About the talk:
A growing literature critically examines the processes and actors involved in the adoption and emulation of best practices and models of urban policy and development across the globe as expressions of neoliberal urbanism. With its focus on leisure, tourism and global capital, the redevelopment of the Bay of Luanda, in the capital of Angola, echoes the rhetoric, policies and projects underpinning increasingly financialized models of contemporary "world class" urban development. Yet, a deeper interrogation of this redevelopment reveals that its seemingly 'extrospective' dimension intersects in unexpected ways with an 'introspective' politics, in which the city represents a strategic arena for the remaking of the state and political power. This talk builds on Croese's longstanding research in Luanda, combined with insights gained from research in African cities such as Cape Town, Maputo and Dar es Salaam, to explore the intersection between global and local knowledge, policy and investment flows and advance a more adequate and provincialized theorization of urban politics in the global South.

About the speaker:
Sylvia Croese is an assistant pofessor in the Department of Global and International Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She joined UCI in 2023 from South Africa, where she remains a senior visiting researcher in the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as a research associate with the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town. She has published extensively on urban politics, governance and knowledge (co-)production in African cities, including three co-edited books, and in 2021 she was one of the few women and Africa-based scholars to be nominated as among "100 most influential academics in government" by Apolitical, a global platform for public servants and policymakers.

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