Our Director of Research, Ben Leffel, and Michele Acuto, Director of UCL City Leadership Initiative at the University College London were commissioned by the UK Government Office for Science to complete a UK China city-diplomacy studies. Here we share the larger of the two studies.

You can read that study here: leffel-acuto-2018-economic-power-foundations-of-cities-in-global-governance.

“This study provides evidence that city government participation in global governance networks is explicable by the larger power hierarchy of cities in the global economy. Extant research on city government participation in global governance networks, or “transnational municipal networks (TMNs)” such as United Cities Local Governments, has largely ignored the relevance of research showing city-level connectivity to corporate and other economic networks among world cities. In this latter tradition of research, the level of a city’s connectivity to such economic networks is understood as commensurate with the hierarchical power it holds in the global economy. Using a sample of UK and Chinese cities, this study shows that patterns of participation in a range of TMNs are explained by varied measures of city-level connectivity to economic networks. Interpreted through structuration theory, findings suggest that city participation in global governance is shaped and stratified by city-level hierarchical power within the global economy.”