Extraordinary Cities

Extraordinary Cities

Millennia of Moral Syndromes, World-Systems and City/State Relations

Peter J. Taylor

In this innovative, ambitious and wide-ranging book, Peter Taylor demonstrates that cities are the epicenters of human advancement. In exploring cities as sites through which economies flourish, by harnessing the creative potential of myriad communication networks, the author considers cities from varying temporal and spatial perspectives. Four stories of cities are told: the origins of city networks; the domination of cities by world-empires; the genesis of a singular modern creative interval in which innovation culminates in today’s globalised cities; and finally, the need for cities to act as centres for human creativity to produce a more resilient global society in the current crisis century.

Chapter 7: Working in an urban world

Peter J. Taylor

Subjects: geography, cities, politics and public policy, international politics, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory, urban and regional studies, cities

Extract

This final part of the book is headed ‘prospective conjectures’: as with Part II, the narrative is described as a ‘conjecture’ because the discussion cannot be based upon as sound an evidential grounding as we would wish. In the case of beginnings it is impossible to think that we will ever assemble enough surviving evidence to answer definitively the questions asked, and for futures, the subject of the next chapter, empirics is simply impossible: there can be no evidence on an upcoming world, only extrapolation of the present and theoretical arguments about why such extrapolation will not be. But what of the present? Our present world is dominated by globalization, which is richly researched. It may be surprising that the contemporary globalization of the early twenty-first century is included in conjectures. To be sure today’s macro-social change can be interpreted as a continuation of the narrative describing the modern historical interlude in the last chapter, for instance as Americanization eliding into globalization, but the present can never be that simple.

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