Dutch hegemony and contemporary globalization peter j taylor

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Peter J Taylor


Paper prepared for PEWS Conference, RIVERSIDE, CA May 2002

Peter J Taylor

The title of this paper may appear odd to many readers. Whereas it makes sense to discuss recent American hegemony in conjunction with contemporary globalization, what has the seventeenth century Dutch ‘golden age’ to do with global-scale economic practices in the twenty first century? The simple answer is that this paper is an attempt to situate globalization in a world-systems analysis, to define its longue duree context. But why specifically pick on the early Dutch contribution to modern world-system development? This will be justified in the first section below but the basic point is that I am approaching this world-systems analysis from a city-centric perspective. Hence my concern for the ‘city-rich Dutch’ as a pointer for understanding what the world cities literature identifies as a ‘city-rich globalization’. In effect I am trying to put some meat on the skeleton I proposed in my suggested recasting of world-systems analysis to include city networks (Taylor, 2002). As with the latter paper, I ask that this argument be treated in the spirit of an exploratory excursion into a world being ‘turned upside down’ yet again.
In addition I am taking this opportunity to experiment with merging Jacobs’ (1984) city economy analysis with Wallerstein’s world-systems analysis. Both arguments begin with the same starting point: a fundamental critique of the very existence of ‘national economies’. However, they differ in the direction that they then take their respective analyses: Wallerstein incorporates ‘national economies’ into a single world-economy, Jacobs divides ‘national economies’ into their constituent city economies. This paper is used as a vehicle to see whether these two sets of heretical economic thoughts can be brought together.

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