From Global to Local: Regional- and City-Level Alternatives to Global Rankings

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Global Higher Education book series (PSGHE)


This chapter discusses the recent tendency to localize the rankings and indicators on competitiveness, innovation, and higher education. The localization of ranking comes in the form of regional and city rankings, challenging the dominant imaginary assuming global comparability of similar units or the state-centric understanding of world order. Nevertheless, conceptually or methodologically regional and local alternatives hardly depart from the global indicators. Local variants often rely on familiar data sources and established data producers. They reproduce the old imagery of competition, but now on the city level of actorhood. In fact, due to the lack of urban data, many city rankings on innovation make use of national data employed by the established global indicators.


  1. A.T. Kearney. 2014. 2014 Global Cities Index and Emerging Cities Outlook. Global Cities, Present and Future. A.T. Kearney.Google Scholar
  2. ———. 2015. Global Cities 2015: The Race Accelerates. A.T. Kearney.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 2016. Global Cities 2016. A.T. Kearney.Google Scholar
  4. Annoni, Paola, Lewis Dijkstra, and Nadia Gargano. 2017. The EU Regional Competitiveness Index 2016. Working Paper 02/2017. European Commission.
  5. Beetham, David, Sarah Bracking, Iain Kearton, and Stuart Weir. 2002. International IDEA Handbook on Democracy Assessment. The Hague: Kluwer Law International.Google Scholar
  6. Clarivate Analytics. 2016. 2016 Top 100 Global Innovators Report. Clarivate Analytics.
  7. Cohen, Arthur M., and Carrie B. Kisker. 2010. The Shaping of American Higher Education: Emergence and Growth of the Contemporary System. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  8. Cornell University, INSEAD and WIPO. 2015. The Global Innovation Index 2015: Effective Innovation Policies for Development. World Intellectual Property Organization.Google Scholar
  9. Erkkilä, Tero. 2014. Global University Rankings, Transnational Policy Discourse and Higher Education in Europe. European Journal of Education 49 (1): 91–101. Scholar
  10. ———. 2016. Global University Rankings and Transnational Politics of Higher Education. In The Transnational Politics of Higher Education: Contesting the Global/Transforming the Local, ed. Meng-Hsuan Chou, Isaac Kamola, and Tamson Pietsch, 178–196. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Erkkilä, Tero, and Ossi Piironen. 2013. Shifting Fundaments of European Higher Education Governance: Competition, Ranking, Autonomy and Accountability. Comparative Education 50 (2): 177–191. Scholar
  12. European Commission. 2016. European Innovation Scoreboard 2016. European Commission.Google Scholar
  13. Hobsbawm, Eric. 1987. Introduction: Inventing Traditions. In The Invention of Tradition, ed. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Kamola, Isaac. 2014. The African University as ‘Global’ University. PS: Political Science & Politics 47 (03): 604–607. Scholar
  15. Kangas, Anni. 2017. Global Cities, International Relations and the Fabrication of the World. Global Society 31 (4): 531–550. Scholar
  16. Kehm, Barbara M. 2014. Global University Rankings—Impacts and Unintended Side Effects. European Journal of Education 49 (1): 102–112. Scholar
  17. Knack, Stephen, Mark Kugler, and Nick Manning. 2003. Second-Generation Governance Indicators. International Review of Administrative Sciences 69 (3): 345–364. Scholar
  18. Koselleck, Reinhart. 2004. Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Leff, Scott, and Brittany Petersen. 2015. Beyond the Scorecard: Understanding Global City Rankings. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.Google Scholar
  20. Mäkinen, Sirke. 2016. In Search of the Status of an Educational Great Power? Analysis of Russia’s Educational Diplomacy Discourse. Problems of Post-Communism 63 (3): 183–196. Scholar
  21. ———. 2017. Global University Rankings and Russia Adopting a Global Model, or Creating an Alternative? Conference Paper, ISA Annual Convention, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  22. Marginson, Simon. 2014. Russian Science and Higher Education in a More Global Era. Voprosy Obrazovaniya/Educational Studies (4): 8–35.Google Scholar
  23. Mastercard. 2008. Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index. Mastercard.Google Scholar
  24. Pulakkat, Hari. 2016. A Look at India’s 15-Place Jump in Global Innovation Index. The Economic Times, August 25.
  25. QS. 2013. QS and Interfax Group to Launch First BRICS University Ranking.
  26. ———. 2015. QS University Rankings: Arab Region 2015. Top Universities. May 28.
  27. Thomson Reuters. 2016. Thomson Reuters Closes Sale of Intellectual Property & Science Business. Thomson Reuters, October 3.
  28. Reuters. 2017. The World’s Most Innovative Research Institutions—2017. Reuters, March 1.
  29. Salmi, Jamil. 2009. The Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities. Washington, DC: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Skinner, Quentin. 1969. Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas. History and Theory 8 (1): 3–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. The Economic Times. 2012. India Improves Ranking in Global Innovation Efficiency Index. The Economic Times.
  32. ———. 2016. Modify Global Innovation Index Methodology: India. The Economic Times, August 19.
  33. ———. 2017a. India Innovation Index to Measure Performance of Indian States. The Economic Times, January 19.
  34. ———. 2017b. Niti Ayog Launches ‘India Innovation Index.’ The Economic Times, February 2.
  35. The Economist Intelligence Unit. 2013. Hot Spots 2025. Benchmarking the Future Competitiveness of Cities. The Economist Intelligence Unit.Google Scholar
  36. The Mori Memorial Foundation. 2015. Global Power City Index 2015. Summary. The Mori Memorial Foundation.Google Scholar
  37. ———. 2016. The Global Power City Index. Yearbook. The Mori Memorial Foundation.Google Scholar
  38. Times Higher Education. 2013. Asia University Rankings. Times Higher Education (THE).
  39. ———. 2014a. BRICS & Emerging Economies. Times Higher Education (THE).
  40. Trapnell, Stephanie E. 2011. Actionable Governance Indicators: Turning Measurement into Reform. Hague Journal of the Rule of Law 3 (2): 317–348. Scholar
  41. World Economic Forum. 2014a. Global Competitiveness Report 2014–2015. World Economic Forum.
  42. ———. 2014b. The Competitiveness of Cities. A Report of the Global Agenda Council on Competitiveness. World Economic Forum.Google Scholar
  43. ———. 2016. White Paper Competitive Cities and Their Connections to Global Value Chains. World Economic Forum.
  44. ———. 2017. New Index to Measure Innovation Performance of Indian States. World Economic Forum, January 19.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Ministry for Foreign Affairs of FinlandHelsinkiFinland

Personalised recommendations