Stephen Graham

Stephen Graham
Newcastle University | NCL · School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

BSc, MPhil, PhD

About

142
Publications
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Publications

Publications (142)
Chapter
Through more than a century of history, from H. G. Wells, the dystopian classics like Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis and J. G. Ballard’s 1975 novel High Rise, to the iconic cyberpunk films of Blade Runner (1982) or The Matrix (1999), the image of the radically verticalized cityscape has so dominated science fiction as to be almost a cliché. In s...
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This chapter examines the politics of open defecation by focusing on everyday intersections of the body and infrastructure in the metabolic city which produces profoundly unequal opportunities for fulfilling bodily needs. Specifically, it examines how open defecation emerges in Mumbai’s informal settlements through everyday embodied experiences, pr...
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The Earth’s fast-expanding array of active satellites are central to the organization, experience – and destruction – of contemporary life on the earth’s surface. Yet it remains difficult to visualize and understand their enigmatic presence. Mysterious and cordoned-off ground stations dot the earth’s terrain, their futuristic radomes and relay faci...
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Development and planning elites across many of the burgeoning megacities of the Global South still work powerfully to fetishise elevated highways or flyovers as part of their efforts at ‘worlding’ their cities. In such a context, and given the neglect of such processes in recent urban and mobilities literatures, this paper presents an international...
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In this fourth and final paper in a series for City addressing the vertical politics of cities, Stephen Graham explores the politics of contemporary skyscrapers. Emphasising the changing geo-economics, geopolitics and political symbolism of skyscrapers, the paper critically interrogates their increasingly central contemporary role as purported sign...
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Unerringly, across its whole history, urban science fiction has offered up imagined cities that operate about remarkably similar and highly verticalised visions. These are heavily dominated by politics of class, resistance and revolution that are starkly organized around vertically stratified and vertically exaggerated urban spaces. From the early...
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This paper is a call for critical urban research to address the vertical as well as horizontal aspects of social inequality. It seeks, in particular, to explore the important but neglected causal connection between the demonisation and dismantling of social housing towers constructed in many cities between the 1930s and 1970s and the contemporary p...
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Humans, increasingly, manufacture their own air. In and around the three-dimensional aerial environments within and above urban regions, this manufacture of air reaches particular levels of intensity. For a species that expires without air in two or three minutes, this anthropogenic manufacture of air is of incalculable importance. Curiously, howev...
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What characterizes emergency today is the proliferation of the term. Any event or situation supposedly has the potential to become an emergency. Emergencies may happen anywhere and at any time. They are not contained within one functional sector or one domain of life. The substantive focus of the articles collected in this special issue reflects th...
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Entire libraries can be filled with volumes exploring the cultures, politics and geographies of the largely horizontal mobilities and transportation infrastructures that are intrinsic to urban modernity (highways, railways, subways, public transit and so on). And yet the recent ‘mobilities turn’ has almost completely neglected the cultural geograph...
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This paper examines the politics of open defecation by focusing on everyday intersections of the body and infrastructure in the metabolic city, which produces profoundly unequal opportunities for fulfilling bodily needs. Specifically, it examines how open defecation emerges in Mumbai's informal settlements through everyday embodied experiences, pra...
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This paper seeks to intersect two recent trends in urban research. First, it takes seriously the recognition that established traditions of research concerned with urban space have tended to privilege the horizontal extension of cities to the neglect of their vertical or volumetric extension. Second, the paper contributes to the resurgence of inter...
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Like many of the enclaves used by elites and foreign visitors in this troubled megacity of over 20 million, the Karachi Sheraton Hotel is increasingly fortified off from its immediate environment. Blast walls, checkpoints, surveillance systems, and armies of police and security guards continually work to try and control how the hotel’s commodious i...
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This essay excavates the complex politics of water in contemporary Mumbai. In the context of a burgeoning water crisis in the city, it explores in detail how the city’s social and political elites demonize the efforts of inhabitants of Mumbai’s slums to hydrate their communities. Such demonization is paralleled by legal crackdowns and the deliberat...
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This article contends that critical urban research is characterized by horizontalism. It argues that the swathe of recent urban writings have neglected the vertical qualities of contemporary urbanization. The article’s introductory section elaborates this argument in detail. The paper then elucidates three areas where vertically oriented research i...
