The network dimension

There is now a considerable literature on the role of cities as key nodes in an increasingly globalized economy. One expression of this can be found in recent large edited volumes such as this one: for instance, Scott (2001), Brenner and Keil (2006), Taylor et al. (2007, 2011, 2013) and Derudder et al. (2012) have mustered over 300 chapters between them but still represent only the tip of this particular iceberg. Within this literature, the research in the context of the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC, http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc) research network has pioneered a relational approach to understanding cities in globalization as a ‘world city network’ (WCN). One area of focus has been the formal analysis of inter-city relations of cities based on a precise specification of the WCN as an ‘interlocking network’ (e.g. Taylor, 2001; Taylor et al. 2011). In the initial specification of this model and in much of the subsequent empirical WCN research, it is put forward that globalized producer services firms are the key ‘network makers’: drawing on the work of Sassen (1991) and Castells (1996), it is posited that these firms 'interlock' cities through their global, city-centred location strategies.

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