European Metropolis In Context Of Globalization And Localization Of Modern Political Processes


Due to expansion of urbanization and migration in Europe, ethnic and political processes have become aggravated, and metropolises have become a central place for localization of intercultural contacts. European cities are transformed into the object of realization of multiculturalism, development and maintenance of ethnic and cultural diversity and tolerance. Metropolises reflect simultaneous trends towards globalization and localization. Due to the deepening of processes of globalization, the role of localities and cultures is increasing. This article poses the question: what is the place of European metropolis in the modern world? What role does it play in global and local processes? Modern cities present zones of global risk. They suffer from increasing socio-economic vulnerability due to increasing poverty, ethnic conflicts and terrorism. The modern European metropolis is in search of ways to coordinate cultures and values of various civilizations. This research reflects the role of metropolis in implementation of multiculturalism policy and offers international and European cultural integration programs for consideration. Mechanisms for involving ethnic communities in social life are created in metropolises at the local level, and interests of communities are taken into account. European political institutions are creating action programs to implement these mechanisms. The policy of multiculturalism in the metropolis is reflected in searching ways to coordinate cultures and values ​​of different civilizations. The basic principle here is creation of the system of coexistence of cultures, a system of “inclusion” of everyone in public, political and socio-economic life.

Keywords: GlobalisationlocalizationEuropeanmetropolismulticulturalismimmigration


Under the conditions of simultaneous processes of globalization and localization, the interethnic and intercultural processes acquire a new quality and scale. Due to the growth of urbanization and migration processes in European cities, the ethnic and political processes have become aggravated, and metropolises have become a central place for the localization of intercultural contacts. They experience intense pressure of the growing ethnic and cultural diversity and social heterogeneity of the population.

In modern political processes there is a tendency of simultaneous interaction of global and local influence on political, economic and social systems. The aspiration to ensure that each culture realizes its own “particularity” in multicultural world can be described as a tendency toward glocalization (derived from the words globalization and localization). While world economic processes have long been global in nature, cities are trying to find their place under new conditions of distribution of labor, production and consumption (Khondker, 2004).

The problem of simultaneous globalization of the “local” component and localization of the “global” component can be described as a dual process of macro-localization and micro-globalization. The process of macro-localization involves expanding the boundaries of the “local” component, at the same time making local ideas and institutions global. Micro-globalization involves the transfer of certain global processes to the local level. These processes reflect the dialectical unity of different geopolitical scales. The main concept today is “think globally, act locally” (Leautier, 2006).

Observing the shift in the understanding of political, economic and social systems from “global” to “local”, urban research becomes an alternative geographical scale of analysis. Global social and economic transformations blur the traditional identification of people with a place of their residence, weakening the role of the nation-state as the source of identification. The self-identification of people, especially Europeans, is characterized by the shift from “national” to “urban”: belonging to a country becomes less significant than belonging to a city, and sometimes to a district of ​​a city. (Kozhevnikov & Pashkevich 2005)

Belonging to a certain city blocks and districts, what is called “neighborhood” in European tradition, is increasingly affecting the identification of urban residents. Urban areas can be defined as microcosms in which all the global problems of cities and countries are concentrated (Favel, 2001).

The culture of postmodernity is characterized by a rethinking of traditions and the revival of interest towards “local”. Postmodern theorists argue that people regain their territorial identity and local traditions, returning to local origin (Martinelli, 2006).

Due to the intensification of global processes, the role of local areas, cities, districts and their differentiation is increasing - many local cultures have the opportunity to develop and increase attention to their identity.

In this regard, the policy of localism and the decentralization of power are seen as the proper basis for the management of ethnic and cultural processes in cities. The localization of political processes leads to the construction of sociopolitical relations, the involvement of ethnic population in the decision-making process.

The globalization processes in the world have led to economic, political and cultural integration. The concept of global culture has appeared, sometimes called the global cultural landscape. One of the main dangers of the modern cultural landscape is the loss of identity by individual cultures, the loss of the identity of peoples and the unification of cultures. Global processes intensified population differentiation, which contributed to the formation of polymorphic urban cultures. Such cultures can enrich and strengthen cities, but can also serve as a reason of controversy and a reason for social exclusion (UN, 2004).

Problem Statement

The policy of multiculturalism is a system of targeted measures, the purpose of which is to ensure the constructive existence of different ethnic, religious and cultural groups within one liberal democratic society.

The local level becomes the most effective for the implementation of multicultural policies. Intercultural communications occur precisely at municipal level, since cities became “crossroads” and “meeting places” of cultures.

