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European cities are at the centre of social, political and economic changes in Western Europe. This book proposes a new research agenda in urban sociology and politics applying primarily to European cities, in particular those that together make up the urban structure of Europe: a fabric of older cities of over 100,000 inhabitants, regional capitals and smaller state capitals. The contributors develop an analytical framework which views cities as local societies, and as collective factors and site for modes of governance. The three parts of the book examine the economics of cities, the social structures, and the modes and processes of governance. Each chapter comprises a comparison across several countries and examines critically the book's central theoretical perspective. This is not a book about the making of a Europe of cities but rather about how some cities can take advantage of their changing global and European environment.