This Research Bulletin has been published in S Sassen (ed) (2002) Global Networks, Linked Cities New York, London: Routledge, 1-36.
There have long been cross-border economic processes--flows of capital, labor, goods, raw materials, travellers. And over the centuries there have been enormous fluctuations in the degree of openness or closure of the organizational forms within which these flows took place. In the last hundred years, the inter-state system came to provide the dominant oganizational form for cross-border flows, with national states as its key actors. It is this condition that has changed dramatically over the last decade as a result of privatisation, deregulation, the opening up of national economies to foreign firms, and the growing participation of national economic actors in global markets.
In this context we see a re-scaling of what are the strategic territories that articulate the new system. With the partial unbundling or at least weakening of the national as a spatial unit come conditions for the ascendance of other spatial units and scales. Among these are the sub-national, notably cities and regions; cross-border regions encompassing two or more sub-national entities; and supra-national entities, i.e. global electronic markets and free trade blocs. The dynamics and processes that get terrritorialized or are sited at these diverse scales can in principle be regional, national and global. There is a proliferatin of specialized global circuits for economic activities which both contribute to and constitute these new scales (Storper 1997; Scott 2000; Veltz 1996; Gravesteijn et al. 1998, Jessop 1999; Brenner 1998; Sum 1999).
The organizational architecture for cross-border flows that emerges from these re-scalings and articulations increasingly diverges from that of the inter-state system. The key articulators now include not only national states but also firms and markets whose global operations are facilitated by new policies and cross-border standards produced by willing or not-so willing states. Among the empirical referents for these non-state forms of articulation are the growing number of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, the expanding networks of foreign affiliates, and the growing numbers of financial centers that are becoming incorporated into global financial markets. As a result of these and other processes to be addressed in this essay, a growing number of cities today play an increasingly important role in directly linking their national economies with global circuits. As cross-border transactions of all kinds grow, so do the networks binding particular configurations of cities (Yeung 2000; Warf and Erickson 1996; Santos et al. 1994). This in turn contributes to the formation of new geographies of centrality that connect cities in a growing variety of cross-border networks.
A key feature of this organizational architecture is that it contains not only the capabilities for enormous geographic dispersal and mobility but also pronounced territorial concentrations of resources necessary for the management and servicing of that dispersal and mobility. The management and servicing of much of the global economic system takes place in a growing network of global cities and cities that might best be described as having global city functions. The growth of global management and servicing activities has brought with it a massive upgrading and expansion of central urban areas, even as large portions of these cities fall into deeper poverty and infrastructural decay (Marcuse and Van Kempen 2000; Peraldi and Perrin 1996; Pozos and Ponce 1996). While this role involves only certain components of urban economies, it has contributed to a re-positioning of cities both nationally and globally. Further, the fact that global processes are at least partly embedded in national territories via the concentration of specialized global management and servicing functions in cities, introduces new variables in current conceptions about the relation of economic globalization and the state. That is to say, the geography for major new global economic processes partly overrides the duality global/national presupposed in much analysis of the relation between the global economy and state authority. National states have had to participate in creating the enabling institutional and legal environments that contribute to the formation of this cross-border geography for crucial functions largely embedded in the network of global cities.
The central effort in this book is to contribute to the empirical and theoretical specification of this organizational architecture. It does so by focusing on how cities in the mid-range of the global hierarchy become articulated with cross-border economic circuits and by examining the implications of the new networking technologies for both heightening and reducing inequality in this hierarchy. The factors involved are many, including state policy, the capabilities brought on by telecommunications and the new networking technologies, older histories of economic advantage enjoyed by some cities, and location in specialized global circuits. The positioning of these cities in the mid-range of the global hierarchy provides a somewhat distinct cast to the operation of these variables and fills a gap in the scholarship on this subject. But perhaps more importantly for purposes of research and theorization, it allows us to capture a dynamic in formation, unlike what is the case with already well-established global cities.
In examining how cities become part of global circuits there are several possible units of analysis. The chapters in this book focus, among others, on current global and local architectures of technical connectivity, firms and their overseas offices, cross-border transactions such as investment and trade, alliances among financial markets, and growth of transnational labor markets for professionals and specialized service workers. But there are, in principle, many other units of analysis that one might have considered, such as illegal trafficking networks in people, drugs, stolen goods; immigrant personal and business networks; art biennales; the art market; tourism patterns (for instance, stops for major cruise lines) activists networks, from environmentalists and human rights efforts to poor peoples' activist networks. It is impossible to cover such a diverse range of units of analysis in one book.
In this introduction I focus on some of the key features of the global economic system to provide a larger framework for the ensuing chapters. Among these features are the combination of centralization and dispersal trends, the disproportionate concentration of value and transactions in the North Atlantic, the role of cities in an increasingly digitized global economy, especially as illustrated by the growth of finance and specialized services, and the impact of the new networking technologies on urban economies.
WORLDWIDE NETWORKS AND CENTRAL COMMAND FUNCTIONS
The geography of globalization contains dynamics of both dispersal and centralization. The massive trends towards the spatial dispersal of economic activities at the metropolitan, national and global level which we associate with globalization have contributed to a demand for new forms of territorial centralization of top-level management and control functions. Insofar as these functions benefit from agglomeration economies even in the face of telematic integration of a firm's globally dispersed manufacturing and service operations, they tend to locate in cities. This raises a question as to why they should benefit from agglomertion economies, especially since globalized eocnomic sectors tend to be intensive users of the new telecommunications and computer technologies and increasingly produce a partly de-materialized output, such as financial instruments and specialized services. Garcia (this volume) examines the extent to which business networks are a crucial variable that is to be distinguished from technical networks. Such business networks have been crucial long before the current networking technologies were developed. Business networks benefit from agglomeration economies and hence thrive in cities even today when instantaneous global communication is possible. Elsewhere (2001: chapters two and five) I examine this issue and find that the key variable contributing to the spatial concentration of central functions and associated agglomeration economies is the extent to which this dispersal occurs under conditions of concentration in control, ownership and profit appropriation. This dynamic of simultaneous geographic dispersal and concentration is one of the key elements of the organizational architecture of the global economic system. Let me first give several empirical referents and then examine some of the implications for theorizing the impacts of globalization and the new technologies on cities.
The rapid growth of affiliates illustrates the dynamic of simultaneous geographic dispersal and concentration of a firm's operations. By 1999 firms had well over half a million affiliates outside their home countries accounting for US$11 trillion in sales, a very significant figure if we consider that global trade stood at US$ 8 trillion (Table 1). Taylor et al. (this volume) examine a specific instance by showing the global geography of offices for leading London firms in finance, accounting, law and advertising. Firms with large numbers of geographically dispersed factories and service outlets face massive new needs for central coordination and servicing, especially when their affiliates involve foreign countries with different legal and accounting systems. Tables 2 and 3 show the global network of affiliates for Chicago based firms in two of these four sectors, accounting and advertising.
Another instance today of this negotiation between a global cross-border dynamic and territorialy specific sites is that of the global financial markets. The orders of magnitude in these transactions have risen sharply, as illustrated by the 1999 US$ 68 trillion in the value of traded derivatives, a major component of the global economy. These transactions are partly embedded in electronic systems that make possible the instantaneous transmission of money and information around the globe. Much attention has gone to this capacity for instantaneous transmission. But the other half of the story is the extent to which the global financial markets are actually located in cities. Expansion in these markets is partly a function of the expanding number of cities that become part of the global network. Even as the volume of the industry has risen sharply there has not been a significant reduction in the disproportionate concentration of assets in cities of the global North. Indeed, the degrees of concentration internationally and within countries are unexpectedly high for an increasingly globalized and electronic economic sector. Inside countries the leading financial centers today concentrate a greater share of national financial activity than even ten years ago, and internationally, cities in the global North concentrate well over half of the global capital market. (I discuss this subject empirically in a later section). Stock markets comprise one of the components of the global capital market. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the addition of markets such as Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Bangkok, Taipei, Moscow, and growing numbers of non-national firms listed in many of these markets. This growing number of financial centers incorporated in the global capital market has contributed to raise the capital that can be mobilized through the global network, reflected in the sharp worldwide growth of stock market capitalization which reached over US$30 trillion in 2000 . This globally integrated stock market system which makes possible the circulation of publicly listed shares around the globe in seconds, is embedded in a grid of very material, physical, strategic places.
