The first full-length exposition of what it terms a global city-global risks nexus, this volume crosses disciplinary boundaries to draw upon research from Security Studies; Geography; Sociology; and Urban Studies. Innovative in its approach integrating theories about Global Cities with those positing a Global Risk Society, Yee-Kuang Heng positions this research in the midst of two concurrent global trends that will gain more significance in coming years. The world is experiencing the consequences of not only rapid globalisation, but also urbanization. In 2008, the UN declared that more than half the world’s population was now urban. At the same time, highly connected global cities like New York, London, Tokyo and Singapore also face rapidly spreading global risks such as pandemics and financial crises. Unique in developing a typology of global risks that threaten a global city like Singapore, beyond its Asian focus, the book also draws out thematic and policy lessons pertinent to other global cities. ’Global cities’ do not simply materialize. They are dependent on a range of stakeholders at various levels that produce and re-produce its command and control capabilities, in the face of global risks. Singapore’s experiences managing global risks in the financial; aviation; and maritime domains are common concerns shared by many countries and cities that have, or aspire to develop, similar critical infrastructure.
Yee-Kuang Heng is Associate Professor of International Relations at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (NUS). An alumnus of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and author of several books and articles on risk and security studies, he previously lectured at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and the University of St Andrews, United Kingdom.
’Yee-Kuang Heng's book is a model of its kind. It offers us a unique insight into today's global cities such as Singapore and the risks they face on an everyday basis. It also explains what this means for international security and in turn for Security Studies. Finally, it represents an urgent wake-up call to look beyond our previous preoccupation with nation-states and geopolitics and to identify instead the often hidden social and economic global structures that determine day to day life in the metropolitan centres in which for the first time in history the majority of human beings now live.’ Christopher Coker, London School of Economics, UK ’Asia’s urban population is about to explode. New cities and new mega-cities will emerge. Yet these new cities will also face new global risks. This is why this book by Yee-Kuang Heng could not be more timely. Drawing on Singapore’s remarkable success in urban management, he suggests new theoretical and policy frameworks to help Asian and global policymakers deal with new global risks.’ Kishore Mahbubani, National University of Singapore, Singapore