Social Issues in the Economic Space of Large Cities

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-10-62-72

N. Goffe, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Abstract. Major trends and key contradictions of the global world are best reflected in the modern large cities. They are complex, structured spaces, whose distinct features are necessarily projected on all aspects of their life, including the social sphere. In the late 20th century, the way scholars viewed space underwent considerable changes due to globalization and innovative economy. The narrow understanding of space as a geographic, administrative and economic territory was replaced by a broad definition that focuses on extensive financial, information, technological and other networks. The first section of the paper seeks to analyze the features of this new kind of space to which the global world has given birth. The new kind of space can best be seen in those administrative and territorial entities whose positive and successful development is inextricably linked to it. Highly developed regions and major cities are a prime case in point. One of the key features of the urban economic space is the concentration of human, social and intellectual capitals. These are the three main types of capital that lay the foundation for knowledge-based economy. The major city has largely created this space on its own and at the same time it receives the most benefits. Almost all advantages that make large cities the leaders at the national and supranational levels stem from the fact that this kind of economy has become their key driver. The knowledge-based economy has reinforced positive processes in the socio-economic development of the cities, but it has also led to negative trends. The second section of the paper focuses on the impact of a specific space generated by cities on social issues, primarily including polarization of labor markets, inequality, poverty, challenges linked to migration flows that are more evident at the level of a city than that of a country.

Keywords: globalization, urbanization, large metropolitan areas, urban economic space, knowledge-based economy, innovations, inequality, poverty, migration 


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For citation:
Goffe N. Social Issues in the Economic Space of Large Cities. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2016, vol. 60, no. 10, pp. 62-72.

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