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Over the last three decades, our understanding of the city worldwide has been revolutionized by three innovative theoretical concepts – globalisation, postcolonialism and a radically contested notion of modernity. The idea and even the reality of the city has been extended out of the state and nation and re-positioned in the larger global world.

In this book Anthony King brings together key essays written over this period, much of it dominated by debates about the world or global city. Challenging assumptions and silences behind these debates, King provides largely ignored historical and cultural dimensions to the understanding of world city formation as well as decline. Interdisciplinary and comparative, the essays address new ways of framing contemporary themes: the imperial and colonial origin of contemporary world and global cities, actually existing postcolonialisms, claims about urban and cultural homogenisation and the role of architecture and built environment in that process. Also addressed are arguments about indigenous and exogenous perspectives, Eurocentricism, ways of framing vernacular architecture, and the global historical sociology of building types. Wide-ranging and accessible, Writing the Global City provides essential historical contexts and theoretical frameworks for understanding contemporary urban and architectural debates. Extensive bibliographies will make it essential for teaching, reference and research.