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Introduction Foucault's Boomerang: Colonies Come Home Surveillant Economy Urban Achilles Virtual-Citizen-Soldiers References
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Utility networks- gas, electricity, water and telecommunications- provide the basic infrastructural foundations to the operation of modern economic and social systems. Utilities distribute access to energy, water and communications and remove waste through extensive physical networks of pipes, ducts, pylons, cables and radio links. All firms, organ...
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It is now well established that both the ‘war on terror’ and its offshoots have been conspicuously marked by overwhelmingly urban discourses, materialities and practices. Deliberately transdisciplinary, synthetical and polemical in scope, this article seeks to demonstrate that new ideologies of permanent and boundless war are radically intensifying...
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The latest in an ongoing series of papers on the links between militarism and urbanism published in City, this paper opens with an exploration of the emerging crossovers between the ‘targeting’ of everyday life in so‐called ‘smart’ border and ‘homeland security’ programmes and related efforts to delegate the sovereign power to deploy lethal force t...
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Sustaining the military targeting of the everyday sites and spaces of urban life in the contemporary period is a new constellation of military doctrine and theory. In this the spectre of state-vs-state military conflict is seen to be in radical retreat. Instead, the new doctrine is centred around the idea that a wide spectrum of global insurgencies...
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This paper critically reflects upon an emerging range of urban policies which centre on the development and use of telecommunications and "telematics' computer-communications networks between and within cities. The paper first analyses the social and spatial biases which govern the development of these telematics networks within and between cities....
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Bringing together leading researchers from geography, political science, sociology, public policy and technology studies, Disrupted Cities exposes the politics of well-known disruptions such as devastation of New Orleans in 2005, the global SARS outbreak in 2002-3, and the great power collapse in the North Eastern US in 2003. But the book also exca...
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Introduction: What is a “Virtual” City?Forces Driving the Construction of “Grounded” Virtual CitiesSurveying Virtual UrbanismVirtual Cities: Mapping Ideal TypesVirtual Cities in EuropeConclusion References
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This paper seeks to open up to critical scrutiny the attempts currently being made to re‐engineer post‐cold war US military power to directly confront global south urbanisation. Through analysing the discourses produced by US military commentators about ‘urban warfare’, and the purported military, technological and robotic solutions that might allo...
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This article critically explores how the relations between information technologies and space and place are being conceptualized in a broad swathe of recent writings and discourses on the geographies of 'cyberspace' and information technologies. After analysing the powerful role of spatial and territorial metaphors in anchoring current discourses a...
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IntroductionArchitectures of Annihilation: The “War Ideology of the Plan”“Planning” and Occupation as War on the Colonized CityModernism and Urban War I: Aerial Living as Response to Aerial WarModernism and Urban War II: Aerial Bombing as a “New Chance”Cold War Urban GeopoliticsPlanning as “Urbicide”: Postwar Urban “Renewal” and the Military--Indus...
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The Mutuality of War and the City“Security” and the Urbanization of WarWarfare Re-Enters the City: The Parallel “Rescaling” of Urbanism and Political ViolenceThe “Implosion of Global and National Politics into the Urban World”Dialectics of Place Attachment: The City as Site and Symbol for Violent Struggle“Cracking Down on Diaspora”: The “Domestic F...
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Introduction: “Asymmetric Urbicide” and the Circle of AtrocityUnderstanding Urbicide by BulldozerLegitimizing Urbicide Through LanguageThe Battle of Jenin: “I Made Them a Stadium in the Middle of the Camp!”Conclusion: Jenin and the “Palestinianization” of Iraq
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Increasing amounts of information processing capacity are embedded in the environment around us. The informational landscape is both a repository of data and also increasingly communicates and processes information. No longer confined to desk tops, computers have become both mobile and also disassembled. Many everyday objects now embed computer pro...
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Much theoretical commentary over the last decade addressed the likely impacts of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on urban life works by opposing ‘virtual’ spaces and mediated activities to ‘real’ places. Drawing on recent theorising in media studies about ‘remediation’, this paper attempts to move beyond a reliance on such unhelpf...
