The article is an attempt at capturing the process of modern urbanisation in terms of Michel Foucault's theory of power technologies. Drawing on the characteristics of urban forms corresponding to three techniques of power constitutive to modern Western societies (sovereignty, discipline and government), as presented by Foucault in the 1977/78 series of lectures entitled 'Sécurité, territoire, population', the author argues that urbanisation viewed from this perspective turns out to be a process of the accumulation of people, closely linked and parallel to the process of capital accumulation. It results in the formation of contemporary 'urban environments', inhabited by a biopolitically governed 'population' - the social body of capital, or the so-called 'human capital'. Contemporary municipal studies, as well as municipal policy-making, often employ these terms without any critical analysis. The shortcomings of such an approach are presented through an analysis of the place of spatial economy (or spatial planning) in the biopolitical corpus of power-knowledge and confronted with Manuel Castells' diagnosis of the role of contemporary cities in the socioeconomic system formulated in The Urban Question.
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