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  • Print publication year: 1995
  • Online publication date: October 2009

1 - World cities in a world-system

Summary

Evidence of the globalization of the world economy is everywhere, from supermarket shelves to clothes tags. Similarly, the dominance of a relatively small number of cities within world affairs is continually scrolled through newcasts, business reports, and popular media. At face value, there is nothing very special in this: it is widely accepted as part of the conventional wisdom about the state of the world today. Closer scrutiny, however, reveals both the globalization of the economy and its associated patterns of urbanization to involve much more than meets the eye in the supermarket or on the television news. Both rest on a complex web of interdependent and quite stealthy processes that are, collectively, of fundamental importance to the political economy of contemporary societies. In this book, the nature of world cities and their relationships with one another and with the world economy are examined within various conceptual frameworks and analysed at several spatial scales. This chapter introduces the major themes of the book, setting them within the context of different perspectives on globalization and on world cities.

Perspectives on globalization

During the 1970s and 1980s there was an important shift from an international to a more global economy. In the international economy goods and services are traded across national boundaries by individuals and firms from different countries, and the trade is closely regulated by sovereign nation-states.

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World Cities in a World-System
  • Online ISBN: 9780511522192
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511522192
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