The Rule of Freedom: Liberalism and the Modern City

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9781859845202: The Rule of Freedom: Liberalism and the Modern City

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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About the Author:

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.


“In his remarkable new book, Patrick Joyce confirms his position as amongst the most inventive and rigorous social historians writing today. Creatively employing and developing Foucault’s conceptions of governmentality, he uses a wealth of fascinating material to show how the nineteenth-century city and its citizens were made governable in the name of freedom. ... This book will become a standard reference for all those interested in the history of the liberal city, and a major conceptual contribution for all those seeking to understand the relations of power and freedom in contemporary society.”—Nikolas Rose, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science

“There is no one writing whose feet are so firmly in the streets of the past and whose head is so creatively engaged with ways of theorising it. A joy to read.”—David Vincent, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Social History, Keele University

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Patrick Joyce
Published by Verso (2003)
ISBN 10: 1859845207 ISBN 13: 9781859845202
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1

Book Description Verso, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1859845207

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