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Globalizing City

The Urban and Economic Transformation of Accra, Ghana

Richard Grant

Publication Year: 2009

As urbanization of the world’s population grows at an ever-increasing pace, the need to understand the effects of globalization on cities is at the forefront of urban studies. Traditional scholarship largely employs a framework of analysis based on the globablizing experience of Western cities. In Globalizing City, Richard Grant draws on ten years of empirical research in Accra, Ghana’s capital city, to show how this African metropolis is as deeply transformed by globalization as the cities of other world regions.

Published by: Syracuse University Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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p. v


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p. vii


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p. ix


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p. xi

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pp. xiii-xv

I did not know what to expect on my first trip to Accra in June 1995. I anticipated it would be an eventful trip but could never have anticipated that I would write a book on the city. My work in Accra had a suspect beginning. I arrived for my very...


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pp. xvii-xviii

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1. Introduction: Globalizing City

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pp. 1-17

Ghana participated for the first time in the June 2006 World Cup Finals held in Germany. Ghana’s debut was an important event in the country’s history. “The Black Stars,” as the team’s supporters fondly refer to the national team...

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2. Globalizing from Above: Foreign Companies and Corporate Spaces

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pp. 18-41

Ghana, and mo r e particularly Accra, does not come to mind when thinking about investment hot spots globally. For example, UNCTAD’s World Investment Report of 2005 lists Ghana as an “underperforming country...

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3. Globalizing Residential Spaces: The Spread of Gated Communities

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pp. 42-65

Gated comm unities have become a striking feature of contemporary urbanism. Gated communities have been defined as “privately governed residential areas with restrictive entrances in which, normally, public spaces have been...

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4. Globalizing from Above and in Between: The Residential Building Boom

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pp. 66-89

In so many ways, Accra’s residential building boom is a huge information lacuna. The scale and extent of residential building along with the topic of housing affordability have become hot button issues in Ghanaian national politics. Already, presidential...

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5. In-Between Globalizing: Returnees’ Networks and Spaces

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pp. 90-110

Some return migrants to Ghana are recognized for making significant contributions to national development. One of the most celebrated returnees is Patrick Awuah, a Microsoft Corporation millionaire, who returned to Accra...

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6. Globalizing from Below: Slum Dwellers in a Globalizing City

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pp. 111-135

In the context of protracted debates about informal settler evictions in Accra, four slum dwellers, supported by a local NGO leader, obtained passports, purchased airline tickets, and participated in a Nairobi “official” visit. The slum dwellers...

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7. Conclusions

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pp. 136-154

There are three trends that are troubling with regards to the two most salient conceptualizations of urban economies in Africa. First, there is an unequal geography to urban theory, urban scholarship and urban research, as well as a bias toward...

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Appendix: Data Collection

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pp. 157-161

Much of the data for this book are based on two survey efforts. First, a large foreign company/corporate survey conducted September to December 1999, and a related and subsequent domestic company survey in February 2000. Second, a household residential...

Works Cited

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pp. 163-176


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pp. 177-187

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780815650973
E-ISBN-10: 0815650973
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815631729
Print-ISBN-10: 0815631723

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2009

OCLC Number: 437416946
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Globalizing City

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Globalization -- Ghana -- Accra.
  • Accra (Ghana) -- Economic conditions.
  • Urbanization -- Ghana -- Accra.
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