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 23: The Cultural Economy and the Global City

Andy C. Pratt


Andy C. Pratt INTRODUCTION The aim of this chapter is to examine the relationship between the cultural economy and the global city; it considers the conceptual as well as empirical aspects of the relationship. Implicitly, work on the global city considers culture: in fact one may go so far as to say that culture is presumed in the global city. This presumption has tended to render culture (in its broadest sense) either invisible to analysis, or positioned it in a dualistic relation to the ‘real deal’: the economic. Such a dualistic relationship is not presented as equal; culture is implicitly or explicitly rendered in all its forms as inferior or dependent: traditional modalities of economic analysis simply harden such conceptions. The empirical focus on the ‘power of finance’ that characterizes much work on the global city, directly or indirectly, further intensifies the problem. This chapter does not seek to recover all of culture with respect to the global city; instead it focuses upon one particular aspect: arguably the most troubling one, the cultural economy. However, if anything will trouble, or destabilize the relationship between the economy and culture then it is likely to be the cultural economy. GLOBAL CITIES AND CULTURE Culture figures as a significant but relatively minor aspect of debates about global cities. In its simplest form the city is represented as backdrop: heritage and cultural artefact that visitors can consume. Much of recent debate has been how to manage the city to maximize tourist income, and minimize...

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