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Working in an urban world

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

Peter J. Taylor

defined by ten firms’ strategies across 12 leading cities (Table 7.3), where the importance of a city office to a service firm’s network is rated from 1 to 5; 0 indicates a firm having no office in a city. Statistically, the firms are variables and in a PCA they are standardized to ensure they are weighted equally. This means that the variance (variation) of each firms’ strategy is set to 1, and the total variance in Table 7.3(a) is therefore 10 (i.e. the number of variables). Looking at Table 7.3(a), it can be seen that Firm 1 and Firm 5 have identical location

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Making the modern world- system: Western Europe’s great creative interlude

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

Peter J. Taylor

polity invented a new raison d’état. This idea was itself a modern concept that was originally used to separate the political interest of sovereigns from traditional religious motives (Boogman 1978, p. 55). The effect was to equate the state with the glory of the monarch, thereby legitimating its role as a war-machine. Hence, in typical guardian fashion, resources of the state were to be used for ostentatious display by the king and territorial expansion. But this is exactly what the Dutch avoided: they inverted the state/society relation so that ‘in the United

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A cities’ perspective

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

Peter J. Taylor

rush is leading to reproduction reductions as large families with many children change from rural assets to urban liabilities. The result is that lowering of birth rates consequent upon urbanization has ‘defused the population bomb’ (p. 59) that has so excited environmentalists for over half a century. It seems world population will peak much nearer to eight billion rather than the doomsday environment predictions of the past: there is a new problem of ‘population crash’ in several countries (Pearce 2010). Such is the power of cities; this will be integral to my

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Conceptual toolkits

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

Peter J. Taylor

not just provide celebration of her skills. In contrast, if I were asked to write a reference for a relative, say, my niece, loyalty would rival honesty: I would want her to get the job not just because I hope she is the best candidate but because she is family. Of course, I am not asked to provide references for relatives and if I were I would be expected to ‘declare an interest’ and remove myself from the recruiting process. But we should not assume that honesty always trumps loyalty in the jobs market. There is an old saying that it is not what you know but who

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Geographies of beginning creative interludes

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

Peter J. Taylor

is a surprise inclusion in David Wilkinson’s (1987, p. 32) roster of ‘civilizations’: Irish c. ad 450 to 1050, commonly referred to as the ‘Irish golden age’. This is of interest because Wilkinson uses ‘connectedness’ as his defining criterion for civilizations, including intensely interacting cities. However this golden age is associated with a flowering of Irish Christianity, but it is not usually thought to include city networks. The traditional, ‘imported urbanism only’ thesis only recognizes urban settlements with the establishment of Viking trading

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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.