1.IntroductionWith the rapid development of international trade, capital circulation, multinational corporations and information technology, the phenomenon of globalization has become a hot topic in the literature. Globalization will become one of the most important characteristics of the new century.
The metropolis of the world is taking the lead, actively or passively globalization, the city’s development has begun to enter a new era, that is, the era of globalization, the world’s cities will once again be divided in the global network system is being established, Play a different role. The revolution in communication technology and the drop in global shipping prices have laid the precondition for the globalization of the metropolis. The global economic integration, the development policies of all countries and the social and cultural interactions have formed the basic framework for the globalization of the metropolis.Jennifer Robinson, who consigns “Ordinary Cities” as a formidable critique of the dimensional division of academic theorization has made a huge impaction for society. The central thesis of her article is that urban theory development has been limited for too long by the assumed dichotomy between modern “global cities” in rich countries and mimetic “third world” cities in poor countries.Saskia Sassen, who is the leading urban theorist of the globalization world. She gave a definition that has long-term with readers. To be short, in the age of globalization, the activities of production are on a global basis which is dispersed.
These globalized production networks which are intricate for us require new forms of producer and financial services to be in charge of them. Highly specialized skills are often required for these complex services. Thus, they are affected by agglomeration economies and tend to bunch in a limited number of cities.This essay will explain and analyses Saskia Sassen’s argument on global cities against Jenifer Robinsons’ argument on ordinary cities. It will first introduce two scholar’s views and then expound the similarities and differences between these two views.
2. Two views’ introduction2.1 Saskia Sassen’sThe key concept of Sassen of the global city is a focal point on the spread of capital and information. Cities is an important connection which in the connecting systems of information and money, and the wealth that they catch is related to the specialized businesses closely that make those flows easier. For example, financial institutions, consulting firms, media organizations, law firms, and accounting firms. What’s more, Sassen points that these flows are no longer bound to national boundaries and systems of regulation tightly; Obviously, compared to the nineteenth century, the dynamics of the global city are different.For adding up to urban systems and their global networks — a new conceptual architecture, Sassen also emphasizes the importance of creating new conceptual resources. As she writes in the article ‘The globalization of economic activity entails a new type of organizational structure’She comments on seven fundamental hypotheses about the modern global city:The geographical dispersion of globalized economic activity and the simultaneous integration of geographically dispersed activities are key factors in promoting the development and importance of central government functions.
‘The more dispersed a firm’s operations across different countries, the more complex and strategic its central functions—that is, the work of managing, coordinating, servicing, financing a firm’s network of operations.’ (28)These central functions have become so complicated that the headquarters of large global companies are increasingly outsourced: they buy part of the central functions from highly specialized service companies.’the specialized service firms contracted by headquarters to produce some of these central functions or components of them.’ (29) The professional services firms which are engaged in the most complex and global markets are subject to agglomeration economies.’The complexity of the services they need to produce, the uncertainty of the markets they are involved with either directly or through the headquarters for which they are producing the services’ (29)The more headquarters outsourcing the most complex and non-standardized functions (especially those with uncertainties and variability), the more freedom they have to choose any location’These further underlines that the key sector specifying the distinctive productionadvantages of global cities are the highly specialized and networked services sector’ These specialized service companies need to provide a global service, which means a network of global affiliates that enhances transactions and networks across borders.The economic wealth of these cities is increasingly separated from the wider hinterland and even more the national economy. One consequence of the dynamics described in Hypothesis 6 is the growing informalization of a series of economic activities that have found effective demand in these cities, but which are not profitable enough to compete with high-margin firms for resources at the top of the system. (28-30)2.
2 Jennifer Robinson ‘sRobinson pointed out that the United States and European cities are often used as a standard for comparison of all cities. In her opinion, this limits what the city may or may not be like in academia and urban planning. She divides her book into two main approaches, which reveal the dynamics of the Old City: “The celebration of urban modernity” and the promotion of urban development “.In the first sentence of ‘ordinary city’, Jennifer Robinson rightly states: “The argument in this book is that all cities are understood as” ordinary ” and she, therefore, calls for postcolonialism in urban research ‘This form of theorization can be as cosmopolitan as the city we are trying to describe’.About postcolonialismThe practical economic control and cultural hegemony of the developed countries in Europe and the United States on the developing countries and regions will not only continue for some years to come but will also lead to the demise of some long-term marginalized ethnic groups and cultures.Most of the theories of global urban studies since the 1990s have recognized the development of cities through a global, hierarchical system. There has been a lot of critical voices in academia, believing that this paradoxical way of conceptualizing space contradicts reality.
Storper (1997) argues that the untraded interdependency that exists in the organization and institutional arrangements of local societies, including social capital and path dependence, and the network of inter-member transactions, the source of the kinetic energy advantage, and the globalization of the network and flow must be in line with the local space and time, have the opportunity to complete the production of its capitalist space.Therefore, Robinson (2006) pointed out that if some cities are not considered as the world or global cities, they will be excluded from potential as potential places and actors. Correspondingly, these ordinary cities appear to understand the modern urban development Indifferent. She hypothesized a comparative urbanism that recognized “differences and diversity among cities, rather than dividing cities by levels.” Robinson (2015), through the introduction of Jill Deleuze’s philosophical point of view, reverses the relationship between “unity” and “difference” in classical metaphysics, starting from the demands of the Marxist political economy to conduct comparative urban studies.
