Throughout the past thirty years a small number of city-regions have achieved unprecedented global status in the world economy while undergoing radical changes. Struggling Giants examines the transformation of four of the most significant metropolises: London, New York, Paris, and Tokyo. This volume analyzes the thorniest issues these sprawling city-regions have faced, including ameliorating social problems through public policies, the effect of globalization on local governance, and the relationships between local, regional, and national institutions.
Three critical themes frame Struggling Giants. The first is the continuing struggle for governability in the midst of regional governmental fragmentation. The second theme is how the city-regions fight to manage powerful political biases. Policy-making is often selective, the authors find, and governments are more responsive to economic exigencies than to social or environmental needs. Finally, these city-regions are shown to be strong economic leaders in part because they are able to change—although the authors reveal that pragmatism and piecemeal policy solutions can still prevail.