Global pasts and local future in the Detroit-Windsor Transnational Metropolitan Area
This chapter critiques the dominant growth-oriented perspective on globalization by illustrating the means by which a particular transnational metropolitan area, that of Detroit-Windsor (USA-Canada), is operating in a manner precisely opposite to the dominant teleological trajectory projected by the advocates of globalization for world-regions like New York, Tokyo, London, and emerging global cities elsewhere in Asia. Detroit-Windsor is a swiftly deglobalizing region- a binational metropolitan area whose global dominance has been shrinking for the past several decades. Once a leader in global automobile manufacturing and the home, as of 1955, of three of the largest five corporations in the world (Fortune 2008), Detroit-Windsor has undergone a shocking deindustrialization in the succeeding five decades that has devastated the economy and landscape of much of the region. Even more profound is the region’s transformation from a global leader, if not a global city, to what can only be described as an increasingly marginal role on the world economic stage. In spite of its location straddling two of the world’s largest and wealthiest economies (USA and Canada), Detroit-Windsor stands as a signal example of deglobalization, or localization, in a world that seems to be obsessed with the opposite transformation. The global past of Detroit-Windsor, focused on automobile production and associated industries, is over; what lies ahead will almost certainly be a local future based, if policy makers have their way, on leisure, tourism, and casino gambling.