ResearchResearch projects
Gateway Cities und ihr Hinterland: Weltstädte des Globalen Südens als Knoten in globalen Güterketten

Gateway Cities and their Hinterland: Global Cities from the Global South as Nodes in Global Commodity Chains

Leaders:  Dr. Sören Scholvin; Prof Dr. Javier Revilla Diez (University of Cologne)
Team:  Dr. Sören Scholvin, Prof. Dr. Javier Revilla Diez, Moritz Breul
Year:  2018
Sponsors:  DFG
Lifespan:  2015 - 2018
Is Finished:  yes

During the last decades some regions of the Global South have realised a considerable economic rise. Global cities there possess thriving and globally competitive secondary and tertiary sectors. They are the hinges between the periphery and the cores of the world-economy. We argue that the role of global cities from the Global South as hinges or ‘gateway cities’ results from the agglomeration of transnational companies, related industries and producer services, adequate institutions and transport infrastructure.

The role of gateway cities and especially their relationship with their hinterland can be captured by causal mechanisms based on independent variables handily consolidated in the 2009 World Development Report: density, distance and division. Hence we will answer the following main question: How do density, distance and division (independent variables) condition the global interlinking of the periphery of the world-economy (dependent variable) by gateway cities in the Global South? Our preliminary research indicates that the oil and gas sector in Cape Town, São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro and Singapore is suitable to test the relevance of the three Ds and identify related causal mechanisms in exploratory case studies.

This project is innovative in four ways. First, by contextualising density, distance and division empirically and theoretically we react to the criticism of the World Development Report. We show the relevance of rather traditional causal factors for economic processes – factors that have been neglected by evolutionary and relational approaches in Economic Geography. Second, we link research on global cities and research on global commodity chains, advancing the inroads built in Derudder’s and Witlox’s Commodity Chains and World Cities. This way we overcome the disconnectedness of global cities from their hinterland and the poor embeddedness of global commodity chains. We also build tie-ins with research on location choices of transnational companies.

Third, we contribute to research on emerging economies, whose role as regional economic nodes and growth engines remains to be proven. We also advance a perspective on emerging economies that is not state-centric and hence more appropriate for processes that presently shape the world-economy. Fourth, addressing methodological weaknesses in research on global cities and global commodity chains we make use of the FDI Markets Database from the Financial Times and the Zephyr Database provided by the Bureau van Dijk in order to measure flows that originate in/pass through the global cities that we analyse. We furthermore apply a qualitative methodology that comes close to being intersubjectively verifiable and allows computer-based scenario modelling: ‘fuzzy cognitive maps’.

 

Publications

  • Scholvin, S.; Françoso, M.; Breul, M.; Mello, P.; Serra, M.; Borges, A.; Bastos, P. (2017): Plugging into Global Production Networks: Density, Distance, Division and the Local Context of Brazil’s Oil and Gas Sector, Unicamp Texto para Discussão 317, Campinas.
  • Scholvin, S.; Revilla Diez, J.; Breul, M. (2017): untitled (book critique on: Neil M. Coe and Henry W. Yeung: Global Production Networks: Theorizing Economic Development in an Interconnected World), in: Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, Vol. 61, No. 2, p. 118. DOI: 10.1515/zfw-2017-0023
  • Scholvin, S. (2017): Das Tor nach Sub-Sahara Afrika? Kapstadts Potenzial als Gateway City für den Öl- und Gassektor, in: Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, Vol. 61, No. 2, pp. 80-95. DOI: 10.1515/zfw-2016-0047
  • Revilla Diez, J.; Scholvin, S. (2017): Weltstädte des Globalen Südens in weltwirtschaftlichen Prozessen, in: Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, Vol. 61, No. 2, pp. 61-64. DOI: 10.1515/zfw-2017-0025
  • Scholvin, S. (2017): Cape Town as a Gateway City: Interlinking the Sub-Saharan Oil and Gas Sector Globally. In: Trudi Hartzenberg and Gerhard Erasmus (eds.): Monitoring Regional Integration in Southern Africa 2015/2016, Stellenbosch: Tralac, pp. 128-181.
  • Scholvin, S.; Breul, M.; Mello, Patrícia, Françoso, M.; Hiratuka, C.; Revilla Diez, J. (2017): Gateway Cities in Global Production Networks: Exemplified by the Oil and Gas Sector, Unicamp Texto para Discussão 307, Campinas.
  • Scholvin, S. (2016): Autozentrierte Fehlentwicklung: Namibias Regierung setzt auf fragwürdige fossile Energieprojekte. In: iz3w, No. 358, pp. 14-15.
  • Scholvin, S.; Draper, P.; Freytag, A.; Tran, L. T. (2016): Is a ‘Factory Southern Africa’ Feasible?: Harnessing Flying Geese to the South African Gateway. Commissioned study for the World Bank.
  • Scholvin, S.; Draper, P.; Freytag, A.; Tran, L. T. (2016): Is a ‘Factory Southern Africa’ Feasible?: Harnessing Flying Geese to the South African Gateway, CESifo Working Paper, No. 5867, München.
  • Scholvin, S.; Wrana J. (2015): From the Cape to Cairo?: The Potential of the Tripartite Free Trade Area, SAIIA Occasional Paper, No. 221, Johannesburg.
  • Scholvin, S. (2015): Existing Hub Cities Will Remain Key Gateways to Africa, Oxford Analytical Daily Brief
  • Scholvin, S.; Malamud, A. (2014): Brasilien als geoökonomischer Knoten Südamerikas?, GIGA Focus Lateinamerika, No. 10/2014, Hamburg.
  • Scholvin, S.; Malamud, A. (2014): Is There a Geoeconomic Node in South America?: Geography, Politics and Brazil’s Role in Regional Economic Integration, ICS Working Paper, No. 2/2014, Lisbon.
  • Scholvin, S.; Draper, P. (2012): The Gateway to Africa?: Geography and South Africa’s Role as an Economic Hinge Joint between Africa and the World, in: South African Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 381-400.
  • Scholvin, S.; Draper, P. (2012):: The Economic Gateway to Africa?: Geography, Strategy and South Africa’s Regional Economic Relations, SAIIA Occasional Paper, No. 121, Johannesburg.
  • Scholvin, S.; Draper, P. (2012): Südafrika als „Tor nach Afrika”?, GIGA Focus Afrika, No. 4/2012, Hamburg.

