چرخه عمر در یک شبکه کسب و کار کلانشهر: لیورپول 1750-1810
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1558||2011||61 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Explorations in Economic History, Volume 48, Issue 2, April 2011, Pages 189–206
Recently historians have complicated their understanding of networks. In particular, they have started to assess the role of networks in civic and formal arenas. This paper posits a quantitative methodology for a more nuanced and sophisticated analysis of mercantile networks within this environment. It uses visual analytics of Liverpool's business networks comprising political, trade, social and cultural institutions to assess their role in the changing social and economic climate during the period 1750–1810. This paper demonstrates the dynamic role of networks in the shaping of a metropolitan economy and the interplay between the two. In addition, it posits that, as is the case for regional clusters, there is a life cycle of networks. In this way, we are able to see how the networks sustained, nurtured and transformed social and economic activity during this period.
Historians have become increasingly interested in networks as a tool for historical analysis. Many of these interpretations present a benign view of business networks based on the perceived ability of familial, ethnic and religious networks to reduce moral hazard. More recently, however, historians have complicated their conceptions of networks and have started to look at more formal and civic arenas especially within an urban environment. This research into metropolitan business networks challenges the positivist view of networks. For example, research on guilds and trade associations, using quantitative data similar to that used in this study, has often found them to be reactionary and inward looking to an extent that retarded economic progress. At the same time, many commercial towns remained successful and were able to adapt to new economic opportunities. This suggests a complicated picture of metropolitan business networks. This paper pushes forward this more nuanced and sophisticated analysis of networks and represents the first serious attempt to measure them to assess change over time.1 It visualises Liverpool's metropolitan business networks comprising political, trade, social and cultural institutions during the period 1750–1810 and then measures the relationships between these individuals and groups. In doing so, it avoids the issue of source (or ego) centrality often found in network analysis based on qualitative data to provide a wider picture of relationship interplay and its role in economic activity. This is achieved by applying social network analysis and visual analytics to historical data to facilitate analysis of the network relationships. The relationships presented here number over 210,000 amongst 1700 actors, which could not be presented using traditional representational methods. Using different metrics of efficiency based on an actor's or a group's relative position within the network, we demonstrate how the networks changed over time. Moreover, visual analytics, especially when analysing large data sets, is exploratory in nature and therefore may raise questions, rather than answer them per se. This paper posits that Liverpool's institutional networks during the period 1750–1810 analysed here, coalesced towards bonding rather than bridging networks. This occurred as Liverpool's economy matured, especially with regard to the Atlantic trade, and the slave trade in particular. However, this study also argues that networks are dynamic, fluctuate over time and have a life cycle. We therefore find that various networks were in operation at the same time. This means that, as with regional clusters, some will eventually wither, but this facilitates the emergence of new and more dynamic networks in turn. This paper first outlines the major themes in the related literature on networks and places our contribution in context. It then outlines the methodology and the eighteenth-century Liverpool case study. This is followed by a discussion on the rise and fall of a section of Liverpool's Metropolitan Business Networks. Finally, we draw our conclusions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Using visual analytics has facilitated the analysis of a large data set with over 210,000 relationships involving 1700 actors. Moreover, it has provided a nuanced and sophisticated view of the way in which institutional membership networks changed over time, not only in the long term, but dynamically within the short term as well. This study confirms that using tools such as visual analytics can be useful in raising both specific and wider issues from the quantitative data, especially where there is a lack of extant qualitative data. In addition, visual analytics is exploratory in nature, and therefore may raise questions, rather than answer them per se. The results of this research suggest some conclusions about Liverpool's metropolitan business networks, and also about networks more generally. Despite being the leading British out port during the period 1750–1810, Liverpool's business networks, as represented by the data here, coalesced towards bonding rather than bridging networks. This occurred as Liverpool's economy matured, especially with regard to the Atlantic trade, and the slave trade in particular. The fact that there was a decline in cross-institutional membership may also be a reflection of the increasing tension between the many non-conformists who traded with the thirteen continental colonies and the Anglicans involved in the West India and slave trade. Even banking was split along these lines with the West India men banking with Gregsons & Co. and then later Leyland & Bullins, and the American merchants with Clarke & Roscoe (Checkland, 1958). Indeed, it has been