Tag Archives: charter city movement

HOW SHOULD COMMUNITIES BE GOVERNED IN THE WILD WEST OF GLOBALIZATION?

In a previous blog entry, I looked at why, in the 21st Century, national governments are becoming less able to sustain the economies and the social safety nets of local communities, even as cities become more obviously central to the economy. In a related entry, I offered a community perspective on globalization’s wild west, and pointed out that globalization is a two-edged sword. Corporations can amass the power and wealth that is achievable by operating on a world scale, but local communities can also operate on a world scale in forging alliances, seeking support and mounting political action.
But politics is not only an arena for conflict among contending forces, it is also a system of organized decision-making and action, a system of governance. If our world is marked by the escalating power of corporate mobility, the declining power the national state, and the growing economic importance of cities, what does that imply for governance? In a world of drastically shifting power relations, should government remain essentially as it was in the 19th Century?
A lot of thought is being given to this question. It is coming to be widely agreed that there are compelling reasons for cities to evolve economic development strategies and social supports specifically designed to deal with their own, unique set of problems and possibilities. But how? Some interesting answers are being proposed, and tried, in Canada. In this article, and a subsequent one, I take a look at them, and consider their significance.

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