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This article discusses how critical urban theory understands generalisation and particularity by unpacking the process of abstraction. It develops an urban interpretation of dialectics through the philosophy of internal relations to: (i) heuristically examine conceptual and political fissures within contemporary urban studies and (ii) critically recalibrate neo-Marxist planetary urban theorising. Examining the conceptual extension, levels of generality and vantage points of our abstractions can assist in constructively negotiating relations between urban difference and generality. The challenge is not which assertions are true based on a given epistemological position, but which abstractions are appropriate to address specific issues, given the range of politics and possibilities each establishes.


Author accepted manuscript version of an article published in:

Jean-Paul D Addie, Stuck inside the urban with the dialectical blues again: abstraction and generality in urban theory, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, , rsaa020,