International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities
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International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities

Edited by Ben Derudder, Michael Hoyler, Peter J. Taylor and Frank Witlox

This Handbook offers an unrivalled overview of current research into how globalization is affecting the external relations and internal structures of major cities in the world.
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Chapter 7: On City Cooperation and City Competition

Peter J. Taylor


Peter J. Taylor My starting point is that inter-city relations are more complex than is commonly assumed. This is reflected in my title: the key word is ‘and’, which is used rather than ‘versus’. In the more sophisticated studies of competitive cities, it is accepted that the competition exists alongside cooperative relations (e.g. Begg, 1999; Sassen, 1999) and in my own promotion of inter-city mutualities I accept that there are competitive processes present (Taylor, 2004). Given this position, the chapter deals with two related topics. First, there is the matter of careful definition to distinguish the essential differences between the two relations. I will use the excellent work of Powell (1990) and Thompson (2003) on competitive and cooperative processes to guide me. Secondly, there is the question of how the two processes relate to each other. To answer this I develop an argument about generic and contingent inter-city relations. I finish the chapter with case studies that demonstrate the processes in action. DEFINITIONS According to Powell (1990) and Thompson (2003) competition and cooperation are directly implicated in two contrasting relational configurations: hierarchies and networks respectively. Hierarchies are there to be climbed (competition); networks are there to be used (cooperation). Translating these ideas to inter-city relations means treating competitive city relations as deriving from hierarchical processes and cooperative city relations as deriving from network processes (Taylor, 2004). Competition and Hierarchy All hierarchies involve asymmetric power relations between members at different levels; those above impose their will on those below. This is...

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