Cultural integration of ethnic minorities is most effective in metropolises where such processes as the activity of cultural centers, strengthening of traditions and features of ethnic minorities are possible. Possible ethnic conflicts also become frequent at the city level, and their local resolution is effective. (Achkasov, 2009)

In this process, metropolises act as regulators of multicultural relations, political and cultural “integrators”. Urban multiculturalism is a compromise between city authorities representing the majority culture and migrated populations. The city authorities create an institutional environment that ensures the successful integration of representatives of cultural minorities belonging to urban community.

The policy of multiculturalism in metropolis is the search for ways to coordinate the cultures and values ​​of different civilizations. The main principle here is the creation of the system of coexistence of cultures, a system of “inclusion” of everyone in public, political and socio-economic life. (Fokin, 2016)

Urban activities in the field of the implementation multiculturalism policy present the set of mechanisms developed and implemented by local governments together with social partners in order to increase the efficiency of using labor resources, the level and quality of life and reduce social tensions. (Casteneda & Minerva, 2017)

At the city and district levels, the multicultural policy includes such aspects as the unconditional respect for rights and freedoms of citizens, the ensuring of the legality of migration relations, the equality of citizens in social and labor relations, the interaction of authorities at all levels with civil society structures in order to discuss migration problems, the search of the best solutions and their implementation.

One of the most important for migration policy is the principle of interaction of authorities at all levels with the structures of civil society. Modern migration management involves the establishment of state and municipal authorities of purposeful systematic communications with different public groups; with public figures; with educational, non-profit organizations operating in the space of urban community; with mass media. (Sluka, 2004)

The municipal strategy is reflected in the following documents: the programs, projects and operational plans of urban areas, adopted by local self-government on the basis of local needs, as well as regulatory documents of the national level.

The directions of activity of urban areas are: the observance of social and economic interests of indigenous people and the development of urban social community, the determination of the balance of labor resources of the host social community and immigrant flows; the informing about the activities of the authorities in regulating migration flows, the provision by local authorities of social services to migrants for professional and social adaptation (Vasta, 2007).

The intensification of social cohesion, intercultural dialogue, cultural pluralism and peaceful coexistence of increasingly diverse and multicultural societies is reflected in the Habitat III, the document of United Nations organization presented in 2016. The international community is obliged to foster institutional, political, legal, and financial mechanisms in cities in order to expand inclusive platforms that will increase participation in decision-making, planning, and follow-up activities for all citizens without exception (Habitat III, 2016).

The European initiatives must be taken into account in the European context. With regard to the activities of the Council of Europe, it is worth noting the “European Urban Charter”. The first European Charter of Cities was adopted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in 1992. In 2008, the Council of Europe published the “European Urban Charter. The manifestation of new urbanism”. The paper notes that European cities in the face of global challenges have become the preferred place to reach a historic compromise between economic, social and environmental requirements. European cities present a favorable field for creative diversity, as they are full of powerful innovative forces. Also, these cities contribute to the flush of personality and access to knowledge and information. And finally, these are the cities of knowledge and culture, which need to know their past and diverse present in order to be aspired to their future. (European urban charter, 2008: European council, 2008).

It is necessary to mention one more interesting project of the Council of Europe, created in the cooperation with the European Commission in 2008. It is the Intercultural cities program. The concept of “intercultural cities” means that they are not just trying to cope with diversity, but they use it as a source of innovation, dynamics, growth and creativity. An intercultural city accepts its cultural diversity as a norm and offers assistance to both cultural minority and majority in order to assert its wealth and identification. The design of public places, educational institutions, the resettlement policy and the employment of such a city allow people with different cultural backgrounds interacting and exchanging ideas fruitfully. (Intercultural city, 2008).

Research Questions

The main issues that should be clarified during the research:

1. What is the place of metropolis in the modern world, what is its place in global and local processes?

2. What is the role of metropolis in the implementation of the policy of multiculturalism?

3. What is the policy of multiculturalism in a European city?

4. What are the functions of metropolis in the implementation of the policy of multiculturalism?

5. What international and European programs exist for the implementation of cultural integration policies in metropolises?

Purpose of the Study

European cities present the places of residence of different generations, the coexistence of different cultures and religions, in which citizens from different social strata live side by side. Urban society cannot develop on an equitable basis without providing mutual assistance between citizens, the dialogue between groups, including inter-religious dialogue, as well as the development of public organizations.

The purpose of this research is to find out what is need for European cities in order to continue the fight against social vulnerability, isolation and any forms of discrimination based on social status, culture, or religion.

