The urban process under financialised capitalism

Moreno, Louis. 2014. The urban process under financialised capitalism. City, 18(3), pp. 244-268. ISSN 1360-4813 [Article]

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Over half a decade has passed since the first global financial crisis of the 21st Century, and political economists are still trying to make sense of its causes and ramifications. In a major recent intervention Costas Lapavitsas argues that what was thrown into relief was the sheer penetration of the financial process into all facets of everyday life. Financialisation represents, Lapavitsas says, nothing less than a historic transformation in the structural process of capital accumulation itself: one which has been globally unfolding and locally evolving over the last three to four decades, and has now installed itself at all levels and dimensions of everyday life. At the centre of this argument is an analysis which focuses on the way financial intermediaries have been able to draw people, and the social infrastructure people depend on, deep into the circuit of financial accumulation. To a considerable degree this thesis backs up Lefebvre and Harvey’s analysis made some four decades earlier: that financial capitalism was liable to mutate into a new urban form, based on the intensification of ‘secondary’ circuits of exploitation operating both inside and outside the realm of production. In this paper I try to connect the financial and geographical frameworks of Lapavitsas and Harvey to see what new light is cast on emerging urban forms of rent-extraction. Through an examination of the financialisation of the urban landscape I argue that urbanism does not merely reflect or represent the culture of financial accumulation, but has been a crucial socio-spatial process enabling the permeation and penetration of finance into the fabric of daily life.

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Visual Cultures
Visual Cultures > Centre for Research Architecture


11 June 2014Published Online

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31 Mar 2017 10:47

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07 Jul 2017 14:07

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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