Losing Control in Globalization?

Challenges and Difficulties of Tokyo as a Post-global City

Cette conférence est organisée dans le cadre des deux séminaires de l'EHESS, « Villes-capitales et métropoles : trajectoires locales dans un monde global » et « Faire la ville aujourd’hui : Exploration des urbanismes contemporains », avec le soutien du Frontier Research Center (Toyota).


Global cities, of which concept was coined substantially in the 1980s, have entered into a difficult phase. Under the further globalizing economy accelerated by the Internet and neoliberalism, global cities, once seen as the most competitive unit of the interface between global capital and local supporting activities, are surpassed by the growing trend of globalization itself. Cities remain spatially fixed, in spite of the progress of the mobility-driven capitalist economy. Profits are produced more often by the innovative ability to connect globally “real” and “virtual” worlds. Cities are required to provide infrastructures for it, but enough profits do not return to and stay inside of them. As a result, cities hardly pay for the total cost of securing themselves from various risks and uncertainties, such as inequality, terrorism, disaster, ageing, etc. Global cities were once seen as being “offshore,” independent from national boundary. However, recently, global cities often try to reunite with national state power, which is also losing control in the globalizing world. A current increase in a global-capital-city type of Olympic games is one of its manifestations (London 2012, Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024). This presentation considers the difficulties faced by the global cities after globalization in particular in the case of global capital cities, such as London, Paris, and Tokyo because the governance issues take a condensed and complex form there. These issues are caused by both conflict and interdependence between city and state. Is the age of global city over or not? I try to think about this question by examining the case of Tokyo.


Takashi Machimura is Professor of Social Sciences at Hitotsubashi University. His current research interests focus on globalization and its urban impacts, global cities, urban policies and governance, mega events and cities, international migration, social movements, developmentalism and dam.


  • Eric Denis (CNRS)
  • Beatriz Fernandez (EHESS)
  • Sébastien Lechevalier (EHESS)
Globalisation, Gouvernance, Urbaines (études), Ville Japon

Informations pratiques

  • Mercredi 16 janvier 2019 - 15:00 - 19:00
  • EHESS (Salle 7) - 105, boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris
  • ffj@ehess.fr
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