The specific forms assumed by globalization over the last decade have created particular organizational requirements (e.g. Amin and thrift 1995; Aspen instutute 1998; Castells and Hall 1994). The emergence of global markets for finance and specialized services, the growth of investment as a major type of international transaction, all have contributed to the expansion in central functions and in the demand for specialized services for firms.
By central functions I do not only mean headquarter functions; I am referring to all the top level financial, legal, accounting, managerial, executive, planning functions necessary to run a corporate organization operating in multiple countries. These central functions are partly embedded in headquarters, but also in good part in what has been called the corporate services complex, that is, the network of financial, legal, accounting, advertising firms that handle the complexities of operating in more than one national legal system, national accounting system, advertising culture, etc. and do so under conditions of rapid innovations in all these fields.1 Such services have become so specialized and complex, that headquarters increasingly buy them from specialized firms rather than producing them in-house. These agglomerations of firms producing central functions for the management and coordination of global economic systems, are disproportionately concentrated in an expanding network of global cities. This network represents a strategic factor in the organization of the global economy.
It is important analytically to unbundle the fact of strategic functions for the global economy or for global operation, and the overall corporate economy of a country. These global control and command functions are partly embedded in national corporate structures but also constitute a distinct corporate subsector. This subsector in each city can be conceived of as part of a network that connects global cities across the globe through firms' affiliates or other representative offices, and through the specialized servicing and management of crossborder transactions.2 For the purposes of certain kinds of inquiry this distinction may not matter; for the purposes of understanding the global economy, it does.3
National and global markets as well as globally integrated organizations require central places where the work of globalization gets done. Finance and advanced corporate services are industries producing the organizational commodities necessary for the implementation and management of global economic systems. Cities are preferred sites for the production of these services, particularly the most innovative, speculative, internationalized service sectors. Further, leading firms in information industries require a vast physical infrastructure containing strategic nodes with hyperconcentration of facilities; we need to distinguish between the capacity for global transmission/communication and the material conditions that make this possible. Finally, even the most advanced information industries have a production process that is at least partly place-bound because of the combination of resources it requires even when the outputs are hypermobile.
Theoretically this addresses two key issues in current debates and scholarship. One of these is the complex articulation beween capital fixity and capital mobility, and the other, the position of cities in a global economy (See e.g. Castells 1996; Allen et al. 1999; Kostinsky 1997; Cohen et al. 1996; Ascher 1995). Elsewhere (2001: Chapter 2) I have developed the thesis that capital mobility cannot be reduced simply to that which moves nor can it be reduced to the technologies that facilitate movement. Rather, multiple components of what we keep thinking of as capital fixity are actually components of capital mobility. This conceptualization allows us to reposition the role of cities in an increasingly globalizing world, in that they contain the resources (including fixed capital) that enable firms and markets to have global operations.4 The mobility of capital, whether in the form of investments, trade or overseas affiliates, needs to be managed, serviced, coordinated. These are often rather place-bound, yet are key components of capital mobility. Finally, states --place-bound institutional orders-- have played an often crucial role in producing regulatory environments that facilitate the implementation of cross-border operations for national as well as foreign firms, investors, and markets (Sassen 2002).
In brief, a focus on cities makes it possible to recognize the anchoring of multiple cross-border dynamics in a network of places, prominent among which are cities, particularly global cities or those with global city functions. This in turn anchors various features of globalization in the specific conditions and histories of these cities and in their variable insertions in their national economies and in various world economies across time and place. The chapters on Mexico City (Parnreiter, this volume), Beirut (Huybrechts, this volume), Shanghai (Gu and Tang, this volume), and Buenos Aires (Ciccolella and Mignaqui, this volume), all explore the specific trajectories through which these cities are becoming part of global circuits in the current period. This type of conceptualization about globalization contributes to identifying a complex organizational architecture which cuts across borders and is both partly de-territorialized and partly spatially concentrated in cities. Further, it creates an enormous research agenda in that every particular national or urban economy has its specific and partly inherited modes of articulating with current global circuits. The chapter by Taylor et al. in this volume begins to develop a new methodology for this type of research. Once we have more information about this variance we may also be able to establish whether position in the global hierarchy makes a difference and the various ways in which it might do so.
THE GEOGRAPHY OF CROSS-BORDER CAPITAL FLOWS
This type of analysis of globalization, which seeks to map the strategic sites with hyperconcentration of resources as well as the crossborder networks that link these sites and others, helps us understand to what extent there is a specific geography of globalization and the fact that it is not a planetary event encompassing all of the world.5 It is, furthermore, a changing geography, one that has undergone multiple, often specialized transformations over the last few centuries and over the last two decades6, and most recently has come to include electronic space.
A first step in capturing this geography of globalization is to examine some of the patterns of cross-border capital flows. These flows are often used as (partial) indicators of economic globalization. The empirical patterns of foreign direct investment and global finance show both a sharp concentration in certain areas of the world and a growing incorporation of particular sites in the less developed world. The evidence makes it clear that the center of gravity lies in the North Atlantic region. The northern trans-atlantic economic system (particularly the links among the European Union, the US and Canada) represents the major concentration of processes of economic globalization in the world today. This holds whether one looks at foreign direct investment flows generally, at cross-border mergers and acquisitions in particular, at overall financial flows or at the new strategic alliances among financial centers. The North-Atlantic accounts for two-thirds of worldwide stock market capitalisation, 60% of inward foreign investment stock and 76% of outward stock, 60% of worldwide sales in M&As, and 80% of purchases in M&As. There are other major regions in the global economy receiving capital flows --Japan, South East Asia, Latin America-- but they are dwarfed by the weight of the northern trans-atlantic system. (See Table 4; See also Schiffer: Table A-4, this volume). A second major pattern is the significant growth in the absolute level of flows going to other parts of the world, even though they do not compare with the North Atlantic region. Disaggregating these patterns makes it clear that it is a select number of sites where the capital is actually going to. Flows in Latin America reflect these two patterns well: a massive increase in foreign investment but mostly concentrated in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. (See Table 5; See also Schiffer Table A-4, this volume).
Cross-border M&As today dominate global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. M&As are heavily concentrated in OECD countries which account for 89% of purchases and 72% of sales. A growing number of firms opt for mergers as a mode of overseas expansion or consolidation. For instance, acquisitions represented 90% of total FDI in the US in 1996. In 1998 M&As in the North Atlantic reached US$256.5 billion, up from US$69.4 billion in 1995. The average transnationality index for the EU is 56.7% compared to 38.5% for the US (but 79.2 for Canada). This index is an average based on ratios of the share that foreign sales, assets and employment represent in a firm's total of each. The Index has grown for the 100 largest TNCs in the world since it was first used in 1990. Most of the US and EU TNCs in this top 100 list have very high levels of foreign assets as a percentage of total assets: for instance, 51% for IBM, 55% for Volkswagen Group, 91% for Nestle, 96% for Asea Brown Boveri, and so on. The US, the UK, France, Germany, and Japan together accounted for 3/4 of these 100 firms in 1997; this has been roughly so since 1990.
We are seeing the consolidation of a transnational economic system that has its center of gravity in the north-atlantic both in terms of the intensity and value of transactions, and in terms of the emerging body of rules and standards. This system is articulated with a growing network of sites for investment, trade, and financial transactions, in the rest of the world. Thus while globalization does indeed entail dispersal, it is also evident that the combination of concentration and network expansion makes for a strongly hierarchical distribution.
The weight of the North Atlantic system in the global economy raises a number of questions. One concerns the extent to which this growing interdependence is moving towards the formation of a cross-border economic system.7 The weight of these trans-atlantic links needs to be considered against the weight of established zones of influence for each of the major powers -- particularly, the Western Hemisphere in the case of the US, and Africa, Central and East Europe for the European Union. Elsewhere I have argued that incorporation in a hierachical global network centered in the North Atlantic now increasingly shapes the economic relations of the US and major European countries with their zones of influence. Thus, while the US is still a dominant force in Latin America, several European countries have become major investors in Latin America on a scale far surpassing past trends. And while several European Union countries have become leading investors in Central and Eastern Europe, U.S. firms are playing a role they never played before. This contributes to shape a new grid of economic transactions superimposed on the old geoeconomic patterns. The latter persist in variable extents, but they are increasingly submerged under this new cross-border grid.
