Is architecture relevant for political theory?

European Journal of Political Theory 23 (1):116-124 (2024)
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Is architecture relevant for political theory? That is the key question that structures this excellent collection Political Theory and Architecture, although a number of essays fit a broader formulated theme better, namely, concerning the political relevance of the organization and design of our built environment more generally, including architecture but also spatial planning and urban design. The collection demonstrates that our build environment is not merely a passive backdrop to a political community, but actively shapes aspects of our common political life. This constitutive nature of our built environment figures in many different guises throughout this volume. In this review article, I discuss some of these and conclude that concerns about the ‘common good’ and hence about the discipline of political theory should take reflections on urban design, planning, and architecture into account.



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Bart Richard Van Leeuwen
Radboud University

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