Cities As The Power Hub Of The 21st Century

While most international relations forecasters still frame their predictions of the future in terms of nations and states, foreign policy strategist Parag Khanna draws our attention to the increasing authority of megacities.

Innovative foreign policy strategist Parag Khanna argues that the future will belong to the city; specifically the megacity. While most international relations forecasters still frame their predictions of the future in terms of nations and states, Khanna draws our attention to the increasing power of these massive metropolitan areas. Although cities have always played a central role in global culture, economics and travel – megacities, according to Khanna, will replace the nation states as the core global power hubs. New urban zones such as Guangdong province in China are constantly growing with people and economic activity.

He explains:

Now as then, cities are the real magnets of economies, the innovators of politics, and, increasingly, the drivers of diplomacy. Those that aren’t capitals act like they are. Foreign policy seems to take place even among cities within the same country, whether it’s New York and Washington feuding over financial regulation or Dubai and Abu Dhabi vying for leadership of the United Arab Emirates. This new world of cities won’t obey the same rules as the old compact of nations; they will write their own opportunistic codes of conduct, animated by the need for efficiency, connectivity, and security above all else.

Parag Khanna: “Beyond City Limits”

Image by Spreng Ben

Quantcast