World cities
Pages 10

As shown previously, Braudel (1984) used the term ‘world-city’ to describe leading cities in his world-economies. I have kept Braudel’s hyphen to distinguish his historical use from the use of the term, without the hyphen, to describe the major contemporary cities that are the main concern in the remainder of this book. In fact, Braudel’s concept is very narrow compared to all other conceptions of world city. This is so in two ways. First, he limits his identification to one such city at a time: as previously shown, they form a sequence. Second, the city’s prowess is limited to financial control within the world-economy: this may involve just a small coterie of financiers in a city. Although Arrighi (1994) has found Braudel’s model useful for understanding economic cycles through to the ‘long twentieth century’, such a restricted view of urban processes has little to offer for understanding contemporary world cities.