The Rule of Freedom: Liberalism and the Modern City

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Verso, 2003 - History - 276 pages
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The liberal governance of the nineteenth-century state and city depended on the "rule of freedom". As a form of rule it relied on the production of certain kinds of citizens and patterns of social life, which in turn depended on transforming both the material form of the city (its layout, architecture, infrastructure) and the ways it was inhabited and imagined by its leaders, citizens and custodians.

Focusing mainly on London and Manchester, but with reference also to Glasgow, Dublin, Paris, Vienna, colonial India, and even contemporary Los Angeles, Patrick Joyce creatively and originally develops Foucauldian approaches to historiography to reflect on the nature of modern liberal society. His consideration of such "artifacts" as maps and censuses, sewers and markets, public libraries and parks, and of civic governments and city planning, are intertwined with theoretical interpretations to examine both the impersonal, often invisible forms of social direction and control built into the infrastructure of modern life and the ways in which these mechanisms both shape culture and social life and engender popular resistance.
 

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User Review  - pranogajec - LibraryThing

Although the book is peppered with insightful analyses of the intersection of liberal governmental mechanisms with the practices and environments of modern urbanism, the chapters sometimes meander and ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Maps Numbers and the City Knowing the Governed
20
Counting the state and the city
24
Mapping the state and the city
35
The Water and the Blood of the City Naturalising the Governed
62
The water of the city
65
The blood of the city
76
The Light of Publicity Making Liberal Community
98
The design of the moral city
148
The social city
171
The Republic of the Streets Knowing and Moving in the City
183
Knowing the city
189
Moving in the city
210
Modern Freedom Comparisons and Conclusion
240
ruling the Raj
244
Conclusion
258

Performing liberalism
106
The light of the library
128
City Past and City Present Building the Liberal City
144

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About the author (2003)

Patrick Joyce has become known, through books including Visions of the People, Democratic Subjects and The Oxford Reader on Class, as a leading social and cultural historian, as well as one of the chief exponents of postmodernist thought in history. He is Professor of Modern History at Manchester University.

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