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Cities in the Global South (Level 7)


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor and tutor: Mara Nogueira
  • Assessment: a class activity (20%), 1500-word blog entry (20%) and 3500-word essay (60%)

Module description

While the world’s population is rapidly urbanising, most of this growth is concentrated in cities in the Global South. Yet dominant urban theory, and our understanding of urban life, has been anchored in the experiences of cities in the Global North. This course wants to reverse this focus in search of new perspectives, methodologies and tools to understand the opportunities and challenges produced by an increasingly urbanised society.

The module will draw on examples from cities in the Global South, including Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa, to look at the ways in which urban space is produced, contested and governed in these regions. It will pay particular attention to the (re)production of socio-spatial inequality, thinking through issues of class, race and gender. It will provide an overview of current challenges faced by Global South cities, focusing in particular on the experiences of marginalised groups, and inviting students to imagine more socially just urban futures. In doing so, it will generate tools for you to use to re-think and re-examine cities everywhere.

Indicative module syllabus

  • Postcolonial urban theory
  • Urban informality
  • Everyday urban politics in the Global South
  • Urban governance and policy in Global South cities
  • Socio-spatial segregation
  • Urbanisation and gender in the Global South
  • Migration and mobility in Global South cities
  • Climate change and urban resilience in the South

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will have:

  • critically engaged with key debates on urbanisation in the Global South
  • a critical understanding of the distinct context of urbanisation in the Global South
  • a critical understanding of key challenges facing cities and marginalised populations in the Global South
  • a critical understanding of how socio-spatial inequality is (re)produced in Global South cities
  • evaluated different forms of evidence in order to produce an extended social science argument
  • demonstrated a degree of independent learning.