Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Struggling Giants

City-Region Governance in London, New York, Paris, and Tokyo

2012
Authors:

Paul Kantor, Christian Lefèvre, Asato Saito, H. V. Savitch, and Andy Thornley

Struggling Giants

The struggle for governability in the world’s four leading global city-regions

Struggling Giants examines the transformation of four of the most significant metropolises: London, New York, Paris, and Tokyo. This volume analyzes the thorniest issues these sprawling city-regions have faced, including ameliorating social problems through public policies, the effect of globalization on local governance, and the relationships between local, regional, and national institutions.

This ambitious comparison of the world’s four most important global city regions stands out on three counts: first, it moves from the focus on the central city characteristic of most global city studies to an explication of the dynamics of their broader regions; second, it deals with the question of the governability of these regions and the extent to which they control their own trajectories; and third, it deals with the politics that differentiates these regions from each other rather than assuming that similar economic structures necessarily produce like outcomes. It is a significant contribution to our understanding of urban political economy.

Susan S. Fainstein, Harvard University

Throughout the past thirty years a small number of city-regions have achieved unprecedented global status in the world economy while undergoing radical changes. Struggling Giants examines the transformation of four of the most significant metropolises: London, New York, Paris, and Tokyo. This volume analyzes the thorniest issues these sprawling city-regions have faced, including ameliorating social problems through public policies, the effect of globalization on local governance, and the relationships between local, regional, and national institutions.

Three critical themes frame Struggling Giants. The first is the continuing struggle for governability in the midst of regional governmental fragmentation. The second theme is how the city-regions fight to manage powerful political biases. Policy-making is often selective, the authors find, and governments are more responsive to economic exigencies than to social or environmental needs. Finally, these city-regions are shown to be strong economic leaders in part because they are able to change—although the authors reveal that pragmatism and piecemeal policy solutions can still prevail.

Struggling Giants

Paul Kantor is emeritus professor of political science at Fordham University.

Christian Lefèvre is director of the French Institute of Urban Affairs and professor at the University of Paris Est, LATTS.

Asato Saito is an independent scholar working in Tokyo.

H. V. Savitch is Brown and Williamson Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Louisville.

Andy Thornley is emeritus professor of urban planning at the London School of Economics.

Struggling Giants

This ambitious comparison of the world’s four most important global city regions stands out on three counts: first, it moves from the focus on the central city characteristic of most global city studies to an explication of the dynamics of their broader regions; second, it deals with the question of the governability of these regions and the extent to which they control their own trajectories; and third, it deals with the politics that differentiates these regions from each other rather than assuming that similar economic structures necessarily produce like outcomes. It is a significant contribution to our understanding of urban political economy.

Susan S. Fainstein, Harvard University

Struggling Giants

Contents

Abbreviations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Governable Giants?

1. Four Global City-Regions: A Profile

Part I. The Greater London Region
2. Global Pressures and Governmental Innovation
3. Strong Metropolitan Leadership

Part II. The New York Tri-State Region
4. Fragmented Metropolis, Decentralist Impulses
5. Managed Pluralism

Part III. Paris–Île de France
6. A Fragmented and Conflicting Territory
7. Unregulated Competitive Decentralization

Part IV. The Tokyo City-Region
8. New Challenges, Old Governance
9. World-City Policies and the Erosion of the Developmental State

10. Governance and Globalism: Political Responses of Four World City-Regions

Conclusion: Are Global City-Regions Governable?

Notes
Bibliography
Index