Alba Griffin

Nick Morgan
Newcastle University, UK


This article examines the relationship between spatial imaginaries and the idea of a “politics of scale”. Assuming, conventionally enough, that scale is not an empirical fact but a construction that takes place in specific material conditions, we use examples to sketch out how different imaginaries of scale are deployed in the interests of specific political projects. We suggest that the 1991 constitution represents a kind of “scalar fix” that encouraged a rethinking of scalar relationships, and that this process was marked by the emergence of the importance of territorio. Through examples taken from our ethnographic work in urban areas, we analyse some examples of a pragmatics of scale, the strategic use of scalar imaginaries to further particular political goals.

Keywords: imaginaries of scale, 1991 constitution, pragmatics of scale, ethnography.