Research Methods

In recent decades, the interest towards urban development has led to the formation of a special area - urban research. Initially, it appeared within the framework of economic geography and urban planning, which conducted a comprehensive analysis and study of problems related to the functioning and development of urban centers, and confirming the need for the creation and development of big cities.

Nowadays, urban research is the combination of geographical, economic, social, anthropological and cultural disciplines. In recent years, the researchers around the world have increased their awareness on the fact that metropolis is becoming a new marker that highlights national identity, identifies ethnic differences and the diversity of cultures from different countries and regions.

The main theories on which urban science is based are as follows: economic theory, modernization theory and civilization concept of social development, innovation theory, institutional theory of municipal government, as well as the theoretical and empirical basis of social and cultural research.


Metropolises perform a number of critical functions in carrying out the tasks related to multiculturalism policies.

Firstly, it is a social and economic function. The city acts as an employer and social service provider. As a service provider, city authorities support migrants' equal access to services, in particular access to language, accommodation, employment, health care, and education. As an employer, municipal authorities support ethnic diversity in the staff of employees, as well as fair and equal treatment of all the workers (Ranci, 2011).

The integration of ethnic minorities into society is determined by the degree of social cohesion. The city authorities of European countries are aimed to provide guarantees for the achievement of appropriate level of social protection, assistance in employment, vocational training and protection of workers' rights, promotion of equal opportunities, and the fight against social exclusion and discrimination. (Gladyshev, Ivanov, & Patrushev, 2003)

A metropolis also performs a cultural function, carrying out cultural integration, a process of in-depth cultural interaction and interaction among civilizations within the metropolis. Preserving their particularity, the cultures of different ethnic groups do not disappear, do not assimilate, but they have the opportunity to develop and survive. (Georgiou, 2017)

It is also necessary to note that a metropolis plays a dominant role in democratization. The city authorities must ensure equal rights and opportunities for all the citizens, on the one hand submitting to the national policy in this area, and on the other hand following local policy on the ground with particular initiatives. Thus, municipal authorities are “implementers” of political integration. A distinctive feature here is the realization of political participation and the inclusion of various groups in the decision-making process. The political participation of citizens can be estimated through the “openness” of the city’s administrative institutions, as well as the structural possibilities of political participation and the “inclusion” of migrants in social and organizational networks (Barry, 2000).

Thus, the management of migration processes includes a set of mechanisms: information-analytical, scientific expert, financial-economic, legal, organizational, managerial, technological, personnel, sociological, socio-psychological, as well as the creation of management infrastructure.

Under these conditions, the European metropolis plays several roles: as a policy maker, a social and cultural regulator, an employer and a service provider and in each of its roles it implements a policy of multiculturalism.


In order to draw the conclusion of this research it is necessary to determine the role of metropolis in the implementation of multicultural development policies. Thus, the city: contributes to the creation of a positive social attitude to the diversity and pluralistic identity of a city; creates flagship pilot projects in educational and social spheres, public services, business and economics, sports and culture, aimed at strengthening aspects of multiculturalism; recognizes the inevitability of conflicts in an ethnically mixed community and develops the ability of city authorities to resolve them and to promote a compromise between the parties as an intermediary; develops an international policy that allows demonstrating the openness of a city to ideas and influence from the outside world and selects suitable international projects for implementation;

In our opinion European metropolises, meet all the listed requirements, thereby implementing the policy of multiculturalism.

In addition it is necessary not to forget that metropolises present global risk areas: they suffer from increasing social and economic vulnerability due to increasing poverty, socio-spatial and politico-institutional fragmentation and often from extreme forms of segregation, inequality and conflict. Societies in metropolises are fragmented because of the direct proximity of very different local communities with different wealth and lifestyle (including ethnic and social groups).

 It is possible to observe such a negative aspect as the growth of right-wing radical movements, mass riots, and terrorist acts.

Political scientists associate the current wave of terror with globalization. It is characterized by an ideology of religious-political fundamentalism, primarily Islamist. Terrorism has become perceived as a central threat to security at all the levels of the functioning of world community: regional, national and global. In recent years, terrorists have attacked such cities as: Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Nice, St. Petersburg.

With the current pace of immigration, globalization and integration, the European population will become increasingly diverse; the urban population will face new challenges. (Ushanova, 2004)

 It can be stated that the leading role will be assigned to the metropolis: the European metropolis will act as a driving force in ethnic and cultural interactions. Many problems need to be solved ahead: many global problems at the local level. .


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29 March 2019

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Egoreichenko, A. B., Nikolaeva, Y., Bogolyubova, N. M., & Portnyagina, M. D. (2019). European Metropolis In Context Of Globalization And Localization Of Modern Political Processes. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 438-444). Future Academy.