The Contemporary Latin American City: LASA 2014 – CALL FOR PAPERS


(Please see below a call for papers for the forthcoming Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Congress in Chicago, May 21-24, 2014)

Assembling the Contemporary Latin American City: South-South Circuits, Planning Exchanges, Policy Mobilities

In the wake of structural adjustment programs and region-wide reforms to democratize and decentralize central government authority, several Latin American cities became sites of increased experimentation and innovation in urban planning, urban development and public participation. Municipal authorities throughout the region reinvented land use, transportation, housing, and public space as planning tools to address a range of new and long-deferred infrastructural, social, and environmental issues. In this context, urban planning became a highly contentious and experimental arena where a range of actors –from public sector planners to NGOs to social movements to organized private actors- seized opportunities to push and legitimize new models of urban planning and development. Although North-South policy exchanges and circuits persisted, Latin Americans increasingly began to look at cities in the region as legitimate and alternative models beyond North-originated paradigms.

We think that the increased South-South urban exchanges in Latin America as well as the new ideological alignments and urban experiments in the region (Davis 2013, Goldfrank and Schrank 2009, Baiocchi 2005) offer a platform to explore and craft new concepts and approaches in Latin American urban studies and planning. In recent years, urban scholars in a variety of disciplines have highlighted the potential of relational approaches to theorize cities, policy, and planning including assemblage and actor-network theory (Farías and Bender 2009, McFarlane 2012), urban policy mobilities (Peck and Theodore 2010, McCann and Ward 2011), inter-city referencing (Ong and Roy 2011), and transnational planning exchanges (Watson 2009, Healey 2013). This panel seeks contributors that engage with those debates by analyzing how contemporary Latin American cities are assembled and mobilized. Papers should touch on some or all of the following questions: How and by whom is a Latin American urban policy model assembled and/or mobilized? How are South-South circulations related to Northern circuits of power and legitimacy? Are Latin American urban models counter-hegemonic? Who are the new actors and experts in Latin American urban policy and planning and where do their power and legitimacy reside?

Please send paper abstracts of 250 words or less by August 28, 2013 to panel organizers: Sergio Montero (, Catalina Ortiz (, Enrique R. Silva ( and Oscar Sosa (

1 thought on “The Contemporary Latin American City: LASA 2014 – CALL FOR PAPERS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s