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This Is The Century Of Cities, Not Nation States

This Is The Century Of Cities, Not Nation States
Design

Parag Khanna argues that urban centers are becoming the centers of governance on which the future world order could be built.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 14 october 2010

In a recent article in Foreign Policy, Parag Khanna writes that the 21st century will not be dominated by the US, China, Brazil or India – but instead by the city. The author

and policy adviser argues that cities rather than states are becoming the centers of governance on which the future world order could be built:

This new world is not — and will not be — one global village, so much as a network of different ones… the advent of global hubs and megacities forces us to rethink whether state sovereignty or economic might is the new prerequisite for participating in global diplomacy. The answer is of course both, but while sovereignty is eroding and shifting, cities are now competing for global influence alongside states.

…What happens in our cities, simply put, matters more than what happens anywhere else. Cities are the world’s experimental laboratories and thus a metaphor for an uncertain age. They are both the cancer and the foundation of our networked world, both virus and antibody. From climate change to poverty and inequality, cities are the problem — and the solution. Getting cities right might mean the difference between a bright future filled with HafenCitys and Songdos — and a world that looks more like the darkest corners of Karachi and Mumbai.

Foreign Policy: Beyond City Limits

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