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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Infrastructure in advanced nations has been transformed from a sector dominated by state-owned utilities into one characterized by the presence of private capital and diverse non-state organizations. The chapter shows how these changes not only affect the ways infrastructure steers economic relations within cities, but also reconstitutes urban governance in surprising ways. The chapter explores the theoretical challenges that these trends bring to economic geography. On one hand, there is growing redundancy of the historical taxonomy of infrastructure and the idea of infrastructure as a public good. One the other there is normative obsession with the idea of the state-run utilities system as if no other form of infrastructure provision can be just and sustainable. The chapter draws eclectically on economic sources to build a model of analysis that combines capital, organizational, and regulatory structures into a single frame, and demonstrates the theoretical and policy power of such an approach.

Keywords: infrastructure, privatization, financialization, regulation, public goods

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