Cities have become increasingly important to global politics, but have largely occupied a peripheral place in the academic study of International Relations (IR). This is a notable oversight for the discipline, although one which may be explained by IR’s traditional state centrism, the subjugation of the city to the demands of the territorial state in the modern period, and a lack of conceptual and analytical frameworks that can allow scholars to include the impact of cities within their work.
Presenting case-specific scholarship from leading experts in the field, each contribution guides the reader through the changing nature of cities in the international system and their increasing prominence in global governance outcomes. The book features case studies on the financial power of cities, city action in the security domain, collaboration of cities in coping with environmental problems, transnational urban regions, and mayors as international actors to illustrate if the relationship between the city and the state has changed in profound ways, and how cities are empowered by structural changes in world politics.
The multidisciplinary and global focus in The Power of Cities in International Relations sheds much needed light on the significance of the reemergence of cities from the long shadow of the nation-state. Only by examining the mechanisms that have empowered cities in the last few decades can we understand their new functions and capabilities in global politics.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Empowering Cities; Simon Curtis 1. The Meaning of Global Cities: Rethinking the Relationship between Cities, States and International Order; Simon Curtis 2. The Common Sense of Global City ‘Actorness’ in Contemporary World Politics; Kristin Ljungkvist 3. A Networked Urban World: Empowering Cities to Tackle Environmental Challenges; Sofie Bouteligier 4. An Urban Affair: How Mayors Shape Cities for World Politics; Michele Acuto 5. Globalization, Governance and the Production of Urban Socio-Ecological Space; Nik Janos and Corina Mckendry 6. The International Activities of Canadian Cities: Are Canadian Cities Challenging the Gate-Keeper Position of the Federal Executive in International Affairs?; Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly 7. Municipal Bonds and Global Power; Mark Amen 8. Johannesburg: Financial 'Gateway' to Africa; Elizabeth Cobbett
Simon Curtis is Lecturer in International Politics at the University of East Anglia. He was previously Michael Leifer Scholar in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research interests are in international theory and international history.
"By addressing the political dimension to cities in globalization, this book can be viewed as long overdue, but this does not mean that it lacks maturity in the way its themes are researched. Building upon the largely economic work on global cities, the chapters show how cities are not just actors in current international politics but that they have become integral to both old (‘high’) politics such as security and new politics such as environment. The Power of Cities in International Relations should become a benchmark for understanding twenty first century international relations."
—Peter Taylor, Northumbria University