4 Aug

Geographical Review Preview: NYLON’s Pre-Eminence: The Permeability of World Regions in Contemporary Globalization

By: Peter J Taylor, Ben Derudder & Xingjian Liu

What is the main purpose of your study? 

The term NYLON is commonly used to denote the specific economic linkage between London and New York; the purpose of this paper is to explore the wider global importance of this single economic link through mapping the ways financial and related firms in these two cities are major players worldwide. 

What are the practical, day to day, implications of your study? 

To fully appreciate the complex hierarchical nature of globalized financial and related service provision centered on NYLON, a transnational geographical phenomenon.

How does your study relate to other work on the subject?

There are lots of studies that show London and New York as the leading cities in the contemporary globalization but this study is unique in showing the global importance of these two cities in combination, as NYLON, complementing each other in providing financial and related services worldwide.

What are two or three interesting findings that come from your study? 

In world region after world region (e.g. Australasia, India, Latin America, Continental Europe) NYLON is more important as a link for financial and related services than links between cities within a region. The only exception is China where a separate world of financial and related services has been constructed.

What might be some of the theoretical implications of this study? 

The key theoretical message of this study is that cities should not be understood simply as places – describing economic activity within a city does not provide a full assessment of a city’s economic prowess. The latter depends additionally on the projection of economic activities beyond the city. NYLON is a clear example of inter-related activities between two cities enhancing the importance of both cities complementarily. The study treats contemporary globalization as truly transnational, in contrast to studies of international relations.

How does your research help us think about Geography? 

As description of the Earth, Geography deals with both spaces of places (e.g. regions) and spaces of flows (e.g. transport). Although these types of spaces are always necessarily connected – the dynamism of spaces of places depends on flows within and through them; the logic of spaces of flows depends on origins and destinations – in practice most geographical studies have started with, prioritized, spaces of places. This study prioritizes spaces of flows as the best way the understand contemporary globalization. It is part of a research initiative that uses the world city network, not the world political map, as a means for Geography to make a key contribution to global studies.

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