Risky Cities: The Physical and Fiscal Nature of Disaster Capitalism (Nature, Society, and Culture) (Paperback)

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Risky Cities: The Physical and Fiscal Nature of Disaster Capitalism (Nature, Society, and Culture) By Albert S. Fu Cover Image


Over half the world’s population lives in urban regions, and increasingly disasters are of great concern to city dwellers, policymakers, and builders. However, disaster risk is also of great interest to corporations, financiers, and investors. Risky Cities is a critical examination of global urban development, capitalism, and its relationship with environmental hazards. It is about how cities live and profit from the threat of sinkholes, garbage, and fire. Risky Cities is not simply about post-catastrophe profiteering. This book focuses on the way in which disaster capitalism has figured out ways to commodify environmental bads and manage risks. Notably, capitalist city-building results in the physical transformation of nature. This necessitates risk management strategies –such as insurance, environmental assessments, and technocratic mitigation plans. As such capitalists redistribute risk relying on short-term fixes to disaster risk rather than address long-term vulnerabilities. 

About the Author

Albert S. Fu is professor of sociology at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. He has previously published articles in Cities, City & Community, Critical Sociology, International Journal of Urban & Regional Research, and Urban Studies.

Praise For…

"Fu offers a theoretically rich and empirically grounded analysis of how disaster capitalism and unsustainable urban development transforms environmental bads into economically valuable goods. These transformations have devastating consequences, further exacerbating social and environmental inequities in a highly urbanized and warming world. Risky Cities is essential reading for anyone with interests in urban political economy, environmental social science, and global studies."
— Andrew Jorgenson

"I see Risky Cities becoming the landmark work on how ‘everyday’ urban risks are produced and then commodified—and what we might do to arrest this process."
— Tim Haney
Product Details
ISBN: 9781978820302
ISBN-10: 1978820305
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: March 18th, 2022
Pages: 188
Language: English
Series: Nature, Society, and Culture