A systemic approach to the city, as a political-spatial system from Kuhn and Sojan's point of view

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Political Geography, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran

2 university of tehran


Extended Abstract     
In political geography, the city as a geopolitical and legal reality with the concept of spatial, physical, and natural, embraces the inequality of power relations. In this regard, city can be studied using a systematic approach as a 'political-spatial system'. The systematic approach seeks to understand the whole system and its components, the relationships between the components and the whole and the relationships between the whole and its subsystem environment. In this approach, the city is studied militarily from different spatial levels, which illustrates a kind of interconnection between the subsystems of an urban system. In other words, an urban system, within the framework of a systematic approach, consists not only of a set of urban settlements, but also of spatial flows and relationships between cities because of its structure and function at various scales. Using a descriptive-analytic approach, this paper explores the views of two major political geographers, Saul Bernard Cohen and Edward Soja, how to study the city as a system. The results of this study show that, for Cohen, the "political system" is the starting point for the analysis of political processes as processes operate within it, so that, first, the concepts of "process" and "system" are inseparable. Secondly, 'social forces' are at the heart of the city's political system because by creating political exchanges, institutions operate through them and shape the relevant environment. Soja, while considering the two spatial and political systems of the city, believes that the "spatial system of the city" is a part of the space that is formally and functionally organized by modeling the characteristics and structuring of organized flows and goals. But at the same time, there is an inherent geographical order in human society- a "spatial anatomy" of "human behavior" and "social organization" that has discoverable and systematic features. For this reason, in his view, some sort of order is concentrated in space systems, especially the "political system of the city".
This research is fundamental and theoretical type and the method of data collection is based on documentary and library research and the method of information analysis is also descriptive-analytic based on qualitative methodology. In this regard, and in order to achieve a clear and consistent result in this research based on rational deduction, efforts have been made to explain the political system of the city. Thus, using the main variables, such as the phenomenon of city, system, and politics, we try to reach generalized results
The findings of this study are discussed under the following themes:
1- From the old times, the concept of the system has been considered by scholars and philosophers.
2- The system approach, which includes the school of organism and integrity, is a comprehensive approach to entities.
 3. System thinking; the process of cognition is based on analysis, analysis and composition in order to achieve a comprehensive and comprehensive understanding of an issue in its environment.
4. A system approach based on the prevailing role of comprehensive planning, based on the principles of formal and definitive planning, has created a fundamental change in the bases of urban plans and opened up a new perspective on the future of urbanization.
5. Cohen, in his model, has tried to notice mankind in his political role in society (in political transactions, political structure, and political ideology) and the relation between this political role and the earth (places, regions, and perspectives), the result of this connection and the formation of a political system.
6. For Soja, a spatial system of the city can be seen as a cluster of unified locations or areas, formed through the integration of regional communication of key features such as cultural and attitudinal variables and the interaction of interaction patterns.
Urban systems and their elements can be studied over time to study their dynamic properties. Such a revolutionary view or developmentism in geography, on the one hand, is closely related to the study of spatial development, and on the other hand, it is due to the emphasis on the study of the cognitive structure of geographic units. As a result, a city's political system is initially a collection of citizens, which is the philosophy of survival and infrastructure. Parties that are catalysts for categorizing citizens' thoughts and ideas and various pressure groups that act as hidden and half-hidden, as well as the media that organizes the public opinion of communities in their own way, and decision-makers from other subsets political city. In the political system of the city, two internal and external environments influenced by ideological, natural, economic, and demand forces and advocates that lead to certain policies if they are considered by the main elements of the political system. These policies have particular feedback given their spatial manifestations and this systematic cycle will continue.
Using this descriptive-analytic method, the present paper focuses on the political system of the city based on Cohen and Soja theory. According to Cohen, the departure point for analyzing political processes is the "political system" that processes within it. Indeed, in his view, the concepts of "process" and "system" are inseparable. Social forces are the basis of the city's political system, because social forces create the system and political transactions through which institutions act and shape the environment. For Soja, "spatial" and "spatial analysis" of the concept of city's space system is heavily woven together. A "spatial system of the city" is part of a space that is formally and functionally organized through the patterning of the characteristics and structure of flows and goals.


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