Research interests: World/global cities; globalization; social network analysis; agglomeration and network economies; social inequality; spatial analysis.
Ben Derudder is a Visiting Scholar in Sociology. He is a Professor of Urban Geography at Ghent University. He received his PhD from Ghent University in 2006, and most of his research focuses on the conceptualization and quantitative analysis of city networks at various scales (including world city networks and polycentric urban regions). The starting point of the world city network research in which he has engaged is that since the advent of multinational corporations, the traditional urban service function has ‘gone global’: in order to provide services to globalizing corporate clients, the offices of major financial and business service firms across the world have generated networks of work. The myriad of flows between office towers in different metropolitan centres thus produce a key layer of the global urban system (a ‘world city network’). The conceptualization and formal specification of this world city network then serves as the input to exploring a range of related research questions, including developing network-analytical techniques to reveal the structure of this global network, identifying the position of individual and national/regional groups of cities, and exploring the degree to which this relates to shifting city/state relations. His research has been published in leading academic journals, and a summary can be found in the second edition of ‘World City Network: a Global Urban Analysis’ (2016, with Peter Taylor; translated and published in Chinese with Phoenix Education Publishing in 2018.).
Ben is currently one of the editors of Regional Studies, coordinates a Regional Studies Association Research Network on polycentric urban regions, and is associate director of the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) research network. During his stay at Harvard, he will work on a book-length manuscript exploring how a purposeful combination of social network analysis and multivariate analysis can be used to reveal cumulative, interacting, overlapping, and unfolding urban geographies of globalization.
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