Pluralizing global urbanism: replacing the God-Trick with Goddess Tactics

Ann El Khoury*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We are in the midst of an exciting and turbulent time for global urban enquiry, with the ground shifting rapidly. This response reflects on van Meeteren et al.'s provocation as a stimulating paper with prospects for advancing an important dialogue among scholars engaged in research on global urbanization, from various approaches. My paper makes a number of interrelated arguments. First, that the apparent disenfranchisement experienced by global city researchers in the face of postcolonial critiques and other challenges may be more a function and reflection of the rapidly changing contours of empirical-epistemological developments than the authors may allow. Second, an overlooking of relevant global cities research arguments in postcolonial critiques may have as much to do with the practical and perennial problem of long publishing lead times as it doeswith strawman arguments and indiscriminate truisms. Third, in considering the authors proposal for a more engaged rather than polemical pluralism, my reflection briefly discusses the value of adding a more feminine mode of engagement that sees the strategic deployment of what I call 'Goddess Tactics' (contra 'God-Trick') in service of a more plural and genuinely global urban epistemology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-295
Number of pages5
JournalDialogues in Human Geography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • engaged pluralism
  • global cities
  • global cities research
  • global urbanism
  • Goddess Tactics
  • postcolonial urban theory

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