Global city clusters: theorizing spatial and non-spatial proximity in inter-urban firm networks
Spatial agglomeration is well theorized within regional studies and economic geography, with firm- and industry-level advantages generally attributable to the strategic benefits derived from spatial proximity. Increasingly, alternative proximity types have been explored to explain firm relationships within and between industries. This paper applies a novel social network analysis (SNA) approach to analyze city clustering as a function of both spatial and non-spatial factors – namely, economic, sociocultural and geopolitical. Based on the internal reporting structures of Australia-based firms, it explores how ‘global clusters’ are more useful in understanding industry dynamics and processes than hierarchical lists of cities of cascading importance.