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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Principal Investigator: Edward Malecki, Department of Geography

Economic reform and market liberalization in China and India have brought about major shifts in the global economy.  Although both countries embrace central planning, each aspires to be a major player on the world stage.  

China’s ambitions lie not only in science and high technology, but also in natural resources such as oil.  India supplies services to global corporations in biotechnology and information technology.  China’s low-cost labor force is a magnet for foreign investment from around the world, while India’s research facilities have attracted investment from Europe and the United States.

In this project, Malecki will systematically track the growth of Chinese and Indian connections to the global economy. He will examine this growth through two dimensions: Chinese and Indian participation in global research and production networks, and the connections of the two countries and their major cities to the global Internet. 

To carry out this research, Malecki will use information from three databases: Global Internet Geography 2006International Bandwidth 2006, and Colocation 2006.

This project builds on a previous Mershon Center grant that allowed Malecki to carry out a large-scale study of the geography of submarine cables.  That study came to some surprising conclusions, including that China ranks sixth and India ninth in total bandwidth on submarine cables, surpassing such countries as France and Denmark. 

These cables have allowed Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai to join Hong Kong as among Asia’s best-connected cities.  They have also given India new access to the Internet through direct connections to China and Singapore.  Previously, India had relied solely on satellite, constraining its ability to participate in the digital economy.

The current project will lead to publication of two journal articles -- one focusing on the telecommunications networks of India and China, and one surveying the two countries’ participation in the global economy more broadly -– as well as a co-authored book, The Digital Economy: Business Organization, Production Processes and Regional Developments, already under contract with Routledge. 

It will also become the basis for Malecki’s proposal to the National Science Foundation to study the shifts in economic and technological power among the nations of the world.