IMPACTS OF NEW COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES ON CENTRALITY
Cities have historically provided national economies, polities and societies with something we can think of as centrality. In terms of their economic function, cities provide agglomeration economies, massive concentrations of information on the latest developments, and a marketplace. How do the new technologies of communication alter the role of centrality and hence of cities and metro areas as economic entities particularly for those sectors that can benefit from the new communication technologies? And, further, how do they alter the spatial organization inside cities and metro areas as they alter the meaning of centrality?
Centrality remains a key feature of today's global economy. But today there is no longer a simple straightforward relation between centrality and such geographic entites as the downtown, or the central business district (CBD). (Veltz 1996; Scott 2000; Snatos et al. 1994). In the past, and up to quite recently in fact, the center was synonymous with the downtown or the CBD. Today, partly as a result of the new communication technologies, the spatial correlates of the center can assume several geographic forms, ranging from the CBD to a new global grid of cities. Simplifying one could identify three forms assumed by centrality today.8
First, while there is no longer a simple straightforward relation between centrality and geographic entities such as the downtown, the CBD remains a key form of centrality. But the CBD in major international business centers is one profoundly reconfigured by technological and economic change (Abu-Lughod 1999; Souza 1994; Beauregard 1991). Graham (this volume) examines the variety of impacts of the new communication technologies on this reconfiguration, and the chapters on Mexico City (Parnreiter, this volume), Beirut (Huybrechts, this volume), Shanghai (Gu and Tang, this volume), and Buenos Aires (Ciccolella and Mignaqui, this volume; See also Pirez 1994), describe the multiple ways in which this can occurr.
Second, the center can extend into a metropolitan area in the form of a grid of nodes of intense business activity (Veltz 1996; Marcuse and van Kempen 2000). This is a case well illustrated by recent developments in Buenos Aires (Ciccolella and Mignaqui, this volume). One might ask whether a spatial organization characterized by dense strategic nodes spread over a broader region does or does not constitute a new form of organizing the territory of the "center," rather than, as in the more conventional view, an instance of suburbanization or geographic dispersal. Insofar as these various nodes are articulated through cyber-routes or digital highways, they represent a new geographic correlate of the most advanced type of "center." The places that fall outside this new grid of digital highways, however, are peripheralized. This regional grid of nodes represents, in my analysis, a reconstitution of the concept of region. Far from neutralizing geography the regional grid is likely to be embedded in conventional forms of communications infrastructure, notably rapid rail and highways connecting to airports. Ironically perhaps, conventional infrastructure is likely to maximize the economic benefits derived from telematics. I think this is an important issue that has been lost somewhat in discussions about the neutralization of geography through telematics.
Third, we are seeing the formation of a transterritorial "center" constituted via telematics and intense economic transactions. It consists of the multiple and diversifying inter-city links that take place partly in electronic markets and transactions and partly through the intensifying circulation of goods, information, firms and workers. In this regard this is both a territorialized and deterritorialized space of centrality. It requires both a specific logic for territorial development and the infrastucture for global networking technologies. The work of developing a city's capability for "housing" global city functions is well described in all the chapters focused on specific cities and regions in this book. These chapters show us how the development of global city functions entails a whole new logic for territorial development; to achieve this takes enormous resources, both private and governmental, and it takes re-regulation of crucial sectors by governments. The chapters by Garcia, Graham, Taylor, and Meyer show us the formation of cross-border networks that connect cities through technology, business transactions, and affiliates. The most powerful of these new geographies of centrality at the inter-urban level binds the major international financial and business centers: New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong, among others.9 But this geography now also includes cities such as Sao Paulo and Mexico City. The intensity of transactions among these cities, particularly through the financial markets, trade in services, and investment has increased sharply, and so have the orders of magnitude involved. We are also seeing emergent regional geographies of centrality, as is illustrated by the case of Sao Paulo in the Mercosur free-trade area (Schiffer, this volume) and by the relation between the participating entities in the Iran-Dubai corridor (Parsa and Keivafin, this volume).
The specific processes through which new spaces of centrality are constituted, can also be expected to have an impact on inequality between cities and inside cities. We would expect these processes to reorganize particular features of space inside each city and region and to reorganize their articulation with national and global economic circuits (For a broad range of perspectives see, e.g. tardanico and Lungo 1995; keil 1993; Sum 1999; persky and Wievel 1994; Nijman 1996; Landrieu et al. 1998). Graham (this volume) points out that there is an expectation in much of the literature about these technologies that they will override older hierarchies and spatial inequalities through the universalizing of connectivity that they represent. The chapters in this book suggest that this is not quite the case. Whether it is the network of financial centers and foreign direct investment patterns discussed in this chapter, or the more specific examinations of the spatial organization in particular cities, the new communication technologies have not reduced hierarchy nor spatial inequalities. Nor have socio-economic inequalities been reduced in the cities examined here (For other cities, see e.g. Baum 1997; Elliott 1999; Fincher and Jacobs 1998; King 1995). And this is so even in the face of massive upgradings and state of the art infrastructure in all of the cities examined in this book.
There is little doubt that connecting to global circuits has brought with it a significant level of development of expanded central urban areas and metropolitan grids of business nodes, and considerable economic dynamism. But various forms of spatial unevenness have not been reduced; on the contrary, all these chapters show that they have increased even as economic dynamism and spatial upgrading of expanding areas inside these cities and regions have also occurred. Further, the pronounced and sharpened orientation to the world markets evident in growing economic sectors in these cities raises questions about the articulation with their national economies, their regions, and the larger economic and social structure inside these cities. Cities have typically been deeply embedded in the economies of their region, indeed often reflecting the characteristics of the latter; and they still do. But cities that are strategic sites in the global economy tend, in part, to disconnect from their region. This conflicts with a key proposition in traditional scholarship about urban systems, namely, that these systems promote the territorial integration of regional and national economies. There has been a sharpening inequality in the concentration of strategic resources and activities between each of these cities and others in the same country, though this tends to be evident only at fairly disaggregated levels of evidence. For example, Mexico City today concentrates a higher share of some types of economic activity and value production than it did in the past, but to see this requires a very particularized set of analyses, as Parnreiter (this volume) shows us.10 Though with different modalities, this also holds for Buenos Aires (Ciccollela and Mignaqui, this volume).
THE INTERSECTION OF SERVICE INTENSITY AND GLOBALIZATION
To understand the new or sharply expanded role of a particular kind of city in the world economy since the early l980s, we need to focus on the intersection of two major processes. The first is the sharp growth in the globalization of economic activity; this has raised the scale and the complexity of transactions, thereby feeding the growth of top-level multinational headquarter functions and the growth of advanced corporate services. With qualifications, this also holds for multi-site firms that operate only nationally. Thus while these firms need not negotiate the complexities of international borders and the regulations of different countries, they are still faced with a territorially dispersed network of operations that requires centralized control and servicing.
The second process we need to consider is the growing service intensity in the organization of all industries. By this term I mean that today firms in all sectors of the economy --from mining and manufacturing to finance and consumer services-- buy more intermediate service inputs. This has contributed to a massive overall growth in the demand for producer services, including financial, accounting, insurance, communication, and maintenance services.11 The key process from the perspective of the urban economy derived from this growing demand for services by firms in all industries is the fact that cities are preferred production sites for such services, whether at the global, national, or regional level. Hence the increase in service intensity in the organization of all industries has had a significant growth effect on cities beginning in the 1980s in the North Atlantic and in the 1990s in Latin America and Asia. As a result we see in cities the formation of a new urban economic core of financail and service activities that comes to replace the older typically manufacturing oriented core. Some of these cities cater to regional or subnational markets; others cater to national markets and yet others cater to global markets. Seen analytically, globalization changes the scale and adds complexity to these patterns of urban growth.
