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The conclusion is where you summarise the main points of your argument, restating your thesis statement and bringing your argument to a logical conclusion. Summarise your arguments and wrap the essay up with some of your own views. This is also an opportunity to broaden the question out, and to gesture to elements or topics that you have not included, or lightly skated over, because of the restrictions involved. Done well, such additional elements can indicate to the reader that the author knows not only the specific subject but also the larger context and its importance.


Once again, here are some real examples of conclusions to student essays. This time the question asked was:

‘In the neoliberal capitalist era cities have become so polarized that the privileged elite increasingly seeks to protect itself from those it portrays as a savage underclass inhabiting the “leprous badlands” (L. WACQUANT, 2008) of the city’. Discuss.

Conclusion 1

In conclusion, the era of neoliberal capitalism has significantly shifted the interaction between society and the economy, specifically within economically important cities. The opening of the global markets has largely increased international competition for capital accumulation, making it a core part of state agenda to attract international finance into metropolitan areas. This has materalized in an urban renaissance and gentrification which beautifies and re-aestheticizes regions of the city, along with urban security strategies such as ZTP [zero tolerance policing] and CCTV surveillance and policing that protect it. However, this has resulted in a revanchist city. Re-aestheticisation and gentrification seek to redistribute the spatial organisation of wealth, create inequalities in investment and re-establish cityscapes toward maximum profitability by including only a consumerist bourgeoisie that conform and contribute to the agenda and functioning of the capitalist city. The resultant spatial fragmentation of socioeconomic difference works in combination with ZTP and CCTV to further exclude and marginalize urban poor through active intervention of activities that impact on ‘quality of life’, or by a discourse which creates an “Us and Them” perception, culminating in marginalized people being feared or classified as being a threat to security. In addition, examples such as the zoning of pornography and commercial sex activity highlight how urban spaces are increasingly ‘Disneyfied’ (Hubbard, 2004) in order to enhance their ability of capitalist involvement and not deter economic activity locally or globally. On an international scale, Third World cities witness the militarianization of urban spaces as they aim to ‘escape’ poverty within their own country, juxtaposed against disenfranchised slum dwellers and some of the World’s poorest who are at risk of being killed if they trespass. Such extremes may appear distant to the neocapitalist era that First World cities find themselves in, but this is not so; the London Riots of 2011 are a profound example of this (Daley, 2011). However, we must ask ourselves at what point will the polarization of socioeconomically different populations within these cities culminate in the marginalized groups having to fight for their right in order to be included in society.

Conclusion 2

In conclusion, it cannot be doubted that in a neoliberal era the divisive and prejudicial discourses and dis-possessive and violent policies of a privileged elite have led to increased marginalization, securitization and polarization within global cities. New doctrines of perpetual warfare are being used to treat all urban residents as perpetual targets whose benign nature, rather than being assumed, must constantly be demonstrated to the omnipresent surveillance technologies and security services, whilst simultaneously state retrenchment has led to a vicious cycle of ever-increasing poverty, loss of citizenship and community. Furthermore, the very neoliberal market forces that fuelled recolonization of the inner city have also provided the impetus for new international migration of the international underclass to the advanced world metropolises. Ironically such an invasion ensures the re-establishment of "primitive" conditions at the core just as they have exported to the periphery (Smith, 1996). Thus superimposed upon a background of neoliberal policy within the urban environment hard fast lines drawn across the urban landscape only look set to deepen fuelling yet more violence and conflict: a bleak future is in store in the dual neoliberal metropolis.

Conclusion 3

In the new “punitive”, “post-modern”, “revanchist” cities (Hubbard, 2004; Smith, 1996) the disadvantaged are no longer helped, but instead pushed out, an action driven by the fear of the privileged elite, viciously protective of ‘their’ city. What is perhaps most concerning, is that the reasons for people such as the homeless being removed from public spaces is no longer questioned; only Hubbard (2004) points out that they seemingly commit no other crime than simply “‘being’ in these spaces.” Noticing these facts and studying the actions and consequences of urban citizens and developers certainly brings “the new-found exclusivity of the neoliberal city is brought in sharp focus” (Hubbard, 2004), making us question whether anyone ultimately has the right to the city, and if what we are living now could really be comparable to the triumph of invaders over the Native Americans.


Now click here to access a summary of feedback on these passages’ strengths and weaknesses.