3. Comparison of two viewsAfter Hayek won the Nobel Prize in 1974, neo-liberalism gradually replaced Keynesianism as the dominant economic guideline in the West. The state-controlled international financial system is increasingly infiltrating the neo-liberal colors. Subsequently, Anglo-American vigorously promoted the neo-liberal economic thinking characterized by marketization, privatization and liberalization in the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher and Reagan came into power. Neoliberalism encourages globalization, opens up the domestic market, attracts foreign investment, facilitates investment, and uses information as a platform. It also promotes the formation of a new imperialism and the international community through the establishment of branches and offices by multinational corporations to promote global capital expansion. The Evolution of the Financial System (Harvey 1989; 2003). The neoliberal expansion requires some gateway cities and intermediates in space, and they are global cities such as London and New York.
Neoliberalism in the development process, the status of the financial industry has greatly improved, and gradually become the core of the modern economy, with the financial as the core of the modern high-end service industry has become the highest in the industrial chain.Sassen’s global urban assumptions came in this context. Compared with Friedmann’s World City, Sassen’s focus shifted completely from multinational corporations to high-end producer services. This shows that the capitalist world economy has gradually entered a post-industrial era. In the global urban assumptions, Sassen’s major innovations are: global cities as manufacturing sites for financial and professional services in the post-industrial era; global cities can provide multinational financial and professional services to businesses and governments; financial services and related Service industries such as law, consulting, accounting, information services, advertising and other industries are inextricably linked.
For the first time, the concept of agglomeration economy is mentioned in the study of global cities; the cross-border transactions and network formation of global cities are proposed; the global cities as a place for the collection and overflow of knowledge and information.Compared with the studies on global urbanization that take structuralism and political economy as the core, Robinson have turned to the comparative field of vision, paying attention to the experiences of developing countries or third world countries beyond the experience of Europe and the United States, namely, the so-called “southern hemisphere” south) urbanization, in order to amend the existing theory. In general, the emergence of a comparative urbanization theory reflects the dissatisfaction of researchers with the “mainstream” urban theory with the aim of stitching the urban reality of the study of the classic city and the place where contemporary urbanization takes place – in the southern hemisphere (developing countries).Sassen’ concern of this part is that the world economy is embedded by urban processes and urban governance. Within the large-scale consideration, Sassen points out the central place of cities, especially of urban place. This is still an important consideration, as Jennifer Robinson puts forward the “ordinary” premise.Sassen has identified an important force of integration but is also spreading in major cities around the world which as she calls it “complex duality.” This duality is influenced by four main features, which connects with her 7 hypotheses.
The first is that global cities are “command points” for determining the world economy. The higher degree of economic globalization, the more concentrated the functions of global urban centers. Second, the city is also a global financial seat. Third, global cities are the places where production is dominant. Finally, the global city is the world consumer market. Jennifer Robinson has been critical of world urban literature, believing that this kinds of views tends to be silent about cities in the South. In ordinary cities, she focuses on the differences in urban experience in different regions and countries and points out that we generally believe that the theory of global cities is a dilution of other forms of transformation.
3. Impacts of two viewsThe “global city,” as defined by Sassen, has long crossed the so-called border restrictions and built an interregional urban network system that is above the national level. In this system, capital and information are being exchanged and produced at an unprecedented speed. The enormous energy contained therein is changing the global economic industry and changing the spatial structure and stratification of cities.
Global cities have promoted the decentralization of manufacturing industries and the concentration of producer services and financial industries. However, how have they affected the urban spatial structure, social order and stratification? The most obvious impact still comes into play through the economic / industrial media: the shift in the economic and industrial structure of the “global city” – producer services and the financial industry in place of manufacturing – eventually leading to urban spatial and institutional dimensions The new regional consortium has evolved to include: luxury complexes of office buildings and housing, large-scale public-construction projects and the mass occupation of urban land, accompanied by large-scale, state-guided cities Spatial reorganization. In New York, the famous architect Robert Moses became advocate and designer of this reorganization process. Later in the 1960s, he was attacked by Jane Jacobs with a new round of questions about “what is real Urban life “discussions and reflections from one after another, but this still cannot change the structural changes in the city of the fait accompli.Robinson rejects global urban approaches that focus on cities or urban areas that are “successful” in the economy, as well as approaches that focus on the development of poor or economically disadvantaged urban areas. She hopes to adopt a middle ground approach and conduct city-wide analyzes to address the many dynamics within a single city.
She cites Johannesburg’s urban development strategy as an example of inclusive urban development that prioritizes policy formation throughout the city. From a policy perspective, she believes all cities should be seen as creative and energetic, and even rich cities can learn from poor cities. Think of all cities as including unique attributes and relationships that allow us to treat all cities as ordinary.ConclusionGlobalization which now as a complex of economic, social, cultural and spatial integration has become an important cultural issue. Economic globalization is promoting the globalization of culture. This kind of cultural globalization is closely linked with the great changes in the concept of time and space.
However, such phenomenon of globalization has also contributed to the marginalization of some developing countries and contributed to the imitation of ordinary cities and the gap which they have with developed countries. To balance the economic and cultural intercity under globalization is not a simple process in the current era, but it is indeed where people need to pay attention.