My first memory of David Harvey – How he shared his working draft with MSc students


David Harvey, 2000, Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development

I met David Harvey in person for the first time while auditing his course during my MSc study at the LSE in 1999/2000 academic year. I think the course was simply called “Historical Geographical Materialism” or something similar. It was one of the few courses that sounded anything like Marx at the LSE, and I was drawn towards it. After having had my several years in the private sector after my first degree, I was in thirst of input by progressive scholarship. I did not know David at the time, as I knew few geographers by then. It was a small seminar course, having only about 12-13 students, with discussions for two hours or so each week. Readings included his own work and the works of Gramsci, Lefebvre and more that I cannot remember. If my memory is correct, he used to occupy a small office where he held his office hours. Now that I think of it, it was too small a room for such a figure like David, equipped with fairly empty bookshelves, a desktop and a printer. It wasn’t filled with books, as I presume he was at the LSE at the time on a three-year stint and did not relocate completely. The office is what is numbered as S509 at present, and coincidentally, it happened to be my office during my first year or so as professor at LSE.

One day during the term, he came in with copies of handouts, and he told us it was a working draft of his new paper. I think he was inviting any comments from his students. The draft paper was entitled “Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development”. Another week or two later, he brought a thicker version of the same paper, revsied substantially but still a working version, and this time, its title read “Working Notes Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development”. While clearing an old ring binder from my MSc/PhD period, I came across with the paper copy again, and realised this draft actually was the basis for his 2006 Verso book Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development”, first published as Spaces of Neo-liberalization by Franz Steiner Verlag in 2005. As the course took place in the spring of 2000, it must have taken another 4-5 years for the paper to be substantially revised, perhaps presented at several academic occasions, before it came out as a book. The memory of him sharing his paper is still vividly within me, and I appreciated a distinguished professor like David willing to share unpolished version of his drafts and inviting postgraduate students to comment on them.

“Planetary Gentrification” authors-meet-Critics session at RGS-IBG annual conference 2016

PlanetaryGentrification-CoverVisualI am very much looking forward to this ‘authors-meet-critics’ session at this year’s RGS-IBG annual conference, featuring my co-authored book Planetary Gentrification.

The session is to be convened and chaired by Professor Ronan Paddision (University of Glasglow), and sees the contributions from three critics, Professor David Ley (The University of British Columbia), Dr Andy Merrifield and Dr Kate Maclean (Birkbeck, University of London). All three authors are also going to be present (Ernesto via Skype connection).

The session is sponsored by the journal Urban Studies, and is followed by a drink reception in the Drayson Room from 18.45.


235 Authors meet critics: Planetary gentrification
Convenor(s) Ronan Paddison (University of Glasgow, UK)
Chair(s) Ronan Paddison (University of Glasgow, UK)
Timetable Thursday 01 September 2016, Session 4 (16:50 – 18:30)
Room RGS-IBG Ondaatje Theatre
Session abstract At the beginning of the C21st proclamations rang out that gentrification had gone global, this book critically evaluates that assumption. Drawing on the ‘new’ comparative urbanism and writings on planetary urbanization the book argues that gentrification is one of the most significant and socially unjust processes affecting cities world-wide today. Looking beyond the usual gentrification suspects in Euro-America, towards ‘non-Western cities’ in the Global South and East, the authors undertake a much needed transurban learning underpinned by a critical political economy approach. The book shows that gentrification has unfolded at a planetary scale, but it has not assumed a North to South or West to East trajectory, it is much more complex than that. Rich with empirical detail, yet wide-ranging, Planetary Gentrification unhinges, unsettles, and provincializes Western notions of urban development. The book is invaluable to urban scholars interested in the Future of Cities and the production of a truly global urban studies, and to all those committed to social justice in cities. Sponsored by Urban Studies


Origin of ‘Gentrification’ – confusing reference to 1888 publication

젠트리피케이션이라는 용어가 처음 사용된 것이 1888년 ‘영국 맨체스터 인문학 및 철학협회 백서’란 문헌이라는 설명을 듣고 뒤적여 봤습니다. 결론은 해당 문헌을 다운받아 단어검색을 한 결과 (단어검색을 허용합니다 – 스캔을 잘 했더군요…), 찾을 수 없다는 것이었습니다.

