• Anti-Politics in the Anthropocene

      Cox, Peter; Revi, Ben; University of Chester (2015-10-31)
      The governing logic of the neoliberal world seeks to impose strict policy outcomes without all the trouble of political debate. Neoliberal governmentality is constructed as ‘apolitical’ or, in James Ferguson’s words, an ‘anti-politics machine’, a function of economic science, conceived by experts (such as independent reserve banks, committees and advisors) whose recommendations determine appropriate social behaviours and methods to encourage their practice. Politicians are judged not on their skill in delivering agreement and compromise, but rather on their skill at delivering balanced budgets and economic growth. This sets up an interesting proposition. When the overwhelming majority of the world’s climate scientists advocate policy to address the threat of climate change, how does neoliberalism react? Counterintuitively, many neoliberal actors have sought to undermine the authority of climate science. This has caused a rift in the governing logic of neoliberalism, as it selectively abandons the 'anti-politics’ positivism it is built on. Therefore, the anthropocene as a mode of understanding could present a discursive challenge to neoliberal hegemony, exposing the paradoxes and contradictions that lie within the anti-politics agenda. We argue, therefore that the nurture of moral political debate is a crucial task of an anthropocene mode of understanding, one already emergent in activist movements. While these movements are frequently characterised as anti-political in themselves, we argue that instead they should be understood as prefigurative of new extensions of democracy.
    • Becoming an Urban Cycling Space

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester
      Peter Cox shows how the rapid transformations of many city spaces during the covid-19 pandemic has dramatically altered both perceptions of the spaces in which cyclists ride the city and the possibilities of becoming an urban cyclist. This chapter first looks back in a wider historic context to show the double process of cyclists adapting to existing European cities and how, in turn, cyclists’ presence has changed the cities themselves. It then examines some of the adaptations produced in response to the pandemic and the ways in which this has made cities appear different spaces for cycling. Finally, it examines some of the emergent policy frameworks produced during this time and their implications for future relations between cyclists and other forms of urban mobility.
    • Bicycle design history and systems

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (Routledge, 2017-02-02)
      This chapter focuses on the ways in which bicycle design connects with a range of factors; how external forces may shape reinterpretations of bicycle design, and how bicycle design, in turn, may be used to try to shape the external world. Two historical cases are explored to show how bicycles, as design objects, are entangled with practices and identities: Germany in the 1920s and 1930s and England in the 1960s and 1970s. In the first case, design is used to reproduce and reinforce a dominant political ideology through reinterpretation rather than innovation. Here the bicycle allows new connections to be made between state and citizen. In the second case, design innovation is employed to challenge dominant ideologies of mobility: bicycles are used to connect citizens to new mobility practices. Both cases illustrate the relations between design and politics and both have implications for inclusion and access aspects of social justice. Both studies make use of close reading of manufacturers’ literature but place it more strongly in a political/cultural context to understand the relationship between the design objects and wider society.
    • Biking and Tourism

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (2016-02-24)
      Keynote presentation at Cycling Forum, organized by Institute of Parks and Recreation, held at the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore.
    • Book review of Bruce D. Epperson (2014) Bicycles in American Highway Planning. The critical years of policy-making 1969-1991. Jefferson, NC: McFarland

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (2015-12)
      Book review of Bruce D. Epperson (2014) Bicycles in American Highway Planning. The critical years of policy-making 1969-1991. Jefferson, NC: McFarland
    • Book review: Quest for speed

      Cox, Peter; University Of Chester (Manchester University Press, 2013-12-01)
      This is a book review of Quest for Speed, a book which brings together a wealth of data on the emergence of cycling racing and, in particular, on the relationship between sport and technological innovation.
    • Book Reviews

      Gutelius, Beth; Gibson, Janet; Zunino Singh, Dhan; Gold, Steven J.; Portmann, Alexandra; Cox, Peter; Volti, Rudi; Drummond-Cole, Adrian; Spalding, Steven D. (Berghahn Books, 2017-12-01)
      Matthew Heins, The Globalization of American Infrastructure: The Shipping Container and Freight Transportation (New York: Routledge, 2016), 222 pp., $145 (hardback)Lesley Murray and Susan Robertson, eds., Intergenerational Mobilities: Relationality, Age and Lifecourse (London: Routledge, 2017), 194 pp., 14 illustrations, $145 (hardback)Sebastián Ureta, Assembling Policy: Transantiago, Human Devices, and the Dream of a World-Class Society (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015), 224 pp., 22 illustrations, $39 (hardback)Yuk Wah Chan, David Haines, and Jonathan H. X. Lee, eds., The Age of Asian Migration: Continuity, Diversity, and Susceptibility, vol. 1 (Newcastle on Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), 450 pp., £54.99Robert Henke and Eric Nicholson, eds., Transnational Mobilities in Early Modern Theater (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014) 320 pp., 22 illustrations, $117 (hardback)Ruth Oldenziel and Helmuth Trischler, eds., Cycling and Recycling: Histories of Sustainable Practices (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2016), 256 pp., 18 illustrations, £67 (hardback)Margo T. Oge, Driving the Future: Combating Climate Change with Cleaner, Smarter Cars (New York: Arcade, 2015), xv + 351 pp., $25.99 (hardback)Thomas Birtchnell, Satya Savitzky, and John Urry, eds., Cargomobilities: Moving Materials in a Global Age (New York: Routledge, 2015), 236 pp., 16 illustrations, $148 (hardback)Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette, Snowpiercer 1: The Escape, trans. Virginie Sélavy (London: Titan Comics, 2014), 110 pp., $19 (hardback)
    • Cargo bikes: Distributing consumer goods

