ABSTRACT

In the 1970s and 1980s the economic crisis of Fordism facilitated the internationalization of production processes and labor markets, the tremendous growth of the services and finance industries, and the simultaneous changes in government policies from the Keynesian welfare model to a more neoliberal agenda. With national governments encouraging market deregulation, the powerful global capital managed to increasingly emancipate itself from nationstates. This political-economic shift diverted attention and responsibilities from the national level to urban areas, leaving economic development increasingly in the hands of city governments. The new position of local authorities as economic players facing inter-urban competition and the need for acquiring private capital has been described by David Harvey as entrepreneurialism.1 He notes, “[c]ities, like entrepreneurs, can lose out to their competition, go bankrupt, or simply be left behind in the race for economic advantage.”2