I come across with this occasional statement that the first use of ‘gentrification’ can be found in “Memoirs and Proceedings of the Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society” published in 1888. For instance, Jordi Nofre’s 2013 article says:

“Although the term ‘gentrification’ can be origi- nally found in Memoirs and Proceedings of the Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society written in 1888 (Atkinson & Bridge 2008), it acquired a contemporary meaning when the British sociologist Ruth Glass (1964) used it in her book London: Aspects of Change”. 

However, Atkinson & Bridge (published not in 2005, not 2008) does not appear to have made any such claim.

A recent column by a Korean urban planner in a Korean newspaper also contains a similar statement: “이 용어는 1888년 ‘영국 맨체스터 인문학 및 철학협회 백서’란 문헌에서 처음 사용됐다”

You can actually access and download this Memoirs and Proceedings from this link below:……/memoirsproceedin14manc/mem…

The PDF copy allows word search, and you can quickly search for ‘gentry’ or ‘gentrification’. Nowhere in the book can you find the expression.

New publication: Introduction to a special issue on Latin American gentrifications

Finally, it’s with great pleasure to be able to announce the forthcoming special issue on Latin American gentrifications. This is part of the collective project that I have been working on with Loretta Lees and Ernesto López-Morales. Previous outputs included a co-edited volume Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement, a co-authored monograph Planetary Gentrification, and a special issue from Urban Studies “Locating gentrification in the Global East“. The forthcoming special issue from the journal Urban Geography marks the conclusion of our project, and the following is the co-authored introduction to the special issue:

López-Morales, E., Shin, H.B. and Lees, L. (2016) Introduction: Latin American gentrifications. Urban Geography. DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2016.1200335
Currently, Latin American cities are seeing simultaneous processes of reinvestment and redevelopment in their historic central areas. These are not just mega-scale interventions like Porto Maravilha in Rio or Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires or the luxury renovations seen in Santa Fé or Nueva Polanco in Mexico City, they also include state-led, piecemeal, high-rise interventions in Santiago, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Panamá and Bogotá, all of which are causing the displacement of original populations and thus are forms of gentrification. Until very recently, these processes have been under-conceptualized and little critiqued in Latin America, but they deserve careful scrutiny, along with new forms of neighbourhood organization, activism and resistance. In this introduction, we begin that task, drawing on the work begun in an Urban Studies Foundation-funded workshop on Global Gentrification held in Santiago, Chile in 2012. Our aim is not just to understand these urban changes and conflicts as gentrification, but to empirically test the applicability of a generic understanding of gentrification beyond the usual narratives of/from the global North. From this investigation, we hope to nurture new critical narratives, to engage sensitively with indigenous theoretical narratives and to understand the dialectical interplay between state policies, financial markets, local politics and people. The papers in this special issue deal with the core issues of state power and urban policies (exerted at metropolitan and neighbourhood scales), the enormous influx of financial investment in derelict neighbourhoods that produces exclusion and segregation, the significant loss of urban heritage from rapidly “renewing” neighbourhoods and the institutional arrangements that can enable anti-displacement activism and self-managed social housing production.

The rest of the papers in this special issue are as follows:

How are we to overcome ‘gentrification’ as urban disaster?

A forum was held in Seoul on 27 May 2016 to discuss anti-gentrification strategies and legislation, organised by one of the district governments in Seoul. I was not able to accept the invitation to attend and give a talk due to schedule conflict, but wrote a paper “How are we to overcome gentrification as urban disaster?” to contribute to the forum. The link below will take you to the paper (in Korean).

2016 Anti-Gentrification Seongdong Forum지난 5월 27일 서울 성동구청에서 “젠트리피케이션 방지와 지속가능 도시재생을 위한 MOU 체결 및 포럼”을 주최하였습니다. 37개 지자체가 포럼에 앞서 협약식을 체결하고, 이어진 포럼에선 여러 의미있는 논의가 기획되었는데, 아쉽게도 이번엔 초청에 응하지 못하고 대신 특별기고문을 포럼 자료집에 수록하였습니다. 제 글 서론은 아래 참조하시고, 전체 글은 아래 링크에서 다운 받으실 수 있습니다.


경향신문: “‘‪#‎젠트리피케이션 방지’ 37개 지자체 손잡았다”


젠트리피케이션이라는 ‘재난’, 어떻게 극복할 수 있을 것인가?