      Cox, Peter; Rzewnicki, Randy; University of Chester ; European Cyclists’ Federation (University of Chester Press, 2015-06-01)
      This book chapter considers the role of human powered vehicles: bicycles and tricycles, in this mundane distribution of consumer goods.
    • Cities, States and Bicycles. Writing Cycling Histories and Struggling for Policy Relevance.

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (SAGE, 2017-03-30)
      A Review Essay
    • Class And Competition: The Gentrification Of Sport Cycling

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (jack Thurston, The Chain, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, 2013-02-12)
      This article uses a study of a range of literary sources on cycle sport to understand how social class has been represented class in relation to a number of sporting cycling activities. It examines the messages implicit in particular growth areas of participant and professional sport cycling to understand how these relate to wider changes in class identity.
    • Cycling at a standstill

      Emanuel, Martin; Veraart, Frank; Cox, Peter; University of Eindhoven, University of Eindhoven, University of Chester (Foundation for the History of Technology, 2016-05)
      Overview of Cycling Policy and Practice in Manchester
    • Cycling cultures

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (University of Chester Press, 2015-05-23)
      Cycling studies is a rapidly growing area of investigation across the social sciences, reflecting and engaged with rapid transformations of urban mobility and concerns for sustainability. This volume brings together a range of studies of cycling and cyclists, examining some of the diversity of practices and their representation. Its international contributors focus on cases studies in the UK and the Netherlands, and on cycling subcultures that cross national boundaries. By considering cycling through the lens of culture it addresses issues of diversity and complexity, both past and present. The authors cross the boundaries of academia and professional engagement, linking theory and practice, to shed light on the very real processes of change that are reshaping our mobility.
    • Cycling cultures and social theory

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (University of Chester Press, 2015-06-01)
      This book chapter considers definitional problems associated with thinking about cycling cultures and then discusses analytical frameworks for understanding culture and power and uses them to examine how insights from social theory can inform the practices of specific pro-cycling activism that seek to promote cycling as a sustainable transport choice.
    • Cycling, environmentalism and change in 1970s Britain

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (2015-02-13)
      Dave Horton’s widely cited paper, Environmentalism and the Bicycle (Environmental Politics 15(1) 2006: 41-58) clearly highlighted “significance of the bicycle to the discourse and practice of the contemporary environmental movement” in Britain. While broadly in agreement with Horton’s discussion, this paper seeks to extend it through a more strongly historicised account of the formation of the particular discourses around the bicycle and cycling. It critically examines the multiple ways in which bicycles and cycling have been explicitly constructed as ‘natural’ allies since the late 1960s and the degree to which this linkage has been simultaneously intertwined with the forging of a broader, counter-cultural identity in the English-speaking world. Focusing on the UK experience, it draws on primary sources from advocacy groups, and contrasts the tensions between longstanding cycle advocacy bodies and the emergent environmental and countercultural discourses through the 1970s and 1980s. In particular, one recurrent question which is opened to scrutiny is the relation of these discourses to both technophilic and technophobic utopianism and the problems both positions pose for integration into a wider pragmatic political agenda. In charting these events and the framing of both the need for change and the methods whereby it may be achieved, it is further argued that this legacy is not entirely unproblematic in relation to current aspirations for an increased modal share for cycling in transport planning.
    • Cycling: a sociology of vélomobility

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-04-08)
      Cycling: a Sociology of Vélomobility explores cycling as a sociological phenomenon. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, it considers the interaction of materials, competences and meanings that comprise a variety of cycling practices. What might appear at first to be self-evident actions are shown to be constructed though the interplay of numerous social and political forces. Using a theoretical framework from mobilities studies, its central themes respond to the question of what is it about cycling that provokes so much interest and passion, both positive and negative. Individual chapters consider how cycling has appeared as theme and illustration in social theory and considers the legacies of these theorizations. It expands on the image of cycling practices as product of an assemblage of technology, rider and environment. Riding spaces as material technologies are found to be as important as the machineries of the cycle, and a distinction is made between routes and rides to help interpret aspects of journey-making. Ideas of both affordance and script are used to explore how elements interact in performance to create sensory and experiential scapes. Consideration is also given to the changing identities of cycling practices in historical and geographical perspective. The book adds to existing research by extending the theorisation of cycling mobilities. It engages with both current and past debates on the place of cycling in mobility systems and the problems of researching, analysing and communicating ephemeral mobile experiences.
    • Cycling: Image and imaginary in the cultural turn: Review essay

