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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 9: Conclusion: understanding the variety of locational policies inSecondary Capital Cities

David Kaufmann


The conclusion summarizes the aim of the book, its contribution to the literature, its central findings for both theory and practice, and it generalizes the findings. The book shows that the four cities face similar pressures due to economic globalization. However, their policy responses to cope with these pressures do not converge. Instead, they are diverse, because they are mediated by the institutional constraints and opportunities of their political economies. The study found that cities can exert agency when they formulate innovation policies to alter economic institutional constraints. Furthermore, urban governance arrangements in Secondary Capital Cities seem to be distinctive from other types of cities. Secondary capitals are government cities that lack an industrial tradition. In such a context, local governments take a leading role in urban governance arrangements and developers are the only important business actors that engage in the formulation of locational policies.

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