One of the major challenges to statehood ‘from below’ is posed by the rise of global cities. This Module engages you in a deeper analysis of cities, their role in global affairs and provides you with knowledge about theoretical concepts in the context of terms such as globalization, localization, glocalization,etc. Questions about the theoretical, demographical, economic, political, and cultural implications of the rise of global cities as well as challenges for the global cities themselves will be interactively debated.
Policy Issues: Global Cities
|12 Weeks à 15hrs|
|Flexible Starting Date - Details on Request|
|Optional on-site workshop|
|Credits: 8 ECTS|
|Supervision by Dedicated Instructor|
|State of the Art LMS Canvas|
- You will learn theoretical concepts in the context of the rise of global cities and discuss crucial changes in this sphere in the last years.
- You will be familiarized with necessary knowledge about different types of cities, governance and urban planning and discuss their advantages and risks.
- You will be provided with practical skills concerning active participating in controversial discussions, presenting and supporting your own arguments, treating complex theoretical and practical questions and developing your own hypothesis.
- Taking part in two different Discussion Board tasks and a safe assign task.
- Preparing the final research paper, based on your previous work, which include Grant proposal for a full-day workshop. The final paper can only be submitted if the previous tasks were passed.
Part 01: Introduction
This unit introduces critical concepts and questions that help understand cities in the 21st century. It addresses the role of cities in international relations theory, defines key terms in the research literature on cities and urbanization, and introduces the concepts of the global city and the mega city.
- How can cities be understood as global actors in international affairs? Why have cities largely been ignored in International Relations Theory?
- Do we live in an urban century? What would this mean and how can we define urbanization and cities?
- What city-types exist and how useful are these concepts in understanding the logics and workings of cities worldwide?
This unit discusses the competing challenges global cities and megacities are confronted with in the context of globalization. It defines globalization processes and outlines the ways in which cities are both facilitators and objects of these processes. Global city rankings and the notion of a global urban hierarchy are presented as an example to illustrate certain aspects of inter-city competition.
- What is globalization? How do we frame cities in a globalization context and what do these processes mean for governance at the local level?
- How are cities classified and ranked globally? What are the reasoning and potential problems behind city rankings?
- How do various globalization processes impact and transform global cities and the networks between them?
Part 02: Dimensions of Urban Governance
This unit defines the meaning of urban governance and discusses the growing importance of effective city administration strategies. It explores various sets of demands that have to be reconciled by city administrations and the different approaches aiming to increase citizen participation.
- How is governance defined and why are the issues of governance important in the study of cities?
- What are the major governance issues at the urban level?
- How can citizens take advantage of the opportunities that cities have to offer?
This unit discusses cities’ financial possibilities to address urgent urban problems. Moreover, this unit explores strategies of local and community-based economic development. The provision of water and sanitation services is used as a case in point to examine tools to address municipal financing gaps in more detail.
- What types of financing mechanisms are available to cities? What are potential problems of current financial arrangements? How do they relate to questions of social justice?
- What are the current limitations of financing infrastructural developments? How are these challenges met in specific contexts?
This unit deals with the devolution of power from the central to the municipal level as a means of effective city administration. It examines government reform in a global perspective and outlines the importance of intergovernmental cooperation for cities to deal with new challenges of urban governance.
- How are state reform strategies altering the governing relations that cities are operating in?
- What are the main rationales for government reform strategies? Are these reform strategies effective?
Part 03: Core Challenges
This unit examines the concentration of wealth and poverty in cities and the effect of growing inequalities on spatial segregation. In so doing, this unit explores different dimensions and different cases of inequality and points to internal contradictions of urban governance strategies in global and megacities.
- How do urban inequalities become manifest in global cities and megacities? How are urban inequalities related to processes of economic restructuring and changes in governance?
- What are the differences and similarities of urban inequalities around the world?
- What are the possible urban governance strategies to meet the challenges of rising inequality?
This unit deals with sprawling cities and the implications of territorial urban growth for the provision of infrastructure. First, it explores the phenomenon of expanding cities and the challenges that it poses for managing urban growth. In a second step, this unit addresses basic infrastructure provision in the Global South as an example to illustrate these challenges.
- What are the challenges that cities increasingly face due to expanding urbanization and suburbanization?
- How can land use in cities be planned and managed so as to reduce the development of new slums in cities in the developing world?
Having worked through this unit, you will be able to:
This unit provides insight into the ways in which drastic increases in international migration impact urban development and city-planning. It assesses the role of new migrant populations for cities’ economic dynamism and articulates the potentials and pitfalls of migration for municipal administrations.
- How do local authorities include immigrants and ethnic minorities in political decision making?
- How can political authorities intervene in order to foster inclusion of migrants?
This unit examines the effects of (perceived) crime and terrorism on cities. It explores the impact of a steady climate of insecurity on long-term sustainability and critically discusses strategies developed in order to provide solutions.
- What are some of the root causes of urban crime and what are its social and economic consequences?
- How does urban crime relate to urban terrorism and militarism? Where to draw the line between the two?
- Which role do city governments play in addressing crime and terrorism in cities? What challenges do they face?
This unit discusses the need to alter the traditional ways of energy consumption in cities; alternatives to the current polluting energy sources used in cities; and possibilities to reduce emissions from vehicles as one of the most intransigent obstacles to creating sustainable cities.
- How are cities to confront the threat from global climate change? In what ways can cities advance the goals of sustainability?
- How can city planners and managers ensure efficient, clean, and affordable transport networks to connect the whole city-region, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels?
This concluding unit explores the significance of cities as potential spaces of emancipation, democracy, and a more sustainable urban development. It critically examines dominant sustainability discourses in the urban design and planning community and sheds light on what it means to grant urban residents a right to the city. In so doing, it raises questions about the urban dimension of globalization processes and the potential impact of changing global affairs on international relations theory.
- What are strategies and technological innovations that are currently discussed by urban planners to solve urban challenges of the 21st century? Where do potential pitfalls arise in implementing such solutions?
- Who has the right to the city?
- How do developments in state governance, new border regimes, and new forms of territoriality urbanize global affairs? How could these changes be reflected in academic and public discussions of global politics?