Trust, Global Traders and Commodities in a Chinese International City

Project: Research

Project Details


‘Trust, Global Traders, and Commodities in a Chinese International city’ (TRODITIES) is funded by the ERC. TRODITIES’ central focus will be on Yiwu, a dynamic city of 2 million in China’s commercially vibrant Zhejiang province. Yiwu is known by traders from countries including Afghanistan and Syria, Ukraine and Mexico, and the UK and Russia as the world’s hub for the wholesale of ‘small commodities’. Professor Magnus Marsden and the project's team of researchers will explore the ways in which transnational trading activities are conducted in Yiwu, and document the city's connections to the wider world through networks and flows of people, commodities, and knowledge.

Empirically TRODITIES seeks to develop an integrated understanding of: (i) the social groups active in such trading practices and the types of sociality and trust-based relations they create and deploy; (ii) the specific effects that commodities have on such forms of trade and the contexts they are affecting; and (iii) the socio-economic dynamics of trading nodes and cities, and their relations (political, economic, and cultural) to one another and to the polities and nation-states within whose realms they exist. Theoretically, it is anticipated that the project's findings will yield new perspectives on the precise ways in which trade, while facilitating the exchange of commodities, does or does not simultaneously promote transfer of practices, ideas, and identities.
Effective start/end date1/10/1530/09/20