In the case of cities that are major international business centers, the scale, power, and profit levels of this new core suggest that we are seeing the formation of a new urban economy. This is so in at least two regards. First, even though these cities have long been centers for business and finance, since the late 1970s there have been dramatic changes in the structure of the business and financial sectors, as well as sharp increases in the overall magnitude of these sectors and their weight in the urban economy. Second, the ascendance of the new finance and services complex, particularly international finance, engenders what may be regarded as a new economic regime. That is, although this sector may account for only a fraction of the economy of a city, it imposes itself on that larger economy. Most notably, the possibility for superprofits in finance has the effect of devalorizing manufacturing insofar as the latter cannot generate the superprofits typical in much financial activity (See e.g. graham and Spence 1997; Harris and Fabricius 1996; Moulert and Scott 1997).
But not everything in the economy of these cities has changed. There are continuities and many similarities with cities that are not global nodes. Rather, the implantation of global processes and markets has meant that the internationalized sector of the economy has expanded sharply and has imposed a new valorization dynamic -- that is, a new set of criteria for valuing or pricing various economic activites and outcomes. This has had devastating effects on large sectors of the urban economy. High prices and profit levels in the internationalized sector and its ancillary activities, such as top-of-the-line restaurants and hotels, have made it increasingly difficult for other sectors to compete for space and investments. Many of these other sectors have experienced considerable downgrading and/or displacement, as, for example, neighborhood shops tailored to local needs are replaced by upscale boutiques and restaurants catering to new high income urban elites.
These trends became evident in the late 1980s in the global cities of the North and in the early 1990s in a number of major cities in the developing world that have become integrated into various world markets: Sao Paulo (Schiffer, this volume), Buenos Aires (Ciccolella and Mignaqui, this volume), Bangkok, Taipei, Shanghai (Gu and Tang, this volume), Beirut (Huybrechts, this volume), and Mexico City (Parnreiter, this volume) are only a few examples. As in the North, also here the new urban core was fed by the deregulation of various economic sectors, ascendance of finance and specialized services, and integration into the world markets. The opening of stock markets to foreign investors and the privatization of what were once public sector firms have been crucial institutional arenas for this articulation. Given the vast size of some of these cities, the impact of this new core on the broader city is not always as evident as in central London or Frankfurt, but the transformation is still very real.
It is important to recognize that manufacturing remains a crucial sector in all these economies, even when it may have ceased to be a dominant sector in major cities. The interaction between manufacturing and the producer services is complex and the subject of disagreement.12 In my research (2001) I have found that even when manufacturing -- and mining and agriculture, for that matter -- feeds growth in the demand for producer services, its actual location is of secondary importance in the case of global level service firms. Thus whether manufacturing plants are located offshore or within a country may be quite irrelevant as long as these plants are part of a multinational corporation likely to buy the services from those top-level firms. Second, the territorial dispersal of plants, especially if international, actually raises the demand for producer services. This is yet another meaning, or consequence, of globalization: the growth of producer service firms headquartered in New York or London or Paris can be fed by manufacturing located anywhere in the world as long as it is part of a multinational corporate network. Third, a good part of the producer services sector is fed by financial and business transactions that either have nothing to do with manufacturing, as is the case in many of the global financial markets, or for which manufacturing is incidental, as in much merger and acquisition activity centered as it is on buying and selling firms rather than the buying of manufacturing firms as such.
THE LOCATIONAL AND INSTITUTIONAL EMBEDDEDNESS OF GLOBAL FINANCE
Several of the issues discussed thus far assume particularly sharp forms in the emerging global network of financial centers. The global financial system has reached levels of complexity that require the existence of a cross-border network of financial centers to service the operations of global capital.13 This network of financial centers increasingly differs from earlier versions of the international financial system. In a world of largely closed national financial systems, each country duplicated most of the necessary functions for its economy; collaborations among different national financial markets were often no more than the execution of a given set of operations in each of the countries involved, as in clearing and settlement. With few exceptions, such as offshore markets and a relatively small number of large banks, the international system consisted of a string of closed domestic systems.
The global integration of markets tends to eliminate redundant systems and make collaboration a far more complex matter, one which has the effect of sharpening the division of labor within the network. Beyond the necessary range of specialized services present in all these centers, we now also see a trend towards the formation of specialized capabilities in a larger global network as well as the formation of strategic alliances. In this context London and New York with their enormous concentrations of resources and talent continue to be powerhouses in the global network for the most strategic and complex operations for the system as a whole. They are the leading exporters of financial services and typically part of any major international public offering, whether it is the privatisation of British Telecom or of a privatisation of a large public sector utility in Latin America. Similarly, the formation of the Eurozone is strengthening the position of Frankfurt and of Paris each of which is becoming part of a criss-cross of alliances among major European centers.
The incorporation of a growing number of these financial centers is one form through which the global financial system expands: each of these centers is the nexus between that country's wealth and the global market and between foreign investors and that country's investment opportunities. The overall sources and destinations of investment therewith grow in number. The financial centers of many countries around the world are increasingly fulfilling gateway functions for the circulation in an out of national and foreign capital. Gateway functions emerge as a key mechanism for integration into the global financial market, rather than the production of innovations to package the capital flowing in and out. Most of the complex operations involved tend to be executed by many of the top investment, accounting, and legal services firms, through affiliates, branches, direct imports of those services, or some other form of transfer. These gateways for the global market are also gateways for the dynamics of financial crises: capital can flow out as easily and quickly as it flows in. And what was once thought of as "national" capital can now as easily join the exodus: for instance, during the Mexico crisis of December 1994, we now know that the first capital to flee the Mexican markets was national, not foreign.
In my reading the globally integrated financial system is not only about competition among countries. The trend is towards an increase in specialized collaborative efforts among these centers. Further, insofar as markets are integrated, growth overall is maximized with growth in all centers. The crisis in Tokyo or Hong Kong does not create advantages for other centers, except perhaps in some very particular segments of the market. The sharp growth of London, New York, Paris or Frankfurt is in part a function of a global network of financial centers. The global capital market needs a network of state of the art financial centers. Hence simply to reduce the interaction among even the leading cities in the network to competition is inadequate. For instance, there is little gain for the larger financial system in Hong Kong's or Tokyo's decline. Since its inception, Hong Kong has been a strategic exchange node for firms between China and the rest of the world, as well as among all the overseas Chinese communities (Meyer, this volume). Few other centers in the world can replicate this advantage but they can benefit from Hong Kong's specialized role.14 Today, even after a severe crisis, Hong Kong still has one of the most sophisticated concentrations of advanced services that puts it in the group of top ranked centers. A parallell argument can be made for Tokyo: even as its economy is in crisis, it will continue to be a crucial cog in the global financial system given its enormous concentration of financial resources and its role as the leading exporter of capital in the world.15 The interactions among financial centers are multifaceted, and competition is just one element.
The rapid growth of electronic networks and markets raises a question about the ongoing importance of financial centers.16 Insofar as the latter combine multiple resources and talents necessary for executing complex operations and servicing global firms and markets. How far can the new communications technologies go in eliminating the need for actual financial centers and the network of such centers, especially given the increasingly global and electronic nature of the capital market.17 Elsewhere I have examined in detail how financial centers cannot be reduced to their exchanges. They are part of a far more complex architecture and they encompass far more than exchanges. The next two sections develop these issues.
IN THE DIGITAL ERA: MORE CONCENTRATION THAN DISPERSAL?
What really stands out in the evidence for the global financial industry is the extent to which there is a sharp concentration of the shares of many financial markets in a few financial centers.18 London, New York, Tokyo (notwithstanding a national economic recession), Paris, Frankfurt and a few other cities regularly appear at the top and represent a large share of global transactions. London, followed by Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong and Frankfurt account for a major share of all international banking. London, Frankfurt and New York account for an enormous world share in the export of financial services. London, New York and Tokyo account for over one third of global institutional equity holdings, and this as of the end of 1997 after a 32% decline in Tokyo's value over 1996. London, New York and Tokyo account for 58% of the foreign exchange market, one of the few truly global markets; together with Singapore, Hong Kong, Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt and Paris, they account for 85% in this, the most global of markets.
