Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Urban and Public Affairs

Degree Program

Urban and Public Affairs, PhD

Committee Chair

Savitch, Hank

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Koven, Steven

Committee Member

Koven, Steven

Committee Member

Walker, Margath

Committee Member

Ziegler, Charles


Globalization--Social aspects; Chicago (Ill.)--Social conditions; Accra (Ghana)--Social conditions


There is an area of scholarly interest which argues that globalization brings about the need for collaboration among local governmental units in order to address common challenges. According to Brenner and Swyngedouw, globalization also results in rescaling because it redefines spatial and political frameworks, and thus transfers powers to actors beneath and beyond the nation-state. Inter-local cooperation is a form of rescaling since it reconfigures territorial boundaries and results in either decentralization or centralization. This research explores the implications of globalization for inter-jurisdictional collaboration, as modified by local factors. It focuses on two city-regions in the Global North and South respectively (i.e. Chicago, Illinois and Accra, Ghana). Specific research questions are: (a) What is the nature of globalization in Chicago and Accra given their unique local contexts?; (b) How do local factors mediate the implications of globalization for regional cooperation in the two metropolitan areas?; (c) What are the ramifications of globalization for rescaling in the two city-regions, given their respective local contexts? The qualitative inquiry is exploratory in nature and relies on secondary data, discourse analysis, and interviews. It finds that because of their different levels of strategic importance in the global economy, Chicago serves as a headquarter location for multinational corporations, while Accra plays host to subsidiaries or local branches of such corporate entities. As a result of Chicago’s strong private sector and history of civic engagement, globalization has resulted in a fluid, voluntary, and informal approach to regionalism characterized by resistance to annexation and political fragmentation. In the case of Accra, governmental institutional restructuring associated with the global era has created an administrative, directed, and formal approach to regionalism, associated with territorial expansion and centralized bureaucracy. The research shows existing works by scholars such as Brenner and Swyngedouw do not sufficiently account for the mediating roles of local contexts, particularly in the Global South, when analyzing the implications of globalization for regionalism.

Included in

Urban Studies Commons