From the beginning of the article:
The recent focus on the global flows of capital, information, ideas and people and their implications for nation-state institutions (see, for example, Robertson 1992; Hall 1992; Lash & Urry 1994; Castells 1996, 1997) has highlighted the role played by different kinds of travellers, such as tourists, poor migrant workers and corporate elites. ‘Globalisation’ appears to challenge policies based around the nationstate since its boundaries cannot control these global flows. Indeed, national governments in W. Europe have adapted their welfare state provisions in response to what they perceive as ‘globalisation’ (Sykes, Palier & Prior 2001). A number of cities in the European region are now heavily involved in competing with each other to attract footloose global capital through their financial and business services and their success provides further evidence of the nationstate’s limitations.
London is a prime example of these developments. Indeed, Saskia Sassen in her book, The Global City (1991), reinforced by her subsequent writings and her research collaboration with the Globalization and World Cities Network based at Loughborough University, has sought to establish the credentials of London, together with New York and Tokyo, as a dominant site for footloose global capital in a hierarchy of cities around the world. She detected the emergence of a new urban spatial order during the 1970s and 1980s through the massive expansion of financial and business corporations, high technology industries, information and media services. This new order was defined by a socioeconomic polarisation between the extremely wealthy members of the business and financial elites, on the one hand, and the lowly paid providers of services to these elites on the other. Many of these lowly paid workers in London and New York were recent immigrants who were creating minority ethnic enclaves sometimes in close proximity to wealthy neighbourhoods and ‘gated communities’.