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Working Papers & Outputs

Working Papers:

This is the UCCities working paper series, set up to showcase some of the great work we are doing. If you're interested in submitting original work for consideration as a UCCities work paper, please contact the UCCities Working Paper Series editor, Dr. Victoria Fast:

WORKING PAPER #1 -- Social justice in the digital age: re-thinking the smart city with Nancy Fraser

Abstract: While many urban scholars acknowledge the importance of justice and participation for emerging smart city initiatives, these dimensions remain inadequately addressed in critical literature. To strengthen the smart city critique, in this conceptual intervention we employ the theory of justice developed by philosopher Nancy Fraser, organized along the domains of redistribution, recognition, and representation. Using Fraser’s tripartite framework of justice, we reformulate and expand the existing critiques of the smart city. Moreover, drawing on her notion of transformative approaches, we argue for shifting the discussion away from the smart city, even an alternative one, towards the just city and a just urbanism in the digital age.

Full paper available at

Related Publications and Research Activity:

Urban Studies Special Issue:

Members of the UCCites team (Byron Miller, Ryan Burns, Victoria Fast & Anthony Levenda) are guest editing a special issue of the Urban Studies journal on Smart Cities between Worlding and Provincializing. This SI aims to provide a collection of original research articles from diverse perspectives around the world that call into question dominant epistemologies and theoretical frameworks employed in the study of smart city projects. Some papers disrupt western-centric forms of knowing the smart city, providing space for alternative epistemologies and ontologies that address the colonial, racist, technocratic-instrumental, and authoritarian forms of knowledge production and dissemination that have shaped cities now and in the past. Others provide case studies of the ways in which smart city policies and projects are pitched as ways to develop a “world-class” reputation. This special issue frames smart city initiatives through two complimentary theoretical approaches central to contemporary urban studies and urban theory: worlding and provincializing. Smart Cities: Between Worlding and Provincializing” also highlights productive tensions that emerge when addressing these approaches together. Papers are currently under review. Stay tuned for more!