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Cities in globalization: some basic knowledge
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The basic finding of the global urban analyses has been to show that there is indeed a world city network and that this network has a particular geography that will inevitably impinge on future social change. However, in this section I do not attempt to provide a summary of the many results and findings reported in earlier chapters. Rather, I am very selective and draw upon empirical analyses to explore how new knowledge of cities in globalization informs the theoretical underpinnings of this research. In other words, I am returning to themes broached in Chapter 2 as ‘back to basics’ to reassess their meanings in the light of the global urban analyses. This involves engaging in three key contemporary questions that have profound resonance for the future of cities and of world society. Following Petrella, I ask: how do cities in globalization relate to worldwide economic polarization? Following Jacobs, I ask: in what sense are cities in globalization becoming more autonomous? Finally, I highlight the most surprising empirical cluster of findings in the global urban analysis, as far as I am aware not presaged anywhere in the urban studies literature: that is, the American exceptionalism within world city network formation. The question is: how will cities in globalization develop in a world-economy dominated by a single, territorial ‘superpower’? All three questions address the issue of how a global space of flows interacts with an international space of places.