Abstract - The Information Society 15(1)

The World System of International Monetary Flows: A Network Analysis

Joseph Salisbury and George Barnett

The emergence of the global service economy has altered the flows of information and capital among the world's nations. Electronic international banking networks now provide the economic infrastructure for the "global village" as millions of financial transactions are processed daily. This article describes the world system based on the financial transactions of an international credit card network. Using transaction data from the third quarter of 1995, a network analysis produced structural findings similar to those found for the international telecommunications and trade networks. These results indicate that the world's monetary flow system is composed of a single group with the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Canada at the core and the former members of the Eastern block and less developed countries at the periphery. Additionally, a number of nations are marginal in the network with only a single link to a core member of the network.

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