Global City Makers
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Global City Makers

Economic Actors and Practices in the World City Network

Edited by Michael Hoyler, Christof Parnreiter and Allan Watson

Global City Makers provides an in-depth account of the role of powerful economic actors in making and un-making global cities. Engaging critically and constructively with global urban studies from a relational economic geography perspective, the book outlines a renewed agenda for global cities research. Focusing on financial services, management consultancy, real estate, commodity trading and maritime industries, the detailed studies in this volume are located across the globe to incorporate major world cities such as London, New York and Tokyo as well as globalizing cities including Mexico City, Hamburg and Mumbai.
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Chapter 3: Commodity traders as agents of economic globalization

Wouter Jacobs


This chapter is about understanding the role that commodity traders play in the world city network. Commodity trade is crucial in shaping economic globalization, both in the form of physical exchange of goods and in the form of financial transactions. Some older geographical thoughts on the role of traders and trade in shaping urban fortunes, most notably the work of James Vance (1970), are presented. These insights are confronted with a detailed overview of the contemporary practices of commodity traders in coordinating global supply chains and transactions, effectively linking various markets and places across time and space. The main hypothesis we induce is that in order for commodity traders to act as global agents they prefer the concentrated agglomeration benefits offered by (world) cities.

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