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Panel 32. The multilayer nature of the politics and policies


  • Renata Bichir, University of São Paulo
  • Ursula Peres, University of São Paulo
  • Eduardo Marques, University of São Paulo


Urban policies have been profoundly transformed in recent decades worldwide, in production processes involving multiple levels and with increasingly heterogeneous and multiple actors: private actors, social movements, civil society organizations, and several types of State agents engaged in urban politics and policies. They have been connected in dynamic governance patterns, understood as sets of State and non-State actors connected by relations of several kinds (formal, informal, legal, and illegal) surrounded by historically constructed institutions. Urban studies have analyzed several features of these patterns, even in comparisons bridging the South/North divide. However, their intrinsic multilayer features are still to be explored systematically, including but not restricted to the roles of international organizations, federal and nation-State agencies’ actions, investments, and regulations. A better understanding of the relationships that cross scales involving actors and processes from local, national, and global spheres in interaction with the existing institutions at each scale is key to better understanding struggles, political dynamics, funding conflicts, and public policy production, linking broader processes to local actors and their agency. This stream welcomes contributions discussing and presenting these multilevel connections in processes in cities of both the global South and North. Depending on the contributions, we intend to organize a journal special issue gathering papers presented at the stream.

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