GaWC Research Network: Jonathan Beaverstock

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Jonathan Beaverstock

GaWC Associate Director (Financial and Professional Services, Global Labour Mobility and International Management)

Jonathan Beaverstock has been undertaking research on the phenomenon of inter-world city relations and connections since his doctoral work at the University of Bristol in the late 1980s which investigated the rise of transnational work and corporate mobilities within global advanced producer services firms' metropolitan office networks. On his appointment at Loughborough University in 1991, Jonathan investigated the City of London's agency as a destination and springboard for elite, highly-skilled international labour employed in banking, financial and professional services firms. This research, on the formation of a new international division of labour for highly-skilled professional and managerial labour, was a trailblazer for new conceptual and empirical ideas to posit a relational approach to configuring the agency of world cities' global labour markets in contemporary society.

From 1998-2007, Jonathan was a Co-Director of GaWC, along with Peter Taylor, which came to an end after his departure to the University of Nottingham in September of that year. During that time, Jonathan was instrumental in taking forward the GaWC mission, particularly with respect to the focus on inter-city networks and flows grounded from qualitative research. Jonathan's research has continually been at the forefront of conceptualising world city networks and exploring the global agency of firm's locational and business strategies in understanding the relationality of cities financial and business complexes, labour markets and competition/complementarities. He has undertaken research on these world city advanced producer service complexes in Europe (e.g. Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Paris), North America (Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver) and the Asia-Pacific (Auckland, Singapore, Sydney). Significant and notable research findings have set new agendas on: world city networks; transnational elites in world cities; the sustainability of world city producer service clusters; and the competitiveness and complementarities of international financial centres.

Jonathan is currently researching the internationalisation of professionals and professional services firm in world cities' knowledge intensive spatial economies, focusing particularly on:

  • The internationalisation of executive search firms and their metropolitan geographies;

  • The role of advanced producer services in the BRIC world cities;

  • The relational competitiveness of London and Singapore's financial districts, particularly in the realm of private wealth management.

Jonathan is an interdisciplinary social scientist and economic-urban geographer who has a significantly deep understanding of the micro-processes of the complex relationships between labour, firms and world cities' knowledge intensive spatial economies that drive competition and complementarities in global society. All of his work is embedded in intensive primary empirical research which provides real-time intelligence and solutions to urban policy-makers specifically to understand the volatile nature of the global urban system in contemporary globalization.

Jonathan Beaverstock is Professor of International Management at the University of Bristol, U.K. He is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and has published over 100 books, book chapters and articles. He is an Honorary Professor at the University of Otago and has held distinguished visiting positions at the Universities of Gent, Singapore and Western Sydney.