Representation of power in the urban space: Göran Therborn’s theory


The article considers the theory of the Swedish sociologist Göran Therborn focusing on the relationship of political changes with transformations of the urban space. The author presents key elements of his theory, identifies and describes its similarities and differences with other models of the urban space development. Göran Therborn’s approach is compared with the main urban theories of the second half of XX - the beginning of the XXI century, which allows to understand the importance of his views for urban studies and main features of his approach. The article focuses on the influence of different political actors (national and global) on contemporary cities, and on typical forms of these actors’ presence in the urban space. Göran Therborn was interested in capital cities as the best examples of political transformations and in the perspectives of urban development under the increasing role of global actors (such as global corporations) and the reducing capacities of nation states. The author seeks to prove the potential of Therborn’s theory for today’s urban sociology for it presents cities as “points of contact” of political, social and physical spaces. According to Therborn, the configuration of today’s urban space is determined primarily by political and not economic actors. Thus, Therborn expands boundaries of urban studies by combining economic and political factors in the explanatory models of modern cities development. Although the city is one of the central themes for Therborn his main works on it, with a few exceptions, have not been translated into Russian, and the article aims to fill this gap by presenting key ideas of Therborn’s theory of urban development.

About the authors

I A Vershinina

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.


Leninskie Gory, 1, Moscow, Russia, 119991


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Copyright (c) 2018 Vershinina I.A.

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