Conference paper
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Abstract: “Global city” is one of the most successful and contested terms to emerge from urban studies but one that is often criticized for being over-occupied with economic-centric thinking. There are growing calls for the need to go beyond “economicism” (Bourdieu 1985) while not dismissing the prominent positioning of global economic processes in the production of the global city. By organizing their urban texture with international hubs and cultural hallmarks, Australia’s global cities have devised strategic policies to maintain their ‘grip’ on global audiences, while enhancing their attractiveness as central places of the world-system. Global city policies have pushed the Australian metropolis to become a provider for much wider publics than their local constituencies. They serve their urban community, but also national economies and, in many cases, other governments and nonstate actors, in an intricate web of trans-national and cross-regional relations. Yet there remains a poor comprehension of the avenues beyond economic-centric considerations that work to shape and sustain this global city frame. This paper focuses on our concern with the present paucity of multidisciplinary discussions of the idea of the “global city” and what we perceive as a need for a more critical consideration of the practical challenges in Australian urban research.

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