chapter 4|17 pages

The struggle for the city, and for the right to be city

ByAnesu Makina

chapter 5|7 pages

Teaching urban geography after the southern urban critique

ByLené Le Roux

chapter 6|5 pages

Pathways forward

Urban studies after the southern urban critique
ByYaffa Truelove

chapter 7|5 pages

Unbundling urban theory

Of what is theory made?
ByLené Le Roux

chapter 8|7 pages

Theorizing anew through southern cities

ByMary Lawhon

chapter 9|12 pages

Recognizing and reworking the norms that travel with theory

ByMary Lawhon

chapter |6 pages


ByMary Lawhon