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Varieties of Capital Cities

The Competitiveness Challenge for Secondary Capitals

David Kaufmann

The political and symbolic centrality of capital cities has been challenged by increasing economic globalization. This is especially true of secondary capital cities; capital cities which, while being the seat of national political power, are not the primary economic city of their nation state. David Kaufmann examines the unique challenges that these cities face entering globalised, inter-urban competition while not possessing a competitive political economy.
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Chapter 6: The Hague: the international government city

David Kaufmann


The Hague not only hosts most major national government organizations, but it is also home to an impressive number of international organizations that are active in the field of international law and security. Given this international importance, The Hague is mostly described and studied in the context of its international organizations. The importance of public sector organizations provides The Hague with a distinct economic profile. The overall aim of The Hague’s locational policies agenda is to become an international business city, while still leveraging the brand of ‘International City of Peace and Justice.’ The fast-growing cyber security sector especially capitalizes on the presence of international organizations and is expected to add the business element to The Hague’s positioning strategy. Thus, locational policies in The Hague mainly target international organizations and the emerging cyber security sector. Generally, city officials in The Hague are very active in formulating locational policies.

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