Diversity and Relational Perspectives
Edited by Katerina Nicolopoulou, Mine Karataş-Özkan, Ahu Tatli and John Taylor
Chapter 4: Transnationality in Small-scale Cities? Integration of, and Cooperation between, Creative and Knowledge-intensive Workers in the Stagnating Socio-economic Landscape of Leipzig (East Germany)
4. Transnationality in smallscale cities? Integration of, and cooperation between, creative and knowledge-intensive workers in the stagnating socio-economic landscape of Leipzig (East Germany) Bastian Lange and Juliane Schröder TRANSNATIONAL MIGRANTS IN CREATIVE AND KNOWLEDGE INDUSTRIES Labour migration processes have long been considered a major explanation for economic competitiveness and prosperity in modern cityregions (Porter 1986). Based on these premises, cities with demographic stagnation, a decreasing financial public budget, lasting long-term unemployment, and rising social tensions are considered to have especially an less unpromising future. The call for more transnational workers serves not only as an argument for aiming to attract more highly skilled migrants, but also as a call to reconsider and re-evaluate cultural, social and ethnic diversity as decisive location factors. This notion is explicitly inherent in Florida’s assumption that the presence of highly qualified creative and knowledge-intensive labour permits an improvement in regional competitiveness (Florida 2005). At the same time, it remains quite unclear how European medium-sized cities like Leipzig – 515,765 inhabitants and only 6.5 per cent foreign population in 2009 – will position themselves with regard to the call to establish a so-called creative class with a large proportion of transnational workers, as long as the local or former transnational potential is insufficient or has migrated to more promising workplaces. Accordingly, this chapter analyses the self-positioning and social embeddedness of transnational labour migration of highly skilled workers 57 M2670 - NICOLOPOULOU PRINT.indd 57 28/06/2011 16:04 58 Global knowledge work in two contrasting industries in the...
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