Medium-sized Cities in the Age of Globalisation: The Example of Reims and Leicester, 1980-2008
thesisposted on 10.07.2017, 08:06 by Ines Emilienne Emna Hassen
This thesis examines the response of two medium-sized cities, the French city of Reims and the English city of Leicester, to the challenges of globalisation that have intensified since the 1980s. The end of the long post-war economic boom marked by the mid-1970s economic crisis led to global changes that both cities encountered, such as deindustrialisation, the rise of unemployment, urban austerity and inner-city decline. The economic depression of the 1980s marked a turning point for the regeneration policies of Britain and France with municipalities looking to provide a better image of the city in order to adapt and resist the effects of globalisation. I argue that less prominent cities as opposed to ‘global’ or capital cities warrant detailed attention in the global context. Within the homogenous frame of globalisation, both cities adopted different strategies that depended on different political structures, as well as local governance and historical legacies. Recent debates on globalisation have emphasised a process of homogenisation that overlooks the changes that take place at a local level. Local contexts are an important index for understanding the impact of globalisation on the urban environment. The scholarly contribution of this research will enhance our understanding of medium-sized cities and the political, economic and cultural processes of adaptation within an age of globalisation.