Call for Papers: 'Mobility, Business Travel, and the Airline Industry in the Network Society'

GaWC logo
  Gateways into GaWC

2007 Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting
San Francisco, California, USA
17th-21st April 2007

Jon Beaverstock, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, UK
Ben Derudder, Department of Geography, Ghent University, Belgium
James Faulconbridge, Department of Geography, Lancaster University, UK
Frank Witlox, Department of Geography, Ghent University, Belgium

Mobility is now a primary discourse in globalization debates. This takes many forms but, in economic terms, business travel now appears to be the fundamental production process in constructing and reproducing the Network Society and the global, knowledge-based economy. Explanations for this include clients' expectations of the delivery of expertise, advice, and one-off solutions through face-to-face encounters, the internal/external labour markets of Transnational Corporations and the mobility associated with maintaining various forms of stretched, social management practices and relationships. Cross-border airline business travel has, therefore, become a significant global flow and generator of corporate and world city networks. Coupled to this are the infrastructures of airport and hotel chains around the world and the associated economies that service the daily requirements of the business traveller. This opens up a whole new range of debates and also points to new industries such as business traveller intelligence that now provides advice to business travellers on accommodation, visas and security. The latter issues also raise questions about the geographical effects of state border controls and political geographies on the mobility of the so-called ‘knowledge worker'. Importantly, encircling all of these discussions is also the rising discontent associated with the environment impacts of air travel and the likely future challenges to current mobility practice. The aim of this session is to explore contemporary geographical debates associated with such mobility, the airline industry, business travel and forms of corporate mobility more widely. Topics might include but are not limited to:

  • Airline business travel flows and patterns
  • Airline travel and world city networks
  • Business travel and mobility generally as a production process in transnational corporations
  • Business travel economies (airports, airlines, hotels etc)
  • Mobility and mobility technologies and their consequences for work practices (e.g. the mobile office; the mobile phone; geographies and effects of wireless internet access)
  • Low-cost airlines, mobility and business travel
  • The continued importance and growth of the airline business travel in a digital society
  • Business travel, the environment and future challenges;
  • The political geography of business travel and restrictions upon it.

If you are interested in participating in this session, please send title and abstract (of no more than 250 words) to Jon Beaverstock (, Ben Derudder (, James Faulconbridge ( and Frank Witlox ( by 15th October 2006 at the latest.

For AAG abstract specifications, see