This trend towards consolidation in a few centers even as the network of integrated financial centers expands globally also is evident within many countries. In the U.S. for instance, New York concentrates a disproportionate share of the leading investment banks and international exchanges. Sydney and Toronto have equally gained power in continental sized countries and have taken over functions and market share from what were once the major commercial centers, respectively Melbourne and Montreal. So have Sao Paulo and Bombay, which have gained share and functions from respectively Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and New Delhi and Calcutta in India. One might have thought that such large countries and powerful economies could sustain multiple major financial centers. In France, Paris today concentrates larger shares of most financial sectors than it did 10 years ago and once important stock markets like Lyon have become "provincial," even though Lyon is today the hub of a thriving economic region. Milano privatized its exchange in September 1997 and electronically merged Italy's 10 regional markets. Frankfurt now concentrates a larger share of the financial market in Germany than it did in the early 1980s, and so does Zurich, which once had Basel and Geneva as significant competitors. Further, the trend towards the consolidation of one leading financial center in each country is a function of rapid growth in the sector, not of decay in the losing cities.
There is both consolidation in fewer major centers across and within countries and a sharp growth in the numbers of centers that become part of the global network as countries deregulate their economies. Sao Paulo and Bombay, for instance joined the global financial network after Brazil and India (partly) deregulated their financial systems. This mode of incorporation into the global network is often at the cost of losing functions which they had when they were largely national centers. Today the leading, typically foreign, financial, accounting and legal services firms enter their markets to handle the new cross-border operations. The incorporation typically happens without a gain in the share of the global market that they can command even as capitalization may increase, often sharply, and even though they add to the total volume in the global market.
Why is it that at a time of rapid growth in the network of financial centers, in overall volumes, and in electronic networks, we have such high concentration of market shares in the leading global and national centers? Both globalization and electronic trading are about expansion and dispersal beyond what had been the confined realm of national economies and floor trading. Indeed, one might well ask why financial centers matter at all.
WHY THE NEED FOR CENTERS IN THE GLOBAL DIGITAL ERA?
The continuing weight of major centers is, in a way, countersensical, as is, for that matter, the existence of an expanding network of financial centers. The rapid development of electronic exchanges, the growing digitalization of much financial activity, and the fact that finance produces a dematerialized and hypermobile product, all suggest that location should not matter. In fact geographic dispersal would seem to be a good option given the high cost of operating in major financial centers. Further, the last ten years have seen an increased geographic mobility of financial experts and financial services firms.
There are, in my view, at least three reasons that explain the trend towards consolidation in a few centers rather than massive dispersal. I developed this analysis in The Global City , focusing on New York, London and Tokyo and since then events have made this even clearer and more pronounced. Several of the chapters in this volume also provide us with detailed empirical specifications of some of these trends.
a) The importance of social connectivity and central functions. First, while the new communications technologies do indeed facilitate geographic dispersal of economic activities without losing system integration, they have also had the effect of strengthening the importance of central coordination and control functions for firms and, even, markets. Indeed for firms in any sector, operating a widely dispersed network of branches and affiliates and operating in multiple markets has made central functions far more complicated. Their execution requires access to top talent, not only inside headquarters but also, more generally, to innovative milieux -- in technology, accounting, legal services, economic forecasting, and all sorts of other, many new, specialized corporate services. Major centers have massive concentrations of state of the art resources that allow them to maximize the benefits of the new communication technologies and to govern the new conditions for operating globally. Even electronic markets such as NASDAQ and E*Trade rely on traders and banks which are located somewhere, with at least some in a major financial center.
One fact that has become increasingly evident is that to maximize the benefits of the new information technologies firms need not only the infrastructure but a complex mix of other resources. Most of the value added that these technologies can produce for advanced service firms lies in so-called externalities. And this means the material and human resources --state of the art office buildings, top talent, and the social networking infrastructure that maximizes connectivity. Any town can have fiber optic cables, but this is not sufficient. (Garcia, this volume; Graham, this volume; Meyer, this volume).
A second fact that is emerging with greater clarity concerns the meaning of "information." There are two types of information (Sassen 2001: chapters 5 and 7 ). One is the datum, which may be complex yet is standard knowledge: the level at which a stock market closes, a privatisation of a public utility, the bankruptcy of a bank. But there is a far more difficult type of "information," akin to an interpretation/evaluation/judgment. It entails negotiating a series of datums and a series of intepretations of a mix of datums in the hope of producing a higher order datum. Access to the first kind of information is now global and immediate from just about any place in the highly developed world thanks to the digital revolution. But the second type of information requires a complicated mixture of elements, what we could think of as the social infrastructure for global connectivity. It is these specialized kinds of social connectivity which gives major financial centers a leading edge.
It is possible, in principle, to reproduce the technical infrastructure any where the sam ecannot be asserted for specialized kinds of social connectivity. While the leading finacnial and business centers have the highest levels of connectivity this is a key feature of cities, and more generally, spaces of centrality as discussed earlier. We could probably say the same for Frankfurt and London. When the more complex forms of information needed to execute major international deals cannot be gotten from existing data bases, no matter what a firm can pay, then one needs the social information loop and the associated de facto interpretations and inferences that come with bouncing off information among talented, informed people. It is the importance of this input that has given a whole new importance to credit rating agencies, for instance. Part of the rating has to do with interpreting and inferring. When this interpreting becomes "authoritative" it becomes "information" available to all. The process of making inferences/interpretations into "information" takes quite a mix of talents and resources.
In brief, financial centers provide the specialized social connectivity that allows a firm or market to maximize the benefits of its technological connectivity.
b) Cross-border Mergers and Alliances. Global firms in the financial industry need enormous resources, a trend which is leading to rapid mergers and acquisitions of firms and strategic alliances among markets in different countries. These are happening on a scale and in combinations few would have foreseen just three or four years ago. There are growing numbers of mergers among respectively financial services firms, accounting firms, law firms, insurance brokers, in brief, firms that need to provide a global service. A similar evolution is also possible for the global telecommunications industry which will have to consolidate in order to offer a state of the art, globe spanning service to its global clients, among which are the financial firms.
I would argue that yet another kind of "merger" is the consolidation of electronic networks that connect a very select number of markets. In the late 1990s several financial exchanges sought to form highly integrated alliances. The most important and visible of these was the attempted alliance between the London Stock Exchange and Frankfurt's Deutsche Borse. The complexities of these mergers are such that at this time most of them have failed to sort out the difficulties. Yet the will to merge continues to be a factor and it is quite possible that eventually workable formulas will be built. Europe's more than 30 stock exchanges have been seeking to shape various alliances. Euronext (NEXT) is Europe's largest stock exchange merger, an alliance among the Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels bourses. Through this merger NEXT created the world's fifth largest stock exchange with over 1,300 listed companies. But it is not only the largest exchanges that are merging: in March 2001 the Tallinn Stock Exchange in Estonia and its Helsinki counterpart created an alliance. A new pattern towards takeovers is also evident among these exchanges, such as the attempt by the owners of the Stockholm stock market to buy the London Stock Exchange (for a price of US$ 3.7 billion). This was the first time that a stock exchange faced a hostile takeover. While the efforts to form strong alliances have failed, there are a number of looser networks connecting markets that have been set up in the last few years. In 1999 NASDAQ, the second largest US stock market after the New York Stock Exchange, set up Nasdaq Japan and in 2000 Nasdaq Canada. This gives investors in Japan and Canada direct access to the market in the U.S.19 The Toronto Stock Exchange has joined an alliance with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to create a separate global trading platform. The NYSE is a founding member of a global trading alliance, Global Equity Market (GEM) which includes ten exchanges, among them Tokyo and NEXT. (For a fuller discussion see Sassen 2001: chapters 4, 5 and 7).
I would argue that yet another kind of "merger" is the consolidation of electronic networks that connect a very select number of markets.
These developments are likely to strengthen inter-city links in the worldwide network of 30 or 40 cities through which the global financial industry operates. We now also know that a major financial center needs to have a significant share of global operations to be such. Another indication of this inter-city system is the worldwide distribution of equities under institutional management is spread among a large number of cities which have become integrated in the global equity market with deregulation of their economies and the formulation of "emerging markets" as an atractive investment destination in the 1990's. In 1999, institutional money managers around the world controlled approximately US$14 trillion. Even as there is a growing number of cities that participate in this broad network, there is sharp conentration. Thomson Financials (1999), for instance, has estimated that at the end of 1999, 25 cities accounted for about 80% of the world's valuation of these assets. These 25 cities also account for roughly 48 percent of the total market capitalisation of the world which stood at US$30 trillion at the end of 2000.
