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Bipartite network projections of multi-locational corporations in world city research: realising the potential

Authors: Ben Derudder*, Ghent University
Topics: Urban Geography, Economic Geography
Keywords: Bipartite projections, world cities, network analysis
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 9:50 AM / 10:05 AM
Room: Virtual Track 11
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this paper, I evaluate the potential of bipartite network projections of multi-locational corporations in quantitative-structural analyses of world cities. Based on a review of the main approaches in this field, I make two main points. First, there is no such thing as an 'ideal' bipartite network projection. In this literature, the notion of ‘construct validity’ is vague because there is no comprehensive world city network: we are dealing with abstractions of a complex and multi-layered reality, and bipartite network projections are at best generic tools that can help capturing the multiple globalisations of specific sets of cities. Benchmarking and appraising different approaches can be a useful exercise, but only if it respects this diversity when doing so. Second, this literature would benefit from geographers no longer simply borrowing projections from the social networks literature. Instead, we should try and come up with bipartite network projections that more adequately capture the geographical nature of how multi-locational corporations/projects operate/unfold. I explore some of the potential possibilities in this regard.

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