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"The Middle East Metropolises in Times of Globalisation: Territorial Recomposition, Regional Competition, Global Insertion" (GLOBALMIDDLEEAST)
Start date: Apr 1, 2008, End date: Mar 31, 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"This is a human geography research project which aims at describing and analysing the way metropolises in the Middle East are inserted in the global network and hierarchy of world-cities, and the modes of such insertion. This project focuses on cities which, in leading studies of global cities, are considered to be located on the periphery (Cairo, Beirut, Damascus, Dubai). The research will discuss the indicators and approaches commonly used in main stream studies, which tend to draw their conclusions from the developed world model, presented as “universal”. The proposed research will fill this theoretical gap while offering a model which will take into account the social, territorial and economic changes that occur in the “South”. On the analytical side, the questioning of the modes of insertion of Middle Eastern metropolises in the world-economy and in the network of global cities will provide a comprehensive understanding of the paths embraced by the countries of the region towards globalisation. This research will also provide first-hand data on the contemporary economical and social transformations of the Middle East, a region more famed for its conflicts than for its participation to modernity through globalisation. Therefore, this project has a clear regional scope. Based on the analysis of the intensified relations, flows and networks, it will question the emergence of a genuine regional system since the 1990s, and will identify its locations (mostly metropolitan) and its actors. This regional system rests on the different economic liberalization processes and on the opening of the area to globalisation. The articulation of the globalisation and the regional dimension will be assessed against the impacts of different regional projects, such as the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), launched in 2005, or the Euromed Partnership (for the Mediterranean countries), today complemented by the European Neighbourhood Policy."

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