The Global City: Challenges, Trust and the Role of Law

Trust is vital to society and trusting relations are vital to social cohesion and healthy and thriving communities, both at a global and at a local level. While trust is a notion that relates in many ways to the function of law in a society, it is not a common word in legal research. It is, however, used frequently to describe contemporary societal challenges. One locus of social challenges where trust - or the looming lack of it - plays a pivotal role is the ‘global city’. Throughout the ages, world cities or ‘global cities’ as they are currently called in literature, are in the forefront of trust-related challenges. In global cities with their great diversity of social, economic and ethnic backgrounds, religions, and lifestyles, ‘how to live together?’ and ‘how to create an urban culture of respect and trust?’ are perennial questions. The questions have a legal dimension as well: ‘what role can law play in the cultivation of such a culture?’

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