Globalization and Networks
The notion of a network may be the best means through which to appreciate the particular qualities of globalization. Most literally, networks are arrangements of connections into nets, or systems linking groups of points and intersecting lines. Obvious examples are the body’s circulatory network of veins or a country’s arteries of rivers, canals, railways, and roads. Networks may also be interconnected chains or systems of immaterial things, events, or processes. A focus on networks allows us to examine the integration of economic, social, political, and cultural regimes as a process in and of itself. Viewing globalization as a network allows us to combine different forms of interaction (e.g., trade, migration, conflict) into a cohesive portrait of international integration.
Maps of networks can often seem like nothing more than random lines. Using the technology developed by NetMap Analytics, we have produced several studies of the network of contemporary trade. Some of them have been assembled for viewing on this website:
Observing Trade Conference
Although international trade is an extensively studied subject, the communities that study it are often disconnected by disciplinary distinctions, levels of analysis (macro or micro economics), or political interests. In recent years a growing number of scholars and policy debates insist that overcoming these distinctions is a necessary step towards understanding trade and crafting more effective governance of trade relations. Furthermore, new data and methods for studying trade reveal complexities about trade relations that do not easily fit into standard theories or policy approaches. To address these developments and the need to better integrate disparate understandings of trade, a group of scholars and practitioners with expertise in various aspects of trade met in March 2006 at Princeton University to explore international trade networks and their macro and micro impacts around the world.
More about this conference, including presentations and related projects, here.
The Mapping Globalization database currently contains trade data as described below. In the near future, additional data on the following topics will also be available:
- Air traffic
For a guide to other data sources related to globalization, see MG/Data/External Sources.
For detailed documentation about the MG database, including source information and field definitions, see the Data Documentation.