젠트리피케이션은 임대료나 지가 상승을 노리고 건물과 토지의 용도 변경이 이루어지고, 이 과정에서 기존 사용자가 내몰리는 도시 과정을 지칭합니다. 이러한 과정은 보통 물리적 환경의 변화를 동반합니다. 상업지역의 경우 더 높은 지불능력을 가진 소비자 위주로 업종 변화가 이루어지곤 하는데, 이는 종종 프랜차이즈점과 명품가게 등의 입점으로 이어지고, 이 과정에서 다양성이 감소, 획일화가 이루어지며 결과적으로 타지역과의 차별성이 없어져 상권 축소의 전주곡이 되곤 합니다. 주거지역의 경우, 전월세 임대료가 상승하는 과정에서 저소득층이 밀려나는 현상, 그리고 개발수익을 위한 재건축, 재개발로 인해 기존 주민 대다수가 쫓겨나고 중산층 등 소득상위계층으로 대체되는 과정이 젠트리피케이션에 포함됩니다. 이 역시 지역의 다양성을 파괴하는데 기여하고, 지역개발이 지역주민을 위한 것이라기 보다는 외지인을 위한 개발이 되는 문제점을 낳습니다.

최근까지 건물주와의 갈등으로 강제 퇴거 위기를 겪었던 이태원 소재 까페겸 미술관 ‘테이크아웃드로잉’의 운영진은 자신들이 겪었던 고난의 시기를 ‘재난’이라고 표현했습니다. 천재지변과 같이 당사자의 의지를 벗어난 불가항력적인 힘으로 인해 삶의 공간을 잃고, 생계수단을 잃는 것을 재난이라 지칭하고 그 처지에 놓인 사람들을 이재민이라고 표현한다면, 젠트리피케이션은 말 그대로 재난이고, 그 과정에서 축출된 사람들은 이재민이라고 할 수 있다는 문제의식에서 비롯된 표현이었습니다. 천재지변으로 인한 이재민을 위해서는 사회 각계각층에서 곧잘 의연금을 모으고 정부 차원의 특별보호대책을 수립하지만, 젠트리피케이션으로 인해 생계와 삶의 터전에서 밀려나는 우리의 이웃들은 이재민과 같은 보호를 받지 못하는 것이 우리 도시의 현실입니다.

어느 시민단체 보고에 따르면 1983년부터 1988년 사이 서울에서 재개발 사업으로 인해 쫓겨날 처지를 경험한 주민숫자가 72만명에 이르렀다고 합니다. 1983년 당시 서울시민의 13% 가까운 대규모였습니다. 최근 들어서는 소득이 불안정하거나 미미한 문화예술가 등이 이 대열에 합류하였습니다. 홍대 인근 지역처럼, 인디밴드와 예술가들이 모여 동네가 유명세를 타다보니 토지건물가격이 급등하고, 막상 그 동네를 일궜던 문화예술가들은 주변으로 흩어졌지요. 이번 기고글에서는 이러한 젠트리피케이션을 저지하기 위해 어떤 정책을 수립해야 할 지, 지자체에서 우선 고려해야할 정책적 시각은 무엇인지를 제언하고자 합니다.

(나머지 글은 Shin-2016-Gentrification-SeongdongForum 참조하세요)

[Conference] Global Cities and Urban Studies: Korea in Comparative Perspective

Below is a call for papers forwarded upon request from the conference organiser. This may interest colleagues studying urban issues related to Korea. Please see below. Abstract submission by 5th May 2016.


Call for Papers

Global Cities and Urban Studies: Korea in Comparative Perspective

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 16-18 June 2016

Over half of the world’s population lives in cities and the need for academic research of the changing life in urban settings around the world is growing rapidly. The old metropolises are transforming into Global Cities, and are often assumed to be places for political development, sites of artistic and scientific creativity, and melting pots of ethnic and cultural diversity. Larger cities are competing to become attractive and dynamic centers of regions crossing national borders. The Asia Research Initiative (ARI) and the Department of International Relations (IR) at Central European University (CEU) are pleased to announce the conference ‘Global Cities and Urban studies: Korea in Comparative Perspective’. The event is hosted by Central European University and will take place in Budapest (Hungary) on 16-18 June 2016. The event is supported by Korea Foundation and is part of the KF Global E-school in Eurasia, a project aimed at developing a multi-university and multi-platform online real-time curriculum in Korean Studies. Central European University is the first European university to host a Global E-School, which brings together 20 universities in 14 countries in Europe and Asia.