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (Berghahn, 2012-05-16)
      This essay reviews a selection of cycling magazines, reflecting different aspects of, and approaches to cycling and cycle mobility, yet sharing similar production values, layout and features.
    • Cyclists and conflicts over road use in Britain, 1926-1935

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (Editions Alphil, 2014-04-26)
      Increasing conflict over the use of road space in Britain during the 1930s can be seen in the rapid growth of casualty figures. In particular, concerns were raised over the rising number of cyclists’ deaths as part of the overall numbers. Reports and comments in Parliament, coroners’ reports and newspapers placing responsibility for road safety on non-motorised road users led to considerable reaction from cycle users and, ultimately, to the formation of a vociferous campaign group uniting previously disparate factions and interests from cycle users, sporting clubs and industry. Drawing on contemporary sources, in particular on the coverage of the conflict by the Cyclists’ Touring Club, and on parliamentary debate surrounding the 1930 and 1934 Road Traffic Acts, this paper examines the discursive production of cyclists as a previously invisible body of road users. It considers the complexities of the conflict over road safety and the location of responsibility for road safety in terms of class, representation, power and status of the groups of actors in relation to the governance of road space. The arguments over legitimacy and safety produced by the conflicting interests of different road user groups articulated in this period continue to have significant bearing on transport policy and practice today. This is especially the case given recent renewed interest in promoting cycling as a sustainable mode of urban mobility and the often vociferous debate between advocates of separate infrastructure and supporters of integrated road use
    • Distance, Time, Speed & Energy: A socio-political analysis of technologies of longer distance cycling

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester
      The basic laws of motion governing cycling are well understood. Consideration of the variables of energy use in cycle travel is less frequent. The potentials of both aerodynamically efficient cycle design and the augmentation of human power with e-motors dramatically reconfigure what we understand as a cycle and as cycling. The prospect of increasing travel distance in regular journeying, coupled with the logical application of augmentation (aerodynamic and/ or power), suggest a need to re-evaluate some of the ground expectations applied in design and planning for cycle travel if the cycles for which infrastructure is designed no longer conform to existing expectations of what a cycle is and how it performs. Current e-bike performance is limited principally by normative legislative intervention, not by the intrinsic potential of the technologies. Existing decisions as to what an e-bike can (and should) be, are shaped by the performance expectations of late 19th and early 20th century bicycle designs. Shaping modal shift for longer trips returns us to think about the place of cycling travel time as a function of the relationship between distance and speed. Increased speed allows for greater distance without time penalty. However, speed is itself governed by available energy, coupled with the efficiency of use of that energy. Without entirely substituting human power, E-motors allow us to augment the human power available in different ways; Changes in cycle design (velomobiles, for example) allow us to increase the efficiency of use of available power in overcoming resistance to movement. Identifying the assemblage of cycle/cyclist as a variable, rather than a determinate object to be accommodated, raises difficult questions for cycling provision, especially in relation to longer distance travel. Drawing on the capacities of already existing technologies of cycling and e-cycling, the paper focuses on the social implications of potentially problematic interactions. It argues that new decisions will need to be made in regard to speed and distance in cycle travel and that the forging of regulations consequent on those fundamentals will substantially shape the potentials and possibilities of modal shift for longer distance cycle travel. What emerges is a politics of longer distance cycle, not simply a set of technical barriers and problems.
    • E-mobility, immobility and alt-mobility

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (2013-09-05)
      Extending the arguments raised by Dennis and Urry in After the Car (2009), this paper examines the potentials and problems facing innovation in vehicular systems. In mobility systems dominated by conventional automobility, the widespread adoption of e-vehicles and hybrid vehicles promises to change relationships between mobility and the oil economy. Consequently, significant investment in pilot projects and test examples has been widely promoted across the EU and in the USA. This paper argues, contra such programmes, that the substitution of propulsion systems within current conceptualisations of vehicle typologies, fails to allow for the transformation of mobility regimes and of hierarchies of mobility practices. Similarly, substitution approaches (as currently modelled) fail to reflect the real capacities of varying technologies, yet reproduce the very real inequalities of automobility. Carbon class power as currently visible, the paper argues, is not challenged but allowed to change in order to maintain its hegemony. The paper therefore looks towards potential mobility scenarios that maximise diversity, embracing the possibilities of e-mobility but locating them within deeper structural transformations of mobility regimes. It demonstrates both how this can be theorised and the consequent changing relationship between mobility technology, users and practices can be understood, and the relationship of users and practices to spaces and places of mobility. Though initially identifying the variety of potentials embedded in different technologies, the argument opens discussion of the social relations inherent in different mobility practices. The analysis draws initially on the work of Cox and Van De Walle (2007), but extends it towards a more complex consideration of capacity and relation to infrastructure and social space. The paper builds a scenario which may be better termed alt-mobility; concentrating not simply on the spread of e-technologies but the transformation of existing mobility practices and the implications this can have for the hierarchies of power in public space. It questions the extent to which such alternative mobilities can be accommodated within existing infrastructural hierarchies and the implications for the social relations of mobility.