The Singaporean natural gas hub: reassembling global production networks and markets in Asia
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Economic Geography. 2020, 20 1241-1262. https://doi.org/10.1093/jeg/lbaa011
Recently, economic geographers have sought to account for how regional and national initiatives shape the strategic decisions of actors in global production networks (GPNs). In this article, I intend to discuss the political and institutional dynamics by which GPNs evolve, and the capacity of states to shape emerging organizational and spatial arrangements in dynamic GPNs. Building on assemblage thinking, I conceptualize these political and institutional dynamics as the unbundling of legal, regulatory and institutional components of nation-state authorities that govern GPNs, and the subsequent reassembling of these components through emerging interactions with finance, technology and new forms of private authority. These emerging global assemblages are both partially embedded in global cities and stretch across and within the borders of nation-states. Building on this conceptual framework, this article explains how the exclusive nation-state authorities that traditionally governed liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade and markets are becoming unbundled. The article focuses on the initiatives of public and private actors in Singapore who are attempting to shape evolutionary dynamics in GPNs by establishing a hub for LNG trading and speculative financing in Asia. The article finds that Singapore’s capacity to shape LNG production networks is dependent upon the capacity of public and private actors in Singapore to establish cross-border connectivity to markets in Southeast Asia.