Possible thematic areas to be covered during the conference include: Continue reading

EARCAG Conference Session, Dec 2016: Speculative Urbanisation and Resistant Politics in East Asia

Session Organiser:

  • Laam Hae (York University, Canada)
  • Hyun Bang Shin (London School of Economics and Political Science, UK)

Please reach the organiser at or if you are interested to present in this session.

In the Western literature, post-industrialisation and global financialisation are identified as a main driver of the rise of property-based urban accumulation, resulting in speculation in the real estate sector. However, in East Asia, land and housing have been subject to rampant speculation during the last three decades of urbanisation and city-making, and not necessarily a result of post-industrialisation, although the region’s declining profitability of manufacturing industries would have contributed to the further rise of real estate speculation that guaranteed high returns on ‘investment’ (Haila, 1999, 2000; Shin; 2016; Shin and Kim, 2016). While East Asian real estate speculation can be understood broadly as social, economic and spatial manifestation of developmental urbanisation, it is also important to acknowledge unevenness in the ways in which such speculation has taken place among different countries in the region. That is, speculation over the urban built environment has been an embedded process in each country, moored in contexts and histories of local politics, economies and societies and expressed in locally specific ways.

In this regard, this session aims to bring together papers that can engage with the following (and other related) questions.

  • How has speculative urbanisation been unfolding in East Asian cities in locally specific ways?
  • What does speculative urbanisation signify in the changing political economy and emerging (re)formations of social structure including class, gender/race relations in each country?
  • How is the process of real estate speculation fraught with dispossession of people’s rights and displacement of the un/propertied?
  • In what ways have various mechanisms of social reproduction been shaped by the unfolding speculation?

We particularly welcome papers that discuss the transformative potential of various resistant politics that have emerged against speculative urbanisation in East Asia.

CFP: 2nd International Conference on Cultural Political Economy, 25-26 August 2016

Forwarding an announcement from Dr Ngai-Ling Sum at Lancaster University. The Cultural Political Economy Research Centre in Lancaster University is organising its second international conference on cultural political economy, this time in partnership with the Graduate School of Education in Bristol University. Below is the CFP for the event. Abstract submission deadline is 29 April 2016.

The Cultural Political Economy Research Centre in Lancaster University, in partnership with the Graduate School of Education in Bristol University will be hosting the second international conference between 25-26 August 2016. We are sending out this call for papers and look forward to hearing from you.

Conference Theme: Putting Culture in its Place in Political Economy

Hosted by the Centre for Globalization, Education and Social Futures

Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol

The second international conference on Cultural Political Economy will be hosted by the Centre for Globalization, Education and Social Futures at Bristol University build on the highly successful event held at the University of Lancaster in 2015 hosted by Bob Jessop and Ngai-Ling Sum in partnership with Lancaster’s Cultural Political Economy Research Centre (CPERC). The conference is an important part of the ongoing development of a theoretical and empirical engagement with Cultural Political Economy.

Call for Papers

The organizers welcome proposals for papers and panels on the following, illustrative topics: other themes are also welcome:

  • What does it mean to be critical?
  • Cultural turns in different fields of inquiry
  • Critical Discourse Analysis and Political Economy
  • Critical cultural political economy
  • Marx, Gramsci and Foucault
  • Intersectionalism and Political Economy
  • Social Relations, Everyday Life and Subjectivities
  • State, Governance and Governmentality
  • Reimagining civil society
  • Rethinking civilizational paradigms
  • Aesthetics and performance of political economy
  • Spatial imaginaries, geoeconomics and geopolitics
  • Spatialities and temporalities of borders and migration
  • Neoliberalism and crisis dynamics
  • Global capitalism, crises and imagined recoveries
  • Globalization of production, commerce and finance
  • Finance, austerity and debt
  • Work, employment, body and embodiment
  • Competition, competitiveness and resilience
  • Globalization, education and societies
  • Sustainability and green capitalism
  • Inequalities of wealth and income
  • Subalternity, social movements and resistance

For further information, please go to and send your proposal to


AAG annual meeting in San Francisco, 2016

Back in the US, this time to take part in this year’s annual meeing of the American Association of Geographers in San Francisco, a city that I am visiting for the first time, so quite excited about the prospect of meeting new colleagues, exchanging thoughts and catching up with old friends. My sessions are as follows: