Global Cities and Cultural Diversity Governance: Comparing Doha and Singapore
38 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 2019
The rise of global cities has raised multiple questions regarding the governance of diversity. While they are often portrayed as spaces of ungovernable global flows and as catalysts of the disappearance of national identities, this paper aims to analyse these cities’ actions and strategies to govern their cultural diversity and defend a renewed conception of the national. I combine an analysis of outward-looking strategies that promote their cultural diversity on the global cultural field, and of inward-looking strategies that attempt to project their plural identity in the urban space. I compare two cities, Doha and Singapore, which have emerged as major centres of the global economy and offer a perspective that differs from the large Western cities where the notion of global city was initially coined. The affirmation of Doha and Singapore as global cities does not go along with a process of weakening of the nation-state, but on the contrary takes part in a logic of nation building and nation branding. The paper analyses how local actors negotiate this dialectic between the global and the national. Firstly, I show that they have put transnational regional networks and identities at the centre of the promotion of these cities as cultural hub. Secondly, I show that the recognition of these cities’ diverse heritage and its display in the urban landscape, go in parallel with an increasing spatial exclusion of recent migrants.
Keywords: Global city, Globalisation, Cultural diversity, Urban Governance, Doha, Singapore
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