Urban Climate Risk Communities: East Asian World Cities as Cosmopolitan Spaces of Collective Action?

Theory Culture & Society, SAGE Publications, ISSN 1460-3616

Volume 33, 7-8, 2016

DOI:10.1177/0263276416669411, Dimensions: pub.1063784970,




  1. (1) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU






Ulrich Beck’s cosmopolitan sociology affords a much-needed rethinking of the transnational politics of climate change, not least in pointing to an emerging inter-urban geography of world cities as a potential new source of community, change and solidarity. This short essay, written in honour of Beck’s forward-looking agenda for a post-Euro-centric social science, outlines the contours of such an urban-cosmopolitan ‘realpolitik’ of climate risks, as this is presently unfolding across East Asian world cities. Much more than a theory-building endeavour, the essay suggests, Beck’s sociology provides a standing invitation for further transnational dialogue and collaborative empirical work, in East Asia and beyond, on what are, arguably, the defining challenges for the 21st century world of global risks.

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