Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor of Urban Theory, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1997
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Political Science, University of Chicago
Global Cities, 'Glocal' States: State Re-Scaling and the Remaking of Urban Governance in the European Union

Contemporary analyses of globalization generally assume that the power and significance of the territorial state are declining. Most discussions of “global city formation” share this assumption: the globalization of urban economic development in major city-regions such as Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam and Zurich since the early 1980s is said to be linked to the declining capacities of states to regulate transnational economic processes. However, our understanding of changing relations between cities and territorial states in the contemporary world economy remains extremely limited. My dissertation will investigate city-state relations in three major European urban regions – London; Frankfurt/Rhein-Main; and Amsterdam/Randstad. I hypothesize that globalization in these urban regions has not dissolved in the nation-state, but reconfigured the spatial scales on which the latter is organized. The increasingly global scale of economic activity has caused states to reconfigure their institutional structures in ways that privilege the regional scale of regulatory intervention. Global city formation may indeed signal a relative decline in the central state’s regulatory capacities, but its most significant consequence has been its role in triggering this reorganization of the state’s territorial-institutional structure, and not its demise or erosion.