chapter  5
26 Pages

Decolonization, political restructuring and post-colonial governance crisis

We have discussed in previous chapters the nature of Hong Kong’s economic restructuring in the changing contexts of its own internal business structure and the broader world economic environment, and how this restructuring process impacted on the economy of the city itself. In this chapter we focus on the process of political restructuring triggered by the decolonization of Hong Kong. Our discussion of global city politics is intended to serve two purposes. The first relates to our criticism of the global city literature for neglecting the political issues underlying global city formation (see the above quotation). It is interesting to observe that many local governments in the periphery and semi-periphery take very seriously the project of becoming a global city. Their political rhetoric of climbing up the urban hierarchy in the world economy and strengthening global links and connections in order to join the ranks of other major global cities clearly entails more than political symbolism since it often involves substantive policy deliverables. Local governments’ pronouncements that they seek to become global cities often quickly materialize in the form of active support for their participation in ambitious projects ranging from massive infrastructural construction (e.g. the building of a new airport) to heavy investments in culture (e.g. place marketing and promoting urban cultural tourism). Setting a goal of becoming a first-class global city is seldom challenged even if there is much contention over the best way to achieve this goal.