Global Cities

General Information
Number of Hours: 
Thursday 13:45 - 15:15
Preliminary requirements: 

Introductory courses to History of Globalization and Political and Economic Geography. 

Course Description: 

In the introduction to the course there is a critical overview of some key concepts related to the very emergence of the concept of „global city” and formation of research agenda, based on readings by Saskia Sassen, Manuel Castells, Peter Hall, John Friedmann and others. Later on some specific aspects of live in global cities will be scrutinized with particular focus given to problems of social structures and class relations in global city, transformations of concepts of place and space used by communities in global cities as well as applicability of the concept of global city to developing cities.  

The form of class instruction will also allow students for analysis of specific processes taking place in global cities in a form of case studies (e.g. Case study of global expansion of film production, global flows of delivery companies, global cities as centres for global illegal activities (smuggling, drugdealing, etc.) 

  1. Global city formation: emergence and evolution of the concept (readings: Cohen, R. B., The new interbational division of labour, multinational corporations and urban hierarchy; Friedmann J., Wolff G., World city formation: and agenda for research and action. 
  2. Structures and dynamics of global city formation (Sassen, S., Cities and communities in the Global Economy; Sassen S., Locating cities on global circuits) 
  3. Geographies of global cities (Beaverstock J.V., Taylor P., World-city network: a New metageography?) 
  4. Global cities and uneven development (Petrella R., A global agora VS Gatec cityregions) 
  5. Global cities and local politics (Brenner N., Global cities, „glocal” states = global city formation and state territorial restructuring in contemporary Europe  
  6. Global cities and social movements (Mayer M., „Urban social movements in an Era of Globalization”) 
  7. Representation, identity and culture in global cities (Hannerz U., „The cultural role of World cities” 
  8. Students' project presentation – local pathways of global city formation (global media cities; S. Kraetke) 
  9. Students' project presentation – local pathways of global city formation (role of airports in global city-regions; J. P. Addie) 
  10. Students' project presentation – local pathways of global city formation (transnational architectu in globalizing cities; L. Sklair)
Aims of the course: 

The course focuses on collective and institutionalized aspects of social life in cities that are located on selected circuits of global networks. The main aim of the class is to use basic tools of sociological analysis (using the concepts of social structure, social functions, conflict, but also identity and interaction) to gain better understanding of some of the key processes taking place in global cities that are on one hand connected with macrostructural forces but on the other hand are created and affect lives of the individuals.  

Evaluation & Completion: 

group presentation, essay, activity in class

Basic Literature: 
  1. Brenner N. (1998) Global cities, glocal states: global city formation and state territorial restructuring in contemporary Europe. Review of International Political Economy 5.1, 1–37. 
  2. Friedmann, J. (1986) The world city hypothesis. Development and Change 17.1, 69–83.
  3. Manuel Castells (1996). The Rise of the Network Society, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture Vol. I. Cambridge, Massachusetts
  4. Massey, D. (2007) World city. Polity Press, Cambridge UK. 
  5. Roger Keil (ed.) The Global Cities Reader, Routledge, 2008 
  6. Saskia Sasse, Cities in a World Economy, Pine Forge Press, 2012 
  7. Saskia Sassen, The Global City: New York, Tokio, London, Princeton University Press, 2001  
  8. Taylor, P.J. (2013) Extraordinary Cities. Millennia of Moral Syndromes, WorldSystems and City/State Relations. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. 
  9. Xuefei Ren, Roger Keil (eds.) The Globalizing Cities Reader, Routledge 2017