Spatial differentiation of variegated capitalisms: a comparative analysis of Russian and Australian oil and gas corporate city networks

Julia Loginova, Thomas Sigler, Kirsten Martinus, Matthew Tonts

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    17 Citations (Scopus)
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    The globalization of firms is shaped at multiple scales by interdependencies and connections between places. The degree to which firm strategic behavior is global depends on capitalist variegation that reflects national particularity and path dependence linked to underlying 50 global industry restructuring. This article develops an analytical framework for studying spatial differentiation of sectoral modes of variegated capitalism by applying a world city networks (WCN) approach to a highly globalized economic sector. It applies social network 55analysis to 24,299 intrafirm ties of 2,121 oil and gas firms in Russia and Australia linking 1,339 cities. An analysis of national networks, as they were in 2019,showed an introverted and centralized city network structure in Russia. Ties to domestic production centers 60 and strategic geopolitical partners were strongly focused on Moscow, reflecting Russia’s state capitalism and the Soviet legacy of the state-led planning. In contrast, the liberal market orientation of Australia showed an extroverted and decentralized network, with strong links 65between Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and international energy hubs, global cities, and tax havens. We conclude that studying sectoral city network structures provides a more nuanced appreciation of economic processes as artifacts of embedded 70 politico-territorial relations as they reflect the underlying role of the state affecting the strategic behavior of firms, essentially profiling sectoral modes of variegated capitalisms. This article seeks to enhance engagement by economic geographers with WCN research, by providing a novel comparative framework for capturing and interpreting uneven (variegated) spatial outcomes of diverse political–institutional contexts vis-à-vis specialized economic activity. By establishing a dialogue with variegated capitalisms literature, we extend the 80 ongoing debates over how politico-territorial and sectoral relations contribute to city networks formation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)422-448
    Number of pages27
    JournalEconomic Geography
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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