Disaster Urbanization: The City Between Crisis and Calamity


  • David J. Madden LSE, The London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Sociology https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0669-7841




disasters, urbanization, crisis, critical urban theory, neoliberalization, planetary urbanization, vulnerability


This paper asks what critical urban theory can add to the sociology of disasters. If the fundamental insight of disaster studies is that there’s no such thing as a natural disaster, the starting point for critical urban studies is that capitalist urbanization is a disaster waiting to happen. Disasters are promoted and inflected by the specific forms of crisis and vulnerability created by neoliberal urbanization. Disasters are also ways in which urban space is produced and remade, in a process that can be called disaster urbanization. A critical account of the relationship between contemporary urbanization and disaster can help us better understand the disaster-prone, unevenly urbanizing future.


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How to Cite

Madden, D. J. (2021). Disaster Urbanization: The City Between Crisis and Calamity. Sociologica, 15(1), 91–108. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1971-8853/12405



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