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Political geographers have recently focused their attention on the performative nature and imaginative geographies of US security strategies. This work has illuminated a number of mechanisms through which geographical knowledge has been interpreted and reformulated to support specific political agendas. This paper builds upon and develops the insig...
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This article seeks to demonstrate the centrality of maintenance and repair to an understanding of modern societies and, particularly, cities. Arguing that repair and maintenance activities present a kind of 'missing link' in social theory, which is usually overlooked or forgotten, the article begins by recalling Heidegger's concept of material thin...
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As Bush pours extra troops into Baghdad, Pentagon strategists plan for the urban future of warfare. Stephen Graham surveys the emerging network of us military training facilities-Potemkin battlefields and slum simulacra designed to replicate the alleyways of the global South.
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Many students find writing extremely difficult and frustrating because they are not able to learn and apply the strategies used by skilled writers. Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) is a comprehensive, flexible model that explicitly helps students learn to manage the writing process. An extensive body of research has documented that SRSD c...
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This paper proposes a new way of conceptualising urban ‘digital divides’. It focuses on the ways in which Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) unevenly affect the pace of life within the urban environment. Based on a detailed case study of how ICT s are being used in an affluent and a marginalised neighbourhood in Newcastle-upon-Tyne,...
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Programmes of organized, political violence have always been legitimized and sustained through complex imaginative geographies. These tend to be characterized by stark binaries of place attachment. This article argues that the discursive construction of the Bush administration’s ‘war on terror’ since September 11th 2001 has been deeply marked by at...
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This intervention explores the paradox that although the Bush administration has repeatedly stressed the purported insecurity of U.S. urbanites to “terroristic” threats since 9/11, it has simultaneously undermined the preparedness and resilience of U.S. cities in the face of catastrophic weather and seismic events. Arguing that Katrina needs to be...
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New York: September 11, 2001; Madrid, March 11, 2003; London, July 7, 2005—the legacy and specter of catastrophic terror haunt the collective unconscious of Western cities in the early 21st century. Of course, terrorism in Western cities is nothing new. A long history of domestic terror campaigns in the West has been fuelled by subnational independ...
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This paper explores the central role of computerized code in shaping the social and geographical politics of inequality in advanced societies. The central argument is that, while such processes are necessarily multifaceted, multiscaled, complex and ambivalent, a great variety of ‘software-sorting’ techniques is now being widely applied in efforts t...
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In this follow‐up to a piece originally published in City 8(2), Stephen Graham offers a detailed portrait of the tactics and techniques of contemporary urban warfare. As cities have become more reliant than ever on networks, and as their infrastructures have become more fragile due to the vagaries of neoliberal privatization, urban‐based warfare, w...
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This paper addresses the ways in which urban regions are represented in contemporary urban policies. In doing so, it critically examines how urban trends are reflected in diverse notions of 'cityness' in contemporary policy discourses about spatiality and territoriality. Through a detailed case study of the use and construction of the word 'city' i...
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We tend to see contemporary cities through a peace-time lens and war as somehow exceptional. In this ambitious paper, long in historical range and global in geographical scope, Steve Graham unmasks and displays the very many ways in which warfare is intimately woven into the fabric of cities and practices of city planners. He draws out the aggressi...
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As debates on globalization have progressed from an earlier phase in which commentators saw the intensification of world-scale flows and processes as the negation of local identities and autonomies, the city has been ‘rediscovered’ as the powerhouse of the globalized economy. Against the view that questions, for example, the continued specificity o...
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In this article, we seek to add to current debates about surveillance and society by critically exploring the social implications of a new and emerging raft of surveillance practices: those that specifically surround digital techniques and technologies. The article has four parts. In the first, we outline the nature of digital surveillance and cons...
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In this paper Graham and Guy analyse the political and spatial contestations surrounding the rapid recent growth of gentrifying IT-clusters in downtown San Francisco. The emphasis is on how new, high-capacity internet infrastructures and services, and the technoscientific apparatus to maintain, use and apply such infrastructures, are implicated in...
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This paper argues that contemporary cities can be understood as socio-technical constructions supporting mobilities and flow to more or less distant elsewheres: flows of people, goods, services, information, capital, waste, water, meaning. As such infrastructurally mediated flows are enrolled into the reconfiguration of urban spaces, a logic of int...
