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Week 15. Global Cities as Nodes of Globalization

What is a global city? Why globalisation needs ‘nodes’? How have cities shaped the world and people’s lives since the industrial revolution? Have cities changed in nature of time? Does a city need to be ‘big’ to be a global city? Have technologies reinforced or weakened the position of global cities?

1. Key Readings

Saskia Sassen, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), pp. 1-34 and 168-191. (Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4) [HG184.N5 S27]

Diane E. Davis, “Cities in Global Context: A Brief Intellectual History,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 29/1 (2005), pp. 92–109.*

Ho-fung Hung and Shaohua Zhan, ‘Industrialization and the City: East and West’, in Peter Clark, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013). [HT111.O94]. Also available as an E-Book.

Xiangming Chen and Henry Fitts, ‘Contemporary Metropolitan Cities’, in Peter Clark, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013) – E-Book.


2. London as a Global City

Read ‘Special Report: London’, The Economist, 30th June 2012 and find a primary source on London’s historical position as a ‘global city.

3. Three Global Cities

Work in groups (of 2 ) and consider one ‘global’ city each (excluding London) in particular:

- Why is this city global? (geographical position? population size? cultural influence? Etc.)

- Has its global position changed over time?

- How does this city shape the key globalizing forces (economics, business, institutions, etc.)