Explaining the Role of Capitalist Economics and Space of Flow in the Emergence and Role-Playing of Global Cities

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD in Political Geography, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Political Geography, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Political Geography, ShahidBeheshti University, Tehran, Iran

4 Political Geography Department, Geographic Sciences Faculty, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran


Extended Abstract      
Today, considering the growing importance of the global cities and achieving the status of the global city have become a major issue in the struggle of big cities. Countries need global cities to participate in the global economic scene and to attract capital and resources in the highly competitive world to play an active role in the global network of cities. The global cities are strategic places that play the role as the global economic knot and are considered to be very important places to show political and economic power. Considering the role of the global cities in countries' development identifying the cities that have the potential to become a global city is of great importance. The entry of new cities into the world of global acting and playing a role in the international arena needs to move in certain ways and means, therefore, at the global level, any big city does not become a global city in terms of population or economy. Few studies have been conducted on the theoretical foundations of the issue and in particular the role of capitalist economics and the flow of space in the emergence of global cities. This research explains the theoretical role of the capitalist economy and the space of flows in the formation of global cities, and seeks to answer this question: on what space and grounds do global cities find emerging and role-playing opportunity?
In terms of its objectives the present study is a basic research type and in terms of its nature and methodology it is a descriptive-analytic. The data are gathered through library resources. Qualitative analysis method is employed for analyzing the findings. The qualitative method also is used to final conclusion.
Result and Discussion
The transformations in the context of capitalism that have taken place in the global economy in the last three decades are accompanied with a shift to services and financing. This transformation has brought renewed importance to the major cities as the place of some of the special activities and functions. At the current stage, the world economy is precisely the blend of global dispersion of economic activity and global integration under the conditions of continued ownership and economic control, which has contributed to the strategic role of some of the major cities. These cities are the core of advanced services and distant communication technologies and are essential for the implementation and management of global economic operations. Global cities are inherently tied up by building technology infrastructure that forms the basis of what Manuel Castells calls "space of flows." Global cities are important nets that twist part of the material infrastructure of these flows. They are like places and physical points that link the space of flows to the material world. They provide a unique and irreplaceable place that enables the social infrastructure and technology to form the cornerstone of globalization. The linking of global cities with information-based capitalism, as the control and command centers and the location of advanced manufacturing service companies, is necessarily based on the material infrastructure, which facilitates the economy where value is increasingly derived from information. The simultaneous emergence of the network of information and communication technologies has been fundamental in the success of capitalist capital. The combination and entanglement of the capitalist system and the technological infrastructure of the information era provided space for the accumulation of capital. Capital accumulation is in fact the centerpiece of the capitalist system and the contemporary development of capitalism, where global cities are its main place and headquarters.
The transition from Fordism to the post-Fordism and its flexible production has led to the breakdown and distribution of production in a globalized world. In this context, global cities have become the main destination for the command and hosting of the largest multinational companies manufacturing and advanced global services. The globalization of the economy and the formation of a global free market have created a vast and interconnected network of international trade exchanges that cover the world. The space of flows is shaped and formed in the context of the numerous links of the global economy, relations and connections that have been built along space and parallel to the information-based economy. In general, cities are considered as the national subsystem of the countries and cannot independently enter the global and transnational scale. For being globalized, cities must first become powerful cities at the national level, and then enter internationally through the mediation and infrastructure that the country's political and geopolitical environment provides. When cities become a global city, on the one hand, their locational space is within the national space of the countries, and on the other hand, they play a role in the form of the space of flows and the global network society as a nodal place in global exchanges and relationships, and become an actor in the world, that are in command of a huge amount of economic and global exchanges. The empowerment of global cities has made them to be a player in the global politics and economy. In such a space, countries are working to bring representatives of them into the network to enjoy the benefits of this massive inter-city and inter-country communication network. Countries seeking globalization and global markets are striving to bring more cities into their world-wide network of cities and thereby gaining geopolitical power and position.


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