Presentation of the topic
Following an often quoted Castells’s methaphor of space of flows, we must recognize cities not only as nodes concentrating those flows, but also as political agents entangled into innumerable networks encompassing globalised world. Those networks may operate on various scales – from the very local one (like in case of local community or entrepreneurs engaged in public governance) to the regional (metropolitan cooperation) and international ones (twinning or urban organisations). As a result, cities operate in multiscalar spaces. This gives room to look at the cities as political agents shaping their presence on the global political and economic arena. It also provides scope for dealing with inner urban politics and policies as signs of downscaling.
Lock-in concept was brought up not only to underline that the importance of network structure for contemporary development and policy can have positive and negative influence on different processes and places, but also to enhance discussion about an origins and history of diverse sets of factors influencing policy implementation with which the cities struggle in the 21st century. Lock-in concept brings to the discussion notions like sustainability, flexibility, incremental changes, evolution, durability, permanency, self-reinforced mechanisms.
This perspective allows embracing all topics connected to relations constructed by cities and urban actors towards external actors. Proposed conference tracks encompass political, social, democratic, functional, economic and spatial relations, providing scope for participation of scholars and practitioners dealing with cities from various perspectives.