The hybrid spatialities of transition: capitalism, legacy, and uneven urban economic restructuring
This paper conceptualises post-socialist urban economic geographies through the notion of hybrid spatialities that emerge from the mutual embeddedness of neoliberalism and socialist legacies. While the dismantling of state socialism was a massive moment towards the exacerbation of uneven development, ironically it is the socialist-era spatial legacy that has become the single major differentiating factor for the economic status of cities. This superficial overdetermination, however, masks the root causes of uneven development that must be seen in the logic of capitalism and its attendant practices which subsume legacy, recode its meaning, and recast the formerly equalitarian spaces as an uneven spatial order. The authors argue that the socialist legacy, rather than being an independent carrier of history, has been alienated from its history to become an infrastructure of neoliberalisation, conducive to capitalist process. The paper draws specifically on the experiences of Russia, although its reflections should reverberate much more broadly.