Scaling the city : the political economy of'glocal'development-Brussels' conundrum

Scaling the city : the political economy of'glocal'development-Brussels' conundrum

Publication Type:
article-journal
Date Issued:
2001
Authors:
Erik Swyngedouw , Guy Baeten
Publisher:
Routledge
Language:
eng
Page:
827-841
DOI:
10.1080/09654310120079797
Abstract:

In this contribution, the new position of the city in the urban political economy will be considered in the context of the shifting realities that characterize an increasingly hybridizing and cosmopolitan global (dis)order. We shall argue that globalization is paralleled by a restructuring of the city and with an increasing importance of the urban in a context of intensifying inter-urban competition. The success of cities is dependent on their local 'embeddedness' in institutional and other networks of power. Attention will be paid to the role of local elites and to the need to forge 'growth coalitions'. We shall conclude that the formation of an inclusive and cohesive growth coalition is a key condition for the future development of Brussels in a context of intense inter-urban competition. However, this poses a host of political problems. Not in the least, the fact the new 'glocal' elites often refuse to partake in local institutional or political networks. The commitment to place that invariably comes with a greater 'local' institutional embedding which may militate against their global strategies and aspirations. The key question for 'local' politics then becomes one of how to forge networks and linkages that force 'glocal' elites to become inserted actively in the regional armatures of governance.