Network and the Hierarchy of the Cities in the Global World: Challenge to Nation-States and Limits of the Expansion

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DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-6-57-66

V. Mart'yanov (martianovy@rambler.ru),
Institute of Philosophy and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences (Ural Branch), 16, S. Kovalevskoi Str., Ekaterinburg 620990, Russian Federation 

Acknowledgements. The article has been supported by the Institute of Philosophy and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences (Ural Branch). Research project no. 15-19-6-6 “The Transformation of Moral-Political and Legal Regulators of a Modern Society: Interaction between National and Global Space”.


Abstract. Due to ongoing partial demise and transformations of nation-states, the cities and urban networks which were constitutive for political and economic order of the early Modernity restore themselves as an important element of global or late Modernity institutional system. Significant trends of global development, social institutes and images of the future within the centre-periphery model are rather determined by political, economic and cultural realities of urban networks than that of nation-states. At the same time, an urban network is constituted as an aggregation of places which accumulate achievements and disadvantages of globalization that distributes megapolises not only as nodes of a network, but also as levels in hierarchical spaces. On the one hand, post-industrial global cities concentrate the creative class, world finances, expertise and governance that enables them to determine priorities of social development. But the degree of their emancipation from national contexts has limits due to their focus on organizing and supporting financial, information and service segments of the global market. Start requirements to become a part of this network are unachievable for the majority of urban centers in the world. They face different problems related to agendas of survival, modernization and diversification of major enterprises and economic branches. On the other hand, both the biggest and growing megapolises of the capitalist world-system periphery and industrial cities of its centre demonstrate enlargement without development and accumulate unsolved social problems. The article posits that within a growing hierarchization and differentiation of the world urban networks which distribute advantages in the cities of post-industrial core and allocate disadvantages in periphery, the new development factor is delegation of resources, functions and responsibility from nation-states to the level of big cities and urban networks. It is proposed that the increase of an urban autonomy will raise the effectiveness of the urban development daily problems solution, given that cities have a richer potential to become successful locomotives of development than nation-states and their agents. 

Keywords: megapolis, global city, urban network, urbanization, nation-state, inequality, post-industrial society, World-Economy, local political regime 


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For citation:
Mart'yanov V. Network and the Hierarchy of the Cities in the Global World: Challenge to Nation-States and Limits of the Expansion. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 6, pp. 57-66. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-6-57-66



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