The Global Cities Reader (Paperback) book cover

The Global Cities Reader

Edited by Roger Keil

© 2004 – Routledge

456 pages | 66 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415323451
pub: 2005-12-15
Hardback: 9780415323444
pub: 2005-12-15

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Providing the first comprehensive survey of new interdisciplinary scholarship on globalized urbanization, this important volume contains fifty selections from classic writings by authors such as John Friedmann, Michael Peter Smith, Saskia Sassen, Peter Taylor, Manuel Castells and Anthony King, as well as major contributions by other international scholars of global city formation.

Classic and contemporary case studies of globalizing cities serve to illuminate global city theory within Europe, North America and East Asia, whilst contributing authors explore key topics including:

  • the histories and geographies of globalized urbanization
  • the social and economic order of globalizing cities
  • pathways of globalized urbanization in the older industrialized world, the developing world and on the ‘margins’ of the world economy
  • state restructuring, urban governance and socio-political contestation in globalizing cities
  • culture, identity and representation in globalizing cities
  • emerging issues and debates in contemporary research on globalized urbanization.

Containing wide-ranging discussions on major theories, methods, themes and debates, and a combination of theoretical and methodological contributions, comparative analyses and detailed case studies, this key textbook will appeal to a broad interdisciplinary readership at undergraduate and graduate levels in urban, globalization, development, cultural, and environmental studies.


'The book captures the diversity of recent debates and some of the controversy, including contributions from those scholars who find the global city concept has some basis on reality and those who are more sceptical.' Edition 22.1 of Planning Practice and Research

'This edited volume is a must-have for urban researchers, and by far the best option for anyone teaching a course on global cities.' Ben Derudder, Cities

'For me the success of this particular volume lies entirely in its ability to ride against the conventional view. There is no other global cities book on the market that can dispense with so much material and yet retain such a strong context.' - Economic Geography Research Group

'The Global Cities Reader is another welcome title to the Routledge Urban Reader Series and forms an invaluable collection of key narratives for any student or academic interested in the multiplicity of debates surrounding globalization and its impact upon the physical, economic, cultural and social nature of cities' - Progress in Human Geography 31(1)

'Written by the very scholars who have shaped our understanding of global cities, there is no book currently on the market that comes close to matching The Global Cities Reader for its breadth of coverage and the ease at which the material can be accessed. When it comes to introducing the conceptual elements of global cities, The Global Cities Reader is an invaluable gateway for newcomers to global cities research, and provides the starting point for understanding this dynamic, diverse, and distinguished research field.' - Dr John Harrison, Loughborough University, UK for The Economic Research Group of RGS-IBG

'The editors provide key input not just through their selection, but also through an excellent introductory essay, by providing introductions to each part to set readings in context, and by supplying long bibliographies in each part….This is a very accessible volume for everybody with an interest in what is happening to contemporary cities.' - Peter J. Taylor, Loughborough University, UK for The Journal of the American Planning Association

Table of Contents

Part 1: Global City Formation: Emergence of a Concept and Research Agenda 1. Prologue the Metropolitan Explosion 2. Divisions of Space and Time in Europe 3. Urban Specialization in the World System: An Investigation of Historical Cases 4. Global City Formation in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles: An Historical Perspective 5. The New International Division of Labor, Multinational Corporations, and Urban Hierarchy 6. World City Formation: An Agenda for Research and Action 7. The World City Hypothesis Part 2: Structures, Dynamics and Geographies of Global City Formation 8. Prologue 100-Mile Cities 9. Cities and Communities in the Global Economy 10. Locating Cities on Global Circuits 11. World City Network: A New Metageography? 12. Global Cities and Global Classes: The Peripheralization of Labour in New York City 13. Inequality in Global City-Region 14. Global Grids of Glass: On Global Cities, Telecommunications and Planetary Urban Networks Part 3: Local Pathways of Global City Formation: Classic and Contemporary Case Studies 15. Prologue Cities, the Informational Society and the Global Economy 16. The City as a Landscape of Power: London and New York as Global Financial Capitals 17. The Urban Restructuring Process in Tokyo During the 1980s: Transforming Tokyo into a World City 18. Detroit and Houston: Two Cities in Global Perspective 19. Global City Zurich: Paradigms of Urban Development 20. Global Cities and Developmental States: New York, Tokyo and Seoul 21. The Stimulus of a Little Confusion: A Contemporary Comparison of Amsterdam and Los Angeles Part 4: Globalization, Urbanization and Uneven Spatial Development: Perspectives on Global City Formation In the Global South 22. Prologue a Global Agora vs. Gated City-Regions 23. Building, Architecture, and the New International Division of Labor 24. The World City Hypothesis: Reflections from the Periphery 25. ‘Fourth World’ Cities in the Global Economy: The Case of Phnom Penh, Cambodia 26. Global and World Cities: A View from off the Map 27. Globalization and the Corporate Geography of Cities in the Less-Developed World 28. São Paulo: Outsourcing and Downgrading of Labor in a Globalizing City Part 5: Contested Cities: State Restructuring, Local Politics and Civil Society 29. Prologue the Global City as World Order 30. Global Cities, ‘Glocal’ States: Global City Formation and State Territorial Restructuring in Contemporary Europe 31. World City Formation on the Asia-Pacific Rim: Poverty, ‘Everyday’ Forms of Civil Society and Environmental Management 32. ‘Global Cities’ vs ‘Global Cities:’ Rethinking Contemporary Urbanism as Public Ecology 33. The Neglected Builder of Global Cities 34. The Globalization of Frankfurt Am Main: Core, Periphery and Social Conflict (2000) 35. Urban Social Movements in an Era of Globalization Part 6: Representation, Identity and Culture in Global Cities: Rethinking the Local and the Global 36. Prologue: Towards Cosmopolis - A Postmodern Agenda 37. The Cultural Role of World Cities 38. World Cities: Global? Postcolonial? Postimperial? Or Just the Result of Happenstance?: Some Cultural Comments 39. ‘Global Media Cities:’ Major Nodes of Globalizing Culture and Media Industries 40. Willing the Global City: Berlin’s Cultural Strategies of Interurban Competition After 1989 41. Exploring Colombo: The Relevance of a Knowledge of New York 42. Culturing the World City: An Exhibition of the Global Present (2005) Part 7: Emerging Issues in Global Cities Research: Refinements, Critiques and New Frontiers 43. Prologue: Whose City is it? 44. Space in the Globalizing City 45. Globalization and the Rise of City Regions 46. The Global Cities Discourse: A Return to the Master Narrative? 47. Immigration and the Global City Hypothesis: Towards an Alternative Research Agenda 48. Pathways to Global City Formation: A View From the Developmental City-State of Singapore 49. World City Topologies 50. The Urban Revolution

About the Editor

Neil Brenner is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Metropolitan Studies Program, New York University.

Roger Keil is Professor in the Faculty in Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto.

About the Series

Routledge Urban Reader Series

This exciting series responds to the need for comprehensive coverage of the classic and essential texts that form the basis of intellectual work in the various academic disciplines and professional fields concerned with cities. The readers focus on the key topics encountered by undergraduates, graduates and scholars in urban studies and allied fields, the contributions of major theoreticians and practitioners and other individuals, groups and organizations that study the city or practise in a field that affects the city.
As well as drawing together the best of classic and contemporary writings on the city, each reader features extensive general, section and selection introductions prepared by the volume editors to place the selections in context, illustrate relations among topics, provide information on the author and point readers towards additional related biographic material.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban