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KGLM 2005 - Cities at risk. Risk governance in the large metropolis

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The course aims at providing students interested in urban issues with the concepts and tools needed to study risks in cities and urban regions. The risks covered can result from natural or man-made events, they can relate to violence, poverty, health, environment, terrorism or infrastructures. Given the complexity and variety of both risks and cities, there is no single approach to this theme. Hence, the course aims to present and discuss some approaches recently produced in the social sciences. It also aims to encourage students to think critically about frameworks promoted by international organizations in terms of disaster management, and more generally widespread efforts to redefine urban governance in terms of risk management. Lastly, it will suggest that taking the notion of risk further than is usually done can contribute to modify the representation of urban regions and the problems they face.


BORRAZ, Olivier (Directeur de recherche, CNRS, CSO Sciences Po)

Pedagogical format

12 sessions of 2 hours. Course is interactive, with discussions during classes and on a dedicated site between classes.

Course validation

Students will be evaluated on: class participation (10%) ; one class project prepared in a small group (40%) ; one individual final policy paper (50%).


Participation to all sessions is compulsory. Students will have to prepare readings for each session. 10 sessions will be prepared by a group of students.

Required reading

  • Ali, S. H. and Keil, R., eds. 2009, Networked disease. Emerging infections in the global city, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
  • Davis, Mike. 1999. Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster. Vintage Books
  • Klinenberg, Eric. 2003. Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
  • Pelling, Mark. 2003. The Vulnerability of Cities: Natural Disaster and Social Resilience. London: Earthscan
  • Sze, J. (2007), Noxious New York: the racial politics of urban health and environmental justice, MIT Press

Additional required reading