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This response to Coutard's piece, 'Premium Network Spaces: A Comment' (in this issue) takes issue with his three main arguments in turn. First, it is argued that post-monopolistic systems of infrastructure supply, along with the biased application of new technology, do often lead to exaggerated inequalities in social power which his analysis of wat...
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The societal diffusion of information and communications technologies (ICTs) remains starkly uneven at all scales. It is in the contemporary city that this unevenness becomes most visible. In cities, clusters and enclaves of 'superconnected' people, firms and institutions often rest cheek-by-jowel with large numbers of people with non-existent or r...
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This study empirically examines a practical aspect of a relationship that is only now being conceptualized----the relationship between rail transit, land development, and telecommunications. It pushes the envelope of knowledge in so far as the interaction between just two of the factors, public transportation and land use (urban form), has been a f...
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One of the most visible interactions of place and high-technology communications systems over the past 10 years has been the installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). Designed to improve the economic fortunes of public, commercial street systems, such technologies are so widespread that it has been estimated that the average UK urban reside...
Book
The following text is taken from the publisher's website: "Splintering Urbanism offers a path-breaking analysis of the nature of the urban condition at the start of the new millennium. Adopting a global and interdisciplinary perspective, it reveals how new technologies and increasingly privatised systems of infrastructure provision - telecommunicat...
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This paper argues that contemporary cities can be understood as socio-technical constructions supporting mobilities and flow to more or less distant elsewheres: flows of people, goods, services, information, capital, waste, water, meaning. As such infrastructurally mediated flows are enrolled into the reconfiguration of urban spaces, a logic of int...
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Introduction "Telecommunications", writes Barney Warf (1998, 225), "is one of the few topics in geography that richly illustrates the plasticity of space, the ways it can be stretched, deformed, or compressed according to changing economic and political imperatives". The growing centrality of key large urban regions, or `global cities', to the econ...
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This article attempts to debunk five prevailing myths which together are implicit in much of the current debate and rhetoric surrounding telecommunications and the future of cities. These are labelled: the myth of the technological determinism, the myth of urban dissolution, the myth of universal access, the myth of the simple substitution of trans...
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An initiative begun in Britain is taking hold across the developed world: building CCTV into construction plans is becoming as normal as incorporating running water.
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This article argues that standardized, public or private infrastructure monopolies are receding as hegemonic forms of urban infrastructure development. We are starting to witness the uneven overlaying of new, customized, high-performance urban infrastructures onto the apparently immanent, universal and (usually) public monopoly networks laid down i...
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This article presents the Varenius perspective on the societal dimen- sions of geographical information technologies and the geographical dimensions of information technologies in general, and puts them in the context of the research literature of the last ten years. Thecentral themes examinedare: theoret- icalperspectivesonthesocietalimplicationso...
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The authors argue that research and policy debates on urban social marginalisation have largely neglected important restructuring trends in a range of essential private services, for example, food retailing, energy, telephony, and personal financial services. Using the case of the United Kingdom, they focus on two case studies carried out in the ma...
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This paper seeks to conceptualize and explore the changing relationships between planning action and practice and the dynamics of place. It argues that planning practice is grappling with new treatments of place, based on dynamic, relational constructs, rather than the Euclidean, deterministic, and one‐dimensional treatments inherited from the ‘sci...
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Utility networks are physically embedded in places and they also operate within a regulated environment which imposes obligations on them. Within this framework they need to demonstrate commercial success which is directly related to new management strategies that have profound implications for the economic social and environmental performance of l...
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This paper attempts to show how urban planning strategies can creatively address the complex interlinkages between telecommunications, urban form and transportation. The first part sets the context for local telecommunications and planning interventions by exploring the broad relations between new information technologies, and the changing form and...
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In this paper I analyse some emerging socioeconomic applications of information and communications technologies and explore how they support technological systems which increasingly blend surveillance with simulation. In the first part of the paper I explore the technological shifts supporting blended 'surveillant simulation' and review how the eme...
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There are currently over 2000 virtual cities and urban web pages. Is it possible for local virtual cities to work against, rather than simply replicate, the systematic social and spatial bias of the Internet as a whole? To achieve this, the authors argue, is the greatest policy challenge, given the dominance of private, profit‐seeking capital withi...

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