These various centers don't just compete with each other: there is collaboration and division of labor. In the initial stages of deregulation in the 1980s there was a strong tendency to see the relation among the major centers as one of straight competition among New York, London and Tokyo, then as today the major centers in the system. But in my research on these three centers I found clear evidence of a division of labor already in the 1980s. What we are seeing now is an additional pattern whereby the cooperation or division of functions is somewhat institutionalized: strategic alliances not only between firms across borders but also between markets. There is competition, strategic collaboration and hierarchy.20
c) De-Nationalized Elites and Agendas. Third, national attachments and identities are becoming weaker for these global firms and their customers. Thus the major US and European investment banks have set up specialized offices in London to handle various aspects of their global business. Even French banks have set up some of their global specialized operations in London, inconceivable even a few years ago and still not avowed in national rhetoric.
Deregulation and privatisation have further weakened the need for national financial centers. The nationality question simply plays differently in these sectors than it did even a decade ago. Global financial products are accessible in national markets and national investors can operate in global markets.21 For instance, some of the major Brazilian firms now list on the New York Stock Exchange, and by-pass the Sao Paulo exchange, a new practice which has caused somewhat of an uproar in spacialized circles in Brazil.
One way of describing this process is as an incipient de-nationalization of certain institutional arenas (Sassen 1996: chapter one; 2002). It can be argued that such de-nationalization is a necessary condition for economic globalization as we know it today. The sophistication of this system lies in the fact that it only needs to involve strategic institutional areas -- most national systems can be left basically unaltered. China is a good example. It adopted international accounting rules in 1993, necessary to engage in international transactions. To use these standards it did not have to change much of its domestic economy. Japanese firms operating overseas adopted such standards long before Japan's government considered requiring them. In this regard the "wholesale" side of globalization is quite different from the global consumer markets, in which success necesitates altering national tastes at a mass level. On the organizational side of the global economy, the changes are bounded, strategic and confined largely to what is absolutely necessary. This process of de-nationalization has been strengthened by state policy enabling privatization and foreign acquisition. In some ways one might say that the Asian financial crisis has functioned as a mechanism to denationalize, at least partly, control over key sectors of economies which, while allowing the massive entry of foreign investment, had never relinquished that control previously.22
Major international business centers produce what we can think of as a new subculture, a move from the "national" version of international activities to the "global" version. Many of the countries that are becoming incorporated into the global economic system need to overcome often deeply rooted business cultures that are at odds with key aspects of the new global economic culture. For instance, the long-standing resistance in Europe to M&As, especially hostile takeovers, or to foreign ownership and control in East Asia, are elements of national business cultures that are somewhat incompatible with the new global economic culture of liberalizing capital flows and acquisitions of foreign firms. I would posit that major cities, and the variety of so-called global business meetings (such as those of the World Economic Forum in Davos and other similar occasions), contribute to de-nationalize corporate elites. Whether this is good or bad is a separate issue (see Sassen 2001: Part Three).23 But it is, I would argue, one of the conditions for setting in place the systems and subcultures necessary for a global economic system.
Economic globalization and the new networking technologies have contributed to produce a spatiality for the urban which pivots on cross-border networks as well as territorial locations with massive concentrations of resources. This is not a completely new feature. Over the centuries cities have been at the cross-roads of major, often worldwide processes. What is different today is the intensity, complexity and global span of these networks, the extent to which significant portions of economies are now dematerialized and digitized and hence the extent to which they can travel at great speeds through some of these networks, and, thirdly, the numbers of cities that are part of cross-border networks operating at vast geographic scales. What is different today also, is the elaboration of cross-border regulatory regimes and the extent to which national states have worked at producing the legal instruments necessary to accomodate the global economic system. Governments have had to produce new legislative instruments to privatize and deregulate vast sectos of their economies and to guarantee rights of contract and private property of foreign firms and investors.
The growth of mostly specialized transactions connecting cities contributes to patterned networks. These include, among others, the global networks of firms' affiliates, the particular architecture of connectivity emerging from the interests of those actors with the powers to shape it, the formation of regional cross-border hierarchies enabled by free trade zones and international growth corridors, the integration of a growing number of financial centers into the global capital market.
Engaging in these highly specialized transactions has required often massive transformations in growing portions of these cities and major policy changes by the states involved. The development of global city functions is embedded in infrastructural, structural and policy developments that can amount to a new political, economic and spatial order in these cities alongside the continuing dynamics of older orders. The depth of these transformations can be partly submerged under the megacity syndrome in some of these cities and the fact of multiple social, economic, and spatial dynamics that characterize large cities. The new urban spatiality produced as cities become sites for cross-border transactions is, then, partial in a double sense: it accounts for only part of what happens in cities and what cities are about, and it inhabits only part of what we might think of as the space of the city. New articulations with global circuits and disarticulations inside the city are thus produced.
Each of the chapters in this book examines a particular combination of conditions and dynamics. Abstracting it is possible to identify at least the following questions to which these chapter provide often detailed empirical answers.
Much has been written about the decisive difference that access to advanced information technologies makes for firms, markets and urban economies. Garcia, Graham, and Meyer examine how economic dynamics are embedded in complex configurations and the ways in which this sets limits on the capabilities of technology: meeting the technological requirements of our era is a necessary but not a sufficient condition. The ascendance of networking technologies raises the importance of technical connectivity for firms, markets, and cities. But it is becoming clear that there is a complicated relationship between technical connectivity and economic growth.
A second issue concerns the scales at which these networking technologies operate. Much attention has gone to their globe- spanning capacities and hence their overriding of place and locality. Riemens and Lovink dissect the creation of a local digital network aimed at strengthening the relations among citizens inside a city and thereby its civic fabric. The multiplication of such local digital cities can, conceivably produce inter-city collaborations leading to the emergence of community-oriented cross-border networks. Digital City Amsterdam was the first major such local network and the best known one, emulated by other cities worldwide. Riemens and Lovink's analysis captures a unique moment in the hisory of these networking technologies in the 1980's and early 1990's, when they were less common than today so there was the need to develop a culture within which these technologies would make sense and acquire meaning and usefulness (See, e.g. Adilkno 1998). This is another version of the embeddeness of technical networks examined by Garcia, Graham, and Meyer. Riemens and Lovink also examine the diruptive power of commercial interests for such civic efforts. The founding, managing, and evolution of DCA captures a broad spectrum of matters often neglected in the more general discussions about the features of networking technologies.
A third issue concerns the capabilities of these technologies for enabling widespread connectivity and hence, one might infer, for reducing gaps and inequalities. Most of the chapters in this book document the development of the communications infrastructure from various angles and in various cities, and find that it has contributed to a growth in the spatial differentiation inside cities even as they can strengthen their cross-border transactions. Further, even as a growing number of cities develop better infrastructure and some of their economic sectors experience upgrading and vigorous growth, these conditions do not reduce the inequalities in the global hierarchy, as is shown in both Graham's chapter and this introduction. This is partly so because the benefits that these technologies can provide firms, markets and urban economies are in good part predicated on a variety of non-technical conditions, be it the networks of capital that Meyer describes for Hong Kong or the impacts of different histories of economic advantage in the world economy.
How these older histories of advantage play into the current dynamics of globalization is one of the subjects addressed by Parnreiter for Mexico City, Schiffer for Sao Paulo, and Parsa and Keivafin for the Iran-Dubai corridor. Sao Paulo and Mexico City have long been dominant cities in their national economies with massive concentrations of resources and a disproportionate share of national wealth or its control. Does this make a difference in their current positioning on cross-border circuits connecting these cities to the global economy and in their national economies? Both Mexico City and Sao Paulo, emblematic of other such older cities, have lost enormous numbers of manufacturing firms and jobs, as well as share of national population, variables of enormous significance for certain types of issues. Yet they also account for some of the most dynamic sectors in their national economies and control a disproportionate share of the cross-border transactions of their national economies. Parnreiter finds that notwithstanding many aggregate indicators showing declines for Mexico City, a more detailed examination shows its enormous and growing control over key international processes, which in turn are gaining ascendance in the national economy, and how the city has also gained more than any other region when it comes to some of the leading, highly specialized economic sectors. Understanding the production of these current histories of advantage requires using a combination of variables that is not the one frequently used in aggregate level studies or in measuring past histories of economic advantage.
