Beyond the City Limits

Beyond the City Limits: Urban Policy and Economics Restructuring in Comparative Perspective

John R. Logan
Todd Swanstrom
Copyright Date: 1990
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 288
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Beyond the City Limits
    Book Description:

    This book challenges the notion that there is a single, global process of economic restructuring to which cities must submit. The studies in this volume compare urban development in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, demonstrating that there is significant variety in urban economic restructuring. The contributors emphasize that the economic forces transforming cities from industrial concentrations to postindustrial service centers do not exist apart from politics: all nation-states are heavily involved in the restructuring process.

    Contributors: Pierre Clavel, Susan Fainstein, Richard Child Hill, Nancy Kleniewski, Harvey L. Molotch, Michael Parkinson, Edmond Preteceille, Saskia Sassen, H. V. Savitch, John Walton, and the editors.

    In the seriesConflicts in Urban and Regional Development, edited by John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom.

    eISBN: 978-1-4399-0163-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. PART I Introduction
    • CHAPTER 1 Urban Restructuring: A Critical View
      (pp. 3-24)
      John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom

      The failure of the centrally planned economies of China, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union has captured the world’s attention. As market-oriented reforms have spread in those countries, accompanied by political changes, the reaction in the West has been one of smug self-congratulations. Imitation, after all, is the highest form of flattery. We knew all along that communist leaders could not indefinitely prop up inefficient industries or subsidize selected consumer goods without causing gross misallocations and inefficiencies. If they are not to fall even further behind the West technologically, communist nations must dismantle the bureaucratic hierarchies that are stifling their...

  5. PART II Urban Policy:: National and International Comparisons
    • CHAPTER 2 Political Paradoxes of Urban Restructuring: Globalization of the Economy and Localization of Politics?
      (pp. 27-59)
      Edmond Preteceille

      The processes of urban restructuring that are taking place in many countries point to some paradoxical aspects of theoretical paradigms in social science, particularly when we try to examine their economic and political dimensions together. Economic change is characterized by a growing interdependence among local enterprises and increasingly international markets, financial institutions and flows, processes of technological innovation and diffusion. At the same time, most countries experience a revaluation of local politics. Local governments are promoted as major actors of urban, social and economic change, often with responsibilities and resources increased by policies of state decentralization.

      Local actors, summoned to...

    • CHAPTER 3 Industrial Restructuring, State Intervention, and Uneven Development in the United States and Japan
      (pp. 60-85)
      Richard Child Hill

      This chapter explores the interplay among industrial production systems organized by transnational corporations, urban and regional development strategies mounted by local and national states, and distributional outcomes for companies, workers, and communities. The reflections and contrasts presented here stem from research on the auto industry and autodependent regions in the United States and Japan.¹

      I will approach issues of economic restructuring from the vantage point of industrial production systems. Production system is a concept for analyzing how labor processes and economic exchanges among firms are socially organized over space. Firms become linked into production systems as they develop, manufacture, and...

    • CHAPTER 4 Political Responses to Urban Restructuring: The British Experience under Thatcherism
      (pp. 86-116)
      Michael Parkinson

      Britain has undergone a profound urban transformation during the past two decades. The restructuring of the international economy, the emergence of highly mobile finance capital, the decline of manufacturing industry and its export to low-wage economies, and the rise of the service sector with its dual labor market have created in Britain, as in other advanced economies, a pattern of intensely uneven urban development. The impact of this unevenness upon different social and economic groups and segments of the labor force is well known: growing regional and individual economic inequality, the emergence of core and peripheral workers, the marginalization of...

  6. PART III The Limits and Possibilities of Local Policy
    • CHAPTER 5 Economics, Politics, and Development Policy: The Convergence of New York and London
      (pp. 119-149)
      Susan S. Fainstein

      During the 1980S two global cities, New York and London, have shown a remarkable convergence in public policy and development patterns. Where previously they had followed quite different planning traditions, their governing regimes have recently responded similarly to world economic forces that have heightened the importance of financial control centers while diminishing the significance of manufacturing locations. The question for analysis here is the linkage between the pressures of world economic transformation, on the one hand, and political and ideological forces on the other in determining the character of development.

      By raising this question, I do not intend to imply...

    • CHAPTER 6 Postindustrialism with a Difference: Global Capitalism in World-Class Cities
      (pp. 150-174)
      H. V. Savitch

      Since the 1970S scholars have noted a profound transformation in the content and character of capitalism. Spurred by Immanuel Wallerstein’s 1974 volume depicting a world capitalist economy, scholars began to identify world-class cities as nodes for corporate distribution, exchange, and communication (Gottmann 1974; Hill 1984). World-class cities came to be seen as command posts in a global economy, which contained the wellsprings of finance, the synapses of communication, and the production centers for information and culture. New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Sao Paulo increasingly became great seats for corporate headquarters, radiating a web of electronic conduits and air corridors...

    • CHAPTER 7 Urban Deals in Comparative Perspective
      (pp. 175-198)
      Harvey Molotch

      Even if a newly integrated global economy has produced similar restructuring challenges across nations and the localities within them, there can still be variations across places in social and distributive outcomes of economic growth. In the United States signs of these variations have so far stemmed from, among other factors, the power of local governments to create exactions out of the land development process; in other societies, variation is produced both at the national and local levels by other types of political forces, such as the ongoing power of left parties. In this chapter, I illustrate how, both among countries...

    • CHAPTER 8 Space for Progressive Local Policy: Examples from the United States and the United Kingdom
      (pp. 199-234)
      Pierre Clavel and Nancy Kleniewski

      The main question posed by this volume is, given restructuring, what can localities do? In this chapter we argue that the space for local response is greater, not smaller, in the 1980S than in previous postwar decades, present evidence of the increased variety of local policy response in the United States and England, and conclude with a set of observations on the future policy implications of this new variation.

      Both business elites and government officials are responding to changes in global economic patterns, albeit in somewhat different ways. The response to restructuring forces has taken several different forms. Finance hasg...

  7. PART IV Reflections
    • CHAPTER 9 Beyond the City Limits: A Commentary
      (pp. 237-242)
      Saskia Sassen

      The central question in organizing this volume is whether differences in national political systems and in nationallocal relations explain the diversity of forms assumed by economic restructuring and local responses to it. At least three general conclusions can be drawn from these essays. First, notwithstanding the diversity of forms that economic restructuring has assumed in specific localities and the diversity of policy responses, these chapters mostly show that larger translocal economic forces have far more weight than local policies in shaping urban economies. The cases examined here are by no means simple, self-evident instances of this proposition. Fainstein asks what...

    • CHAPTER 10 Theoretical Methods in Comparative Urban Politics
      (pp. 243-258)
      John Walton

      This volume provides both a signal and exemplar of changes currently taking place in urban social science. As the editors argue in their introduction, urban studies have reached an impasse—a theoretical deadlock between approaches that explain urban development, distributional patterns, and ecological form as the result of either market mechanisms or structures embedded in the political economy. The tendency in each case is to deduce an explanation of urban events from the respective models of market competition or structural constraint and contradiction. As several authors in this collection note, the analytical style of both market competition and political economy...

    (pp. 261-263)
    (pp. 264-270)
    (pp. 271-276)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 277-277)