Firms and the ‘Global Knowledge Economy’ Beyond the Global North

The global knowledge economy can be seen as a dominant representation of the global economic order (Roberts 2009, Moisio 2018), and an always unfinished project of producing socio-spatial relations (Marung and Middell 2019).

In this session, we aim to challenge the very idea of firm integration into the global economy and the ways we understand knowledge as a fundamental driver of innovation. While the dominant understandings of both, the global knowledge economy and innovation are based on a ‘Northern’ conceptual bias, we invite for empirical and conceptual reflections on more diverse readings and imaginations of the global economy and firm innovation beyond the global North.

We suggest that the power-geometries (Massey 1999) inscribed in to-date core-periphery relations at multiple scales hegemonize particular forms of global integration while others are marginalised. This particularly affects firms in ‘peripheral’ locations beyond the Global North (cf. Vanolo 2010) and beyond agglomeration economies (Shearmur, Carrincazeaux, Doloreux 2016).

How do internationally active and innovative companies from such ‘double-peripheries’ emerge and integrate into this global knowledge economy or construct their own understandings of potentially more diverse (global) economic orders?

For this special session, we invite particularly conceptual and empirical contributions discussing: