This chapter departs from an understanding of the global city model as an economic geography concept to comprehend the function and position of specific economic actors in certain cities in the management and, in particular, in the ‘command and control’ of the world economy. Because the global city literature has not advanced satisfactorily in deepening our understanding of the role of global cities in the world economy and, in particular, in the organization of globalization, the chapter suggests an operationalization of research on global city makers and their practices through the conceptualization of global cities as critical nodes in global commodity chains. To deepen this notion, the chapter discusses global city formation in two non-prime global cities, namely Mexico City and Hamburg.
Michael Hoyler, Christof Parnreiter and Allan Watson
Beginning from a concern with how relational perspectives being developed within economic geography might contribute in important ways to relational understandings of global cities and the world city network, in this introductory chapter we outline a renewed critical agenda for global cities research that attends to issues of agency and practice in the making of global cities. We see the future development of this agenda as having four crucial elements: first, a need to incorporate perspectives on agency and practice from relational economic geography into global cities research; second, a need to specify the practices underlying global city making; third, a need to recognize the diversity of actors involved in global city making; and, finally, a need to account for the role of actors and practices not only in the making but also in the un-making of global cities.