Dr. Sumeet Mhaskar (Jindal Global University, India), Katharina
Grueneisl (Durham University, UK)
When ‘networks’ and ‘economies’ are discussed in urban research, emphasis often lies on comprehending the position or degree
of integration of a particular city in the global economy. Whether global production networks (GPN) or world city networks, urban economies tend to feature in this research
as mapped nodes at which measurable global flows converge.
This session, broadly framed around the 2019 RC21’s subtheme "networks,
communities, capital", wants to engage in an empirically different discussion about the role of ‘networks’ in urban economies. It takes as its starting point the central role of diverse networks – social, cultural, material,
technological etc. – in shaping everyday economic processes and practices at the urban micro-level. Rather than approaching the city merely as ‘network node’, this session seeks to investigate the ways in which different ‘networks’ are articulated in urban
space and through diverse processes of circulation. Intricate networks enable the circulation of labour/people, commodities/things,
capital, ideas, etc. in and beyond the city, and co-determine their spatialities and temporalities. Reciprocally, socio-material circulations through the city – for instance rural-urban migration, or commodity flows – often lead to the reconfiguration of existing
urban networks or allow for the emergence of new connections. Paying attention to ‘networks’ and their contingent constitution through evolving circulations thus opens up new perspectives on the day-to-day functioning of urban economies,
beyond visions of contained nodes in a globally networked economy.
This session proposes to think through the openings, as well limitations, that an attention to ‘networks’
and ‘circulations’ brings to our ways of seeing and researching everyday urban economies. It thus aims to contribute to existing urban research on informal economies, urban livelihood-making, changing working lives in cities, or the role of communities, such
as migrant or religious groups, in structuring urban economies.
This session invites papers addressing, but not limited to, the following questions:
- What formal or informal, social or material ‘networks’ shape everyday urban economies in different cities (in the North and South)?
- How do social and material circulations to and from the city – such as commodity flows, migration movements, or the circulation
of international expertise – depend on, but also reconfigure, ‘networks’ in the city?
- How do particular kinds of networks, based for instance on trader associations, religious charities or migrant community organizations,
enable specific forms of circulation to, from, and in the city?
- How does the existence of social networks, for instance in ethnic or religious communities, affect people’s strategies for livelihood
making and working lives in the city?
- How do particular networks and circulations shape spaces of the urban economy, such as through the emergence of new market or trading
places, or shifts in the organization of production, distribution and exchange in the city?
Submit your abstract:
submit your 250 words abstract by the 20/01/2019 to the two session convenors, Sumeet Mhaskar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and Katharina Grüneisl (email@example.com).
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any additional information or questions!
Information on the RC21 Conference 2019, Delhi, can be found here: https://rc21delhi2019.com