Presentations to Scientific Audiences

  • Scholvin, S.: Gateway Cities in Global Value Chains: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and the Oil & Gas Sector, Cologne: Global Conference on Economic Geography, July 2018.
  • Scholvin, S.: Overcoming Biased Research on World Cities: Mauritius as a Gateway in Global Value Chains, Stellenbosch: Value Chains in the Global South: Challenges of the Integration in the Global Economy, 29 October 2017.
  • Scholvin, S.: ‘Plugging into GPNs: Density, Distance, Division and Brazil’s Oil and Gas Sector’. São Paulo: Regional Studies Association Latin America Conference, 23 May.
  • Scholvin, S.: World Cities in Global Production Networks: Examples from the Oil and Gas Sector, Campinas: Seminário Aberto de Economia Industrial e Inovação at the University of Campinas, 16 March 2017.
  • Scholvin, S.: World Cities in Global Production Networks, Queen’s University Belfast, 7 December 2016.
  • Scholvin, S.: Vom Neo-Exktraktivismus zurück zum Extraktivismus?, Hamburg: AK Lateinamerika, 2 to 4 December 2016.
  • Scholvin, S.: Der namibische Öl- und Gassektor und seine Einbindung in globale Güterketten über Kapstadt, Frankfurt: AK Subsaharisches Afrika, 25 and 26 November 2016.
  • Scholvin, S.: Gateway Cities: Five Dimensions of World Cities as Hinges in GPNs, Naurod: AK Industriegeografie, 27 and 28 October 2016.
  • Scholvin, S.: The TFTA, Transport Corridors and Value Chains, Johannesburg: Southern Africa Business Forum Briefing, 27 June 2016.
  • Scholvin, S.: Plugging into GPNs: Density, Distance, Division and the Local Context of the Oil and Gas Sector in South America. San Francisco: Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, 29 March to 2 April 2016.
  • Scholvin, S.: Gateway Cities in the Global South Cape Town, Singapore and the Oil & Gas Sector., Lisbon: Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território, 25 February 2016.
  • Scholvin, S.: Cape Town as a Gateway City: Density, Distance, Divisionand the Oil & Gas Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa., São Paulo: Fundação Getúlio Vargas, 19 February 2016.
  • Scholvin, S.: Cape Town as a Gateway City Density, Distance, Division and the Oil & Gas Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, Köln: AK Subsaharisches Afrika, 27 and 28 October 2015.
  • Scholvin, S.: Gateway Cities in the Global South: How World Cities Interlink their Peripheries Globally, Chicago: Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, 21 to 25 April 2015.
  • Scholvin, S.: Is there a Geo-economic Node in South America?, Bogotá: Estado y Perspectivas de las Relaciones Colombo-Brasileras, Universidad Javeriana, 26 February 2015.
  • Scholvin, S.: Cape Town as a Gateway City: Interlinking the Sub-Saharan Oil and Gas Sector Globally, Montreal: World Congress of Political Science, International Political Science Association, 19 to 24 July 2014.
  • Scholvin, S.; Draper, P.: Interlinking Africa: South Africa’s Gateway Strategy (with Peter Draper), Hamburg: Schumpeter Roundtable, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, 10 May 2012.