BOOK REVIEW: Governing Cities in a Global Era: Urban Innovation, Competition and Democratic Reform (edited by Robin Hambleton and Jill Simone Gross)

Peter McKinlay


Robin Hambleton and Jill Simone Gross have assembled a collection of papers which powerfully supports their argument that “those concerned with the future of cities, whether as academics or practitioners, should devote more time to instrumental learning from abroad.” Contributions range widely from the influence of globalisation and urbanisation, to the importance of understanding the unique impact of our own context; from innovation in the leading ‘world cities’ of the developed world, to the seemingly intractable problems of cities in the developing world; from celebrating the importance of a shift from government to governance, to contributions highlighting the potential of governance to undermine local democracy; and from the role of leadership to the dangers of persistent managerialism.

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Davoudi, S. 2006. 'Polycentric Development and Metropolitan Governance', keynote speech to the International Conference on Social Policy and Regional Development", Zagreb, Croatia."

OECD [Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development], 2004. OECD Metropolitan Regions: What Role for the Central Governments? Produced for the XVIIth session of the entretiens Jacques Cartier Metropolitan governance: seeking consistency in complexity", Montral, Quebec, 7-8 October 2004."