One of the key issues in much discussion about globalization concerns the weigth of history and the specificities of a city. Except when the subject does not warrant it, these chapters examine the trajectories that produced the enabling environments for current forms of globalization. It is clear from these accounts that many of the so-called effects of globalization are actually the outcome of explicit and highly developed government policies in each of the countries and cities involved. This may range from the centrally planned development of global city capabilities in Shanghai to the enormous concessions governments have made to private enterprises in the case of Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Beirut.
Another major issue is the extent to which globalization brings with it growing competition among cities or a division of functions at both the global and regional scales. In the case of the global geography of a firm's overseas affiliates, it is crucial that there exist a number of cities that offer the requisite conditions for successful operation. Since globalization also entails expanding into new areas, including ones that are not necessarily well provisioned, there is a push towards upgrading infrastructures and the built environment. Firms and markets with global operations require a network of well provisioned cities to execute the operations. At a more specialized level, one can identify a variety of modalities through which this need for a network of cities functions and gets implemented. The chapters in this volume examine a broad range of particular cases in addition to the framing analysis in this introduction. They include Beirut's re-entry into various specialized global circuits, the particular division of functions in the emerging Iran-Dubai corridor, the particular geography of the global network of firms' offices and of airline connections, and Hong Kong's deeply embedded networks of capital exchange.
Finally, a key issue concerns the impacts of becoming part of global circuits on the cities themselves. Beyond the aspects discussed above, there are questions concerning the functioning of various markets, from real estate to labor, and questions concerning poverty and income inequality, all addressed by most of the chapters in this book. At the heart of these diverse subjects lies the broader question about the positive and negative impacts of economic globalization on the socio-economic structure of cities that are global or, at the least, have global city functions.
Let me conclude by summarizing the focus of each part of the book.
In Part One, the focus is on the architecture of networks. The chapters address two of the concerns in this book. One is the tension between global span and particular sites, explored here through an examination of both the global architecture of these networks and their interactions with the specific environments of different cities. The second concerns the complex interactions between technical networks and social or economic networks, explored through the cases of business networks, capital exchange networks, and their use of technical networks. Garcia, Graham, Taylor, and Smith and Timberlake, each examine particular instantiations of these issues.
Using a new and pioneering data set, Taylor et al. map the global networks of offices of the leading firms in accounting, law, advertising, and finance. These networks of offices can be used to classify cities in terms of their participation in cross-border networks. Smith and Timberlake have been among the first to develop ways of applying network analysis to cross-border transactions. In their chapter they focus on air travel networks showing how some of the cities in this book and, more generally, in the global networks under discussion, have only indirect connections with each other. It brings to the fore one of the central concerns in this book, which is to capture the presence or absence of cross-border interactions among cities that are in the middle range of various global hierarchical networks. It is also an interesting juxtaposition with the evidence presented by Talor et al. for the geography of offices of some of the most powerful firms in the global economy. Air travel includes a far broader range of cross-border transactions than the networks of affiliates in law and finance.
Part Two of the book moves to the urban and regional scale and examines the role of leading cities in the internal articulation of cross-border regions and, secondly, in locating the region on global circuits. In several regards this is further developed in Part Three which examines cities as nodes in cross-border networks. Parnreiter's examination of Mexico City shows us its location on multiple global circuits and the complex history of economic internationalization that characterizes this country. In their chapter, Parsa and Keivafin focus on the Dubai-Iran corridor. Though little discussed in the western scholarship on these issues, it plays a crucial role in the decentered map of the global economy presented in this part of the book. Under current economic and political conditions as described in the chapter, older cross-border networks are becoming reactivated and new ones are being formed. There is an emergent division of functions between Dubai which has positioned itself as a leading financial and trading center in the region, and southern Iran, which has the labor and land resources lacking in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. Schiffer examines the role of Sao Paulo in articulating the South American region, specifically the range of transactions encompassed by the Mercosur free-trade agreement. Schiffer shows us that Sao Paulo is at the intersection of regional cross-border circuits and global circuits, and that while not the only one, it is the leading global node in the region. Huybrechts examines the rebuilding of Beirut under a leadership intent on re-connecting the city to key global circuits both in finance and port-linked trade. This has become a largely physical and technical process, and has proceeded without attending to the need for reconcialiation after a long and brutal war.
The chapters in Part Three examine the work of developing the infrastructures, urban spaces, and policies necessry for global city functions. While all chapters in Part Three focus on the restructuring of urban space to enable global city development, each one captures a particular combination of conditions that dominates this process and might also be evident in other cities in the world: a long history of economic interdependence with a major global power, either central government planning or private corporate leadership aiming at connecting a city to global circuits and private and foreign investment led restructuring of urban space. Meyer, long a student of Hong Kong, examines the role of this city as a strategic node for capital exchange between China and the world. What is extraordinary in this history is the extent to which it is Hong Kong's social connectivity which produced and reproduced this strategic role. The actors changed in terms of their origins and nationalities and their competitive advantages, but the machinery that secured Hong Kong its privileged role continued to grow. Meyer focuses particularly on the difference that the new communication technologies might make for this historic role. In contrast, Gu and Tang show us how tight government control, leadership and initiative in Shanghai are producing the technical connectivity that might give this city a key role in global networks. The question that jumps out of this detailed account of the constructing of the technical base is whether Shanghai can produce the social connectivity that is the crucial factor for maximizing the benefits of technical infrastructure. Pablo Ciccolella and Iliana Mignaqui have done some of the most extensive and detailed research on the new forms of socio/spatial polarization evident in Buenos Aires. Their chapter documents the actual work of developing a city's capabilities to host global city functions, and examines the urban fabric that is being configured. Riemens and Lovink examine the capacity of the new networking technologies to strengthen local interactions inside a city. Theirs is one of the first detailed accounts of the formation of Digital City Amsterdam, the most famous of the urban public digital spaces and the first freenet of its kind. Being among the founders and active participants in the project and the larger public media culture that made it possible, they dissect the trajectory of this experiment up until its current transformation into a private enterprise.
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* Saskia Sassen, University of Chicago and Centennial Visiting Professor, London School of Economics.
1. For an illuminating exmaination of the general issue of cultural complexity, see Hannerz 1992; Appadurai 1996.
2. In this sense, global cities are different from the old capitals of erstwhile empires, in that they are a function of crossborder networks rather than simply the most powerful city of an empire. There is, in my conceptualization, no such entity as a single global city as there could be a single capital of an empire; the category global city only makes sense as a component of a global network of strategic sites. The corporate subsector which contains the global control and command functions is partly embedded in this network.
3. This distinction also matters for questions of regulation, notably regulation of cross-border activities. If the strategic central functions --both those produced in corporate headquarters and those produced in the specialized corporate services sector-- are located in a network of major financial and business centers, the question of regulating what amounts to a key part of the global economy will entail a different type of effort from what would be the case if the strategic management and coordination functions were as distributed geografically as the factories, service outlets and affiliates generally.
4. There are multiple specifications to this argument. For instance, the development of financial instruments that represent fixed real estate repositions the latter in various systems of circulation, including global ones. In so doing the meaning of capital fixity is partly transformed and the fixed capital also becomes a site for circulation. For a fuller elaboration see Sassen (2001: chapter two).
