On 30 and 31 January 2020, Jana Kleibert and Tim Rottleb participated in the 5th meeting of the DFG Network “Spaces of Global Production” hosted at the Belval Campus of the University of Luxembourg. The network is coordinated by Jana Kleibert and connects scholars from Germany, Luxemburg and Belgium to exchange ideas and contribute to debates on the economic geographies of globalisation.
Following up on the discussion on spatial figures in economic geography that developed during the three sessions organized by the network at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2019, the network members plus guests reviewed and discussed papers drafts for a potential special issue in an academic journal. The papers dealt with varying empirical topics such as development corridors, the architectures of global production networks and free ports, but all circulated around theoretical considerations on spaces of exclusivity and their material and imaginative dimensions.
In this context, Tim Rottleb presented a paper draft on the material and discursive layers of education hubs in the United Arab Emirates. Based on an analysis of qualitative interview data, strategic documents and the websites of foreign university campuses, the paper will show how transnational urban education zones contribute to the making of their host cities as places that are competitive and worthy of foreign investment, while at the same time being representative of their creators’ visions for establishing a knowledge-based economy.