This virtual special issue considers the empirical and theoretical resources that the back catalogue of Urban Studies specifically, and the discipline of urban studies more broadly, has to offer our understanding of the rapidly evolving contemporary moment in the USA, usefully dubbed ‘The Age of Ferguson’ (Bernard (2015); Derickson (forthcoming). Mobilising the concept of the ‘racial state’, this article considers Ferguson in the context of state rescaling and globalisation to continue to flesh out the role that difference and its geographical expression play in smoothing out and justifying the neoliberalisation of urban governance (see Derickson (2014)), and to begin to develop ‘countertopographies’ (Katz (2001)) that link up the margins of the Global North and South. In so doing, I engage each of the papers included in the special issue to consider how they contribute to and stretch our understanding of the present racial conjuncture, and to provide a first cut at thinking the Age of Ferguson relationally (Derickson, forthcoming; Jacobs (2012), through urban governance, racialisation, territorial stigmatisation’ (Garbin and Millington (2012)), policing and urban social movements.
- racial state
- urban politics