45th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Land Use and Water Management in a Sustainable Network Society", 23-27 August 2005, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
This paper focuses on the interdependencies between firms and spatial networks (nodes and linkages) at different European spatial scales. The paper is structured into two parts: (1) Conceptualization; (2) Empirical Analysis. Part (1) consists of three chapters conceptualizing various scales of city-firm networks. The first concerns the macro scale, discussing the development of specific networks within the globalization process. The second analyses the mezzo level of European networks and their national to supranational transformation. On the micro level Rotterdam's internal and external network is conceptualized. Part (2) empirically reveals the European city-firm network at mezzo and micro scales, based on datasets including the top 100 EU multinationals, their affilates/subsidiaries and the city locations of all these firms. Chapter one analyses the mezzo scale, showing various hierarchies of city-firm interdependencies, for the sectors of manufacturing, trade, information, public services and basic materials. The second chapter analyses the relative position of Rotterdam within this interscalar network, by specifically investigating its internal and external city-firm networks. From this Rotterdam's existing strengths and weakenesses, and possible future implications are determined.