Preface
The essays in this volume engage a vital if neglected subject: the impor-
tance of cities in the making of modern citizens. For most of the modern
era, the nation and not the city has been the principal domain of citizen-
ship. Moreover, the triumph of the nation-state over the city in defining
this domain was fundamental to the project of modern nation building
itself. Nevertheless, these essays demonstrate the need
to
reconsider the
city as the arena of citizenship. They suggest that relations between nations
and their cities are changing, as are relations between nations themselves,
in the present phase of global capitalism. They propose that cities are
especially salient sites for analyzing the current renegotiations of citizen-
ship, democracy, and national belonging. Through case studies from Af-
rica, Europe, Latin America, and North America, the essays show how
cities make manifest these national and transnational realignments, how
cities inscribe the consequences of these changes in the spaces and rela-
tions of urban daily life, how cities generate new possibilities for democ-
racy that transform people as citizens, and how cities are both a strategic
arena for the reformulations of citizenship and a stage on which these
processes find expression in collective violence. Taken together, the essays
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