The article starts off by attempting to place Shanghai in the context of other cities of the world like Amsterdam, Budapest and Houston that Baverstock et al have placed in the category of “gamma-global-cities”. What this means is that these cities have been given a separate place from the other cities of the world in terms of their tendency to what Wasserstrom calls “re-globalizing” nature i.e. the ability of the cities to re-integrate them with the global landscape.
The author attempts’ to place Shanghai in context leave him bewildered considering the range of transformations that the city underwent in its existence and the fact that it is still a “work in progress”. The author reaches the view point that Shanghai is a city that is “good to think” which means that attempts to compare Shanghai with other cities have proved fruitless. And the article quotes Rudolf Wagner who suggests a moratorium in comparing Shanghai with other cities.
Wasserstrom is not deterred by the academic community’s decision on de-linking comparisons of Shanghai with other cities. On the other hand, “While there is a strong case to be made for Wagner’s argument and the modification of it just described, this article argues that this is a good time for Shanghai specialists to enter the admittedly treacherous waters of far-flung comparison. And it will suggest a specific strategy for doing just this by proposing that we think of Shanghai as a reglobalizing
When we use the term “re-globalize”, we effectively mean that there was a time when these cities were part of the global mainstream in terms of their relations with the rest of the world be it for trade or exchange of ideas. Shanghai has a particular significance in this respect as it was one of the cities in the East that had interacted with the West before the opium wars and the hundred years of treaty enforced port-period when it was a bustling port that served as a center for commerce and ...
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