5. In contrast to the notion of globalization as signaling the transformation of the world into a single place or as denoting the "global human condition," it can be argued that globalization is also a process that produces differentiation. But the alignment of differences is of a very different kind from that associated with such differentiating notions as national character, national culture, national society. For example, the corporate world today has a global geography, but it isn't everywhere in the world: in fact it has highly defined and structured spaces; secondly, it also is increasingly sharply differentiated from non-corporate segments in the economies of global cities or countries where it operates. There is homogenization along certain lines that cross national boundaries and sharp differentiation inside these boundaries. The hierarchical nature of global networks is yet another form of differentiation even within the somewhat homogenized geography of centrality discussed earlier. Globalized forms and processes while homogenizing, tend to have a distinct geography (For discussions of particular aspects see, e.g. Hannerz 1992, Bonilla et al. 1998; Cochrane et al. 1996; Clark and Hoffman-Martinot 1998; eade 1996).
6. We need to recognize the specific historical conditions for different conceptions of the international or the global (Arrighi and Silver 1999). Today there is a tendency to see the internationalization of the economy as a process operating at the center, embedded in the power of the multinational corporations and, in the past, in colonial enterprises. One could note that the economies of many peripheral countries are thoroughly internationalized due to high levels of foreign investments in all economic sectors, and of heavy dependence on world markets for "hard" currency(See Parnreiter, this volume; See Ciccolella and Mignaqui, this volume). What the highly developed countries have is strategic concentrations of firms and markets that operate globally, the capability for global control and coordination, and power. This is a very different form of the international from that which we find in the global South.
7. The fact of systemic conditions in the new geoeconomics is a significant factor for the question of regulation. The orders of magnitude and the intensity of transactions in the north-atlantic system facilitate the formation of standards even in the context of, relatively speaking, strong differences between the US and Continental Europe in their legal, accounting, anti-trust, and other rules. It is clear that even though these two regions have more in common with each other than with much of the rest of the world, these differences matter when it comes to the creation of cross-border standards. The fact of shared western standards and norms, however, in combination with the enormous economic weight, has facilitated the circulation and imposition of US and European standards and rules on transactions involving firms from other parts of the world. There is a sort of globalization of western standards. Much has been said about the dominance of US standards and rules, but European standards are also evident, for instance in the new anti-trust rules being developed in Central and Eastern Europe.
8. There is a fourth case which I have addressed elsewhere (2001), which is represented by new forms of centrality constituted in electronically generated spaces.
9. In the case of a complex landscape such as Europe's we see in fact several geographies of centrality, one global, others continental and regional. A central urban hierarchy connects major cities, many of which in turn play central roles in the wider global system of cities: Paris, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Zurich. These cities are also part of a wider network of European financial/cultural/service capitals, some with only one, others with several of these functions, articulate the European region and are somewhat less oriented to the global economy than Paris, Frankfurt, or London. And then there are several geographies of marginality: the East-West divide and the North- South divide across Europe as well as newer divisions. In Eastern Europe, certain cities and regions, notably Budapest, are rather attractive for purposes of investment, both European and non-European, while others will increasingly fall behind, notably in Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Albania. We see a similar differentiation in the south of Europe: Madrid, Barcelona, and Milan are gaining in the new European hierarchy; Naples, Rome, and Marseille are not.
10. This also holds in the highly developed world. For instance, the Paris region accounts for over 40% of all producer services in France, and over 80% of the most advanced ones. New York City is estimated to account for between a fourth and a fifth of all US producer services exports though it has only 3% of the U.S. population. London accounts for 40% of all exports of producer services in the U.K. Similar trends are also evident in Zurich, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, all located in much smaller countries.
11. We can think of the producer services, and most especially finance and advanced corporate services, as industries producing the "organizational commodities" necessary for the implementation and management of global economic systems (Sassen 2001: chapters 2-5). Producer services are intermediate ouputs, that is, services bought by firms. They cover financial, legal, and general management matters, innovation, development, design, administration, personnel, production technology, maintenance, transport, communications, wholesale distribution, advertising, cleaning services for firms, security, and storage. Central components of the producer services category are a range of industries with mixed business and consumer markets; they are insurance, banking, financial services, real estate, legal services, accounting, and professional associations (For more detailed discussions see, e.g. Noyelle and Dutka, 1988; Daniels 1991; Veltz 1996).
12. Indeed, several scholars have argued that the producer services sector could not exist without manufacturing (Cohen and Zysman l987; Markusen and Gwiasda 1994). A key proposition for these and other authors is that producer services are dependent on a strong manufacturing sector in order to grow. Others disagree (Noyelle and Dutka, 1988; Drennan, 1992; Drennan et al. 1996). Drennan et al. (1996) find that a strong producer services sector is possible without manufacturing growth. In a variant on both positions, I (2001) argue that manufacturing indeed feeds the growth of the producer services sector, but that it does so whether located in the area in question, somewhere else in the country, or overseas.
13. For a detailed analysis of the issues discussed briefly here see Sassen (2001: chapters 4, 5 and 7).
14. Its historic advantage as a nexus between the world and China, and its concentration of state of the art specialized services secure a strategic role for Hong Kong. David Meyer's impressive Hong Kong as a Global Metropolis: Social Networks of Capital is one of the best explanations of this peculiar Hong Kong advantage as an intermediary for global networks of capital.
15. For instance, according to the most recent data available, in 1999 Japan had US$ 1 trillion in assets under institutional management and US$10 trillion in savings and similar accounts which are about to be deregulated.
16. Electronic trading will also contribute a radically new pattern whereby one market, for instance Frankfurt's Deutsche Eurex, can operate on screens in many other markets around the world, or whereby one brokerage firm, Cantor Fitzgerald, can (as of September 1998) have its prices of Treasury futures listed on screens used by traders all around the U.S.
17. For instance, the typical emphasis in much commentary on the electronic features of the futures market in Frankfurt veils the fact that this electronic futures network is actually embedded in a network of financial centers. And the brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald which has computerized the sale of U.S. Treasury futures, actually has an alliance with the Board of Trade of New York to handle these sales.
18. Among the main sources of data for the figures cited in this section are the International Bank for Settlements (Basle); IMF nationalaccounts data; specialized trade publications such as Wall Street Journal's WorldScope, MorganStanley Capital International; The Banker; data listings in the Financial Times and in The Economist; and, especially for a focus on cities, the data produced by Technimetrics, Inc. Additional names of standard, continuously updated sources are listed in Sassen (2001).
19. The first step in this alliance includes the installation of terminals at 10 securities firms in Montreal to allow Canadian investors the ability to trade more than 5,000 stocks listed on Nasdaq, including over 140 Canadian companies traded in the U.S. markets.
20. For instance, the globalisation of investment banking and fund management, two areas where New York firms are major players, may well have been more important in strengthening London's position as a financial center than UK national growth per se. In The Global City I posited that the globalization of markets reduces the importance of national economic health for major cities to thrive as international business centers --not necessarily a desirable feature of the global economic system. This seems to be happening in several European countries where thriving stock markets go along with slow economic growth and high unemployment. Schiffer (this volume) and Parnreiter (this volume) find a similar pattern in respectively Sao Paulo and Mexico City.
21. E.g. investment banks used to split up their analysts team by country to cover a national market; now they are more likely to do it by industrial sector (See, for example Latin American Finance, various issues).
22. For instance, Lehman Brothers bought Thai residential mortgages worth half a billion dollars for a 53% discount. This was the first auction conducted by the Thai government's Financial Restructuring Authority which is conducting the sale of $21b of financial companies' assets. It also acquired the Thai operations of Peregrine, the HK investment bank that failed. The fall in prices and in the value of the yen has made Japanese firms and real estate attractive targets for foreign investors. Merril Lynch's has bought 30 branches of Yamaichi Securities, Societe Generale Group is buying 80% of Yamaichi International Capital Management, Travelllers Group is now the biggest shareholder of Nikko, the third largest brokerage, and Toho Mutual Insurance Co. announced a joint venture with GE Capital. These are but some of the best known examples. Much valuable property in the Ginza--Tokyo's high priced shopping and business district-- is now being considered for acquisition by foreign investors, in a twist on Mitsubishi's acquisition of Rockefeller Center a decade earlier.
23. De-Nationalization has multi-valence. If it prodcues a hollowing out of a national economy it could be seen as negative; if it strengthens the human rights regime in a country, as positive (Sassen:2002).
Edited and posted on the web on 8th June 2001
Note: This Research Bulletin has been published in S Sassen (ed) (2002) Global Networks, Linked Cities New York, London: Routledge, 1-36