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Abstract

Urban events like 9-11 and the Arab Spring have deeply marked the first two decades of a century in which the majority of the world population will live in cities. This essay reviews present and potential future debates about the relation between cities and geopolitics, particularly the work of urban geopolitics. I trace three debates centred on three relationships: that between city and sovereignty; between official and everyday urban practices; between violent and peaceful geographies. I point towards three avenues of potential engagement of geographers with the theme of geopolitics and the city. The first avenue leads to appreciating the complex relationships between the state and the non-state that are nowadays increasingly relevant and visible. The second concerns geographies of the everyday, the unofficial, and the unplanned. The third concerns the possibility for an urban geopolitics of peace and its inclusion, rather than focussing exclusively on war and its avoidance.