Networks of International Trade and Investment

Understanding globalization through the lens of network analysis

by Matthew Smith (University of Greenwich), Alessia Amighini (University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy), Sara Gorgoni (University of Greenwich)

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The globalisation of industries in recent decades has led to a fundamental change in the way in which production is structured: products are no longer manufactured in their entirety in a single location. Integration of global trade has been accompanied by disintegration of production. This disintegration, or rather fragmentation, of production has resulted in a shift-change in patterns of international trade and investment, with a rise in trade of intermediate goods and a rise in FDI activity. In addition, multinational enterprises (MNEs) play a more focal role in this reorganisation of production, spreading out their manufacturing and supply chain activities globally, resulting in an increase in FDI and intra-firm trade. This international fragmentation of production challenges our ability to understand the international economy. Global value chains is one leading theoretical approach encompassing and trying to make sense of these changes, but scholars point to several limitations of it, most prominently the difficulty of aggregating from firm-level observations to national-level. A crucial aspect is that these changes in trade and FDI patterns have resulted in a more interconnected world economy. Understanding the interdependencies between entities involved in the fragmented production process is essential in order to understand the way production is organised today. Traditional methods and statistical approaches are insufficient to address this challenge.
This edited book makes a case for the use of network analysis alongside existing techniques in answering burning questions in the areas of international business and economics, such as whether trade has become more global or regional, and to what extent emerging economies challenge the role of traditional producers in specific industries. The book looks at how the approach and methodologies of network analysis can contribute in explaining international business and economics phenomena, in particular related to international trade and investment. It will provide a comprehensive but accessible explanation of the applications of network analysis applications and some of the most recent methodological advances that can contribute to research in the area of international trade and investment. (provisional and subject to change)

Dr Sara Gorgoni is Senior Lecturer in Economic Sociology at the University of Greenwich since September 2010. She has an expertise in business economics and network analysis, and is currently involved in several project investigating the relationship between global networks in trade and investments by applying network analysis. She has also conducted research on foreign direct investment from emerging countries, innovation networks, clusters of SMEs and global value chains, and her work has been published in several world famous journals including the International Business Review and World Economy. She has conducted research for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Bank and other United Nations agencies. Dr Gorgoni earned a PhD in Development Economics from the University of Roma TRE, Italy and an MA in Political Economy at the University of Essex.

Dr Alessia Amighini is an International economist with an expertise on China. Alessia has published extensively on the expansion of Chinese firms abroad and on the impact of globalisation on the organisation of production on high ranked journals including China Economic Review, China and the World Economy, International Economics, World Development, World Economy and books about the Chinese economy (The Chinese Economy (with S. Chiarlone - Il Mulino 2006; Xi Jinping's policy gambles: The bumpy road ahead (with A. Berkofski) - ISPI 2015; The Chinese economy in the XXI century (with F. Lemoine) - Il Mulino forthcoming, L'économie chinoise au XXIème siècle (with F. Lemoine) - La Décourverte forthcoming. She works as Adjunct Professor at the University of Eastern Piedmont (Italy) and at the Catholic University in Milan (Italy). She is also Associate Senior Research Fellow in the Asian division at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies and Senior Fellow at the Bocconi University SDA China Lab.

Matthew Smith is a PhD candidate at the University of Greenwich. He graduated in Mathematics from the University of Manchester with an expertise in Network Science. He is currently studying the process of globalisation and related phenomena by applying advanced network analysis techniques to the analysis of trade and investments.

Bibliographic Information

Book Title
Networks of International Trade and Investment
Book Subtitle
Understanding globalization through the lens of network analysis
Physical size
236mm x 160mm
Publication date
March 2018