Handbook on the Geographies of Globalization
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Handbook on the Geographies of Globalization

Edited by Robert C. Kloosterman, Virginie Mamadouh and Pieter Terhorst

Processes of globalization have changed the world in many, often fundamental, ways. Increasingly these processes are being debated and contested. This Handbook offers a timely, rich as well as critical panorama of these multifaceted processes with up-to-date chapters by renowned specialists from many countries. It comprises chapters on the historical background of globalization, different geographical perspectives (including world systems analysis and geopolitics), the geographies of flows (of people, goods and services, and capital), and the geographies of places (including global cities, clusters, port cities and the impact of climate change).
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Chapter 26: World cities and globalization

Ben Derudder


Research into ‘world cities’ has helped rooting (urban) geography in globalization debates. The world city literature focuses on a broad range of topics, and adopts very different ontologies, epistemologies, and methodologies. In spite of this multiplicity, the literature collectively deepens and extends our understanding of how (1) specific cities function as key platforms in the organization of a globalized economy/society; and (2) how this impacts socio-spatial changes within those cities. Nonetheless, because the literature lacks a central paradigm, even the most widely cited contributions are best understood as specific building blocks within an increasingly diverse literature on cities in globalization. The chapter reviews key conceptualizations of world cities and how these have become increasingly extended and contested; the main spatiotemporal and organizational dimensions of world city-formation; discusses a mapping of world cities based on the geographies of the office networks of producer services firms; and charts major future research agendas.

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