suggested that there were two identities in Liverpool by the late eighteenth century (Stobart, 2000). This tension is reflected in our network analysis. Furthermore, as these institutional networks coalesced, so did investment groups – at least in the slave trade. Over time investment groups in the slave trade got smaller and smaller (McDade) and relied less and less on institutional networks. However, the number of individuals investing in the slave trade during the 1790s and 1800s grew dramatically following a decline. Moreover, by the end of the period, a few men such as Thomas Case dominated the Council (Ascott et al., 2006). They had political power and were rich men from well connected families. For example, Thomas Leyland may have been exceptional, having died with an estate worth somewhere under £600,000, but William Pole, mayor in 1778, died leaving around £80,000 and Thomas Molyneux, mayor in 1806, left just under £35,000 (Pope, 2007). Therefore, not only did these men not need the drinking clubs for career progression, but they no longer required the more formal institutions for co-investment either. However, their institutional memberships, and the networks and social capital the memberships afforded, meant that they were well placed to provide investment opportunities to the wider Liverpool business community. Indeed, the rise in investors and voyages during the 1790s and 1800s following the decline in the previous two decades suggests a change in capital requirements and distribution of wealth in Liverpool reflected in our network analysis with small-scale merchants and investors moving into this trade. The increasing coalescence and dysfunctionality of these metropolitan networks may help to explain why Liverpool merchants were not better able to defend against the movement to abolish the slave trade. They were slow to react to Dolben's Act in 1788 (Sanderson, 1972) and did not fully participate in the London Society for Abolition (Ryden, 2009). It is certainly difficult to explain William Roscoe's election as MP in 1806. True, Roscoe campaigned on an anti-East India Company ticket (Wilson, 2008), but it must have been well known that he supported abolition. He was also nominated by his business partner in his bank, Thomas Leyland, and seconded by Thomas Earle, both prominent slave traders. This seemingly strange occurrence is, however, a reflection of the fact that most Liverpool slave traders engaged in the slave trade as only part of a wider business portfolio (Haggerty, 2008), William Davenport being a lonely exception (Richardson, 1976). Furthermore, most merchants were involved in a variety of partnerships in order to bring together skills, capital and contacts. For example, Thomas Case was in partnership with Nicholas Southworth in the slave trade and in importing sugar and rum from Jamaica, ran a Manchester warehouse, exported dry goods to Philadelphia, acted as an insurance broker in partnership with William Gregson, ran a colliery, and was a proprietor of a fire office (Haggerty, 2008). Therefore, whilst the Town Council was dominated by slave traders who did not engage in cross-institutional membership, its members were able to assess and cater for their needs through their wider trading interests. This is demonstrated by the impressive dock programme in the port throughout the eighteenth century, planned and supported by the town council (Power, 1997), which catered well for all the trades its wider community was engaged in. Despite abolition of the slave trade, Liverpool's success continued into the nineteenth century. This is no doubt a reflection of the increasing importance of other sectors of the trading community, not included in the institutional membership analysed here. Networking was clearly occurring in other spaces amongst the other groups. For example, there was a Chamber of Commerce established in 1774 and an American Chamber of Commerce in 1801. The members of the American Chamber of Commerce, despite including a few slave traders such as Thomas and William Earle, were clearly another group from those on the Council and African Committee, including the Quaker Rathbones. Indeed, as this group gained in importance, they gained in influence too. For example, American merchants such as William Rathbone, Thomas Martin, and James Cropper were called to give evidence to the House of Commons in 1808 regarding the increasing tensions with the United States (House of Commons Parliamentary, 1808). The first president of the Shipowners’ Association set up in 1810 was also a leading American trader, Samuel Holland (Tolley, 1812). It is clear therefore that whilst the networks of the slave trade-dominated Council and African Committee were coalescing, other groups of merchants were on the rise. Liverpool's experience in 1750–1810 has much to say about networks more generally. Increasingly bonding networks mean that some metropolitan business networks are less able to respond to wider changes in national and international trade. As Granovetter notes, the shape of the network environment determines a group's ability to mobilise in the face of external pressure (Granovetter, 1973). Moreover, it is clear that as a network matures, its members need institutions less and less for access to information and credit as well. Lastly, this case study of Liverpool suggests that, as is the case with clusters (Swann, 1998), there is a life cycle of networks. This means that some will eventually wither, but that this facilitates the emergence of new and more dynamic networks which eventually take over. Importantly, by looking at networks within institutions we can see that ‘far from being divorced from the study of political institutions and culture, networks are the constitutive elements that sustain, rupture, and transform social and economic institutions’ in turn ( Smith-Doerr and Powell, 2005).