Sassen Global City Hypothesis

Submitted By tig1112
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Pages: 3

• Needs a category of cities which are claimed to be powerful in terms of the global economy (for Sassen global city hypothesis)
• Friedmann: world city hypothesis intended for the purpose of research
- Helps address what is happening in “global cities” of the world economy
- Political conflict rooted in all global cities has common origin in global system of market relations
- Cities as “basing points” in the spatial organization of the world economy
1. Development studies (developmentalism) = former third world cities (not yet cities)
• Urban development (community participation, housing, land tenure, infrastructure, informal sector, etc.)
• Not present in wider field of urban studies
• Mega-cities are present where negative side of urbanization is focused on
• Common lens of third world-ness (urban bias, sites for transnational interventions, etc.)
• Understands some cities in developing countries as places lacking in the qualities of city-ness
• Concerned to improve capacities of governance, service provision and productivity

1. Understandings of city-ness rest on experiences of relatively small group of western cities
2. It diminishes the vitality of urban theory and has consequences for urban policy
3. Sassen global/world city theory: formal peripheral cities have some global city functions but fall short of being first order (approach cannot account for cities that have not experiences those developments)
- Developing cities as sites of investment for western banks
- Limited to economic activities
- Implied structural irrelevance of other cities (inaccurate and harmful)
- Ex. Lusaka, Zambia – 70% of population in the city, not a player in major economic processes that fuel economic growth in the new global economy, the approach views it as a place to server minor functions for other countries.
4. Scholars of ‘structurally irrelevant’ cities find it difficult to pursue research and policy in world city theory – develop developmentalism approach
5. Only tracks limited world of western economic globalization (focused on certain groupings in the city)
6. Cities are seen as a western invention (under developmentalist)
Grant and Nijman’s Argument: suggest that we need to restart the intensive research based in third world countries and try to tweak and incorporate the theory used to address global cities.
Robinson Argument: there is a need to construct (and promote) an alternative urban theory which reflects the experiences a wider range of cities
- Need to build off of Clifford’s idea of ‘discrepant cosmopolitanism’ (rather than homogenizing cosmopolitan), need to consider connections and travels between the