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Economic Geography A Contemporary Introduction

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2019-12-31
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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A revised and updated edition of the leading introductory text on the geography of economic life, from the local to the global

Economic Geography is an engaging and accessible introduction to the different ways modern economic geographers understand, analyze, and interpret economic processes. This comprehensive text addresses significant questions relevant to contemporary economic life, from the activities of transnational corporations to issues surrounding workplaces and consumption. It encourages readers to explore how spatial patterns, places, networks, and territories shape large-scale economic processes. Accessible, highly-illustrated material presents fresh insights from the field—complemented by relatable, real-world examples that help students understand the social, cultural, and political contexts underpinning global economic processes.

Now in its third edition, this extensively revised and updated textbook retains the features and thematic structure that have proved popular with students and instructors alike, while adding exciting new content. New chapters explore how the global economy and global development are institutionalized and governed, the economic geographies of global climate change, economic practices outside the capitalist mainstream, the role of migrants in labour markets, global production networks, and more. 

  • Introduces economic geography with a thematic approach including major concepts, current debates, and case studies
  • Revised and updated to enhance international coverage, including three entirely new chapters on international development, alternative economies, and global climate change
  • Substantial new content on labour migration, global production networks, and recent intellectual trends such as evolutionary economic geography
  • Highly illustrated with diagrams and photographs closely integrated into the text
  • Pedagogical aids including key case studies, learning objectives, text boxes, chapter essay questions, summaries, and further reading
  • Core geographical concepts – such as place, networks and territory – are closely integrated into all chapters.

Economic Geography: A Contemporary Introduction is an invaluable source of up-to-date knowledge for students new to the field, for those requiring a solid foundation, as well as for a broader academic and public readership with interest in this area of study.

Author Biography

NEIL M. COE is Professor of Economic Geography at the National University of Singapore

PHILIP F. KELLY is Professor of Geography at York University, Canada

HENRY W.C. YEUNG is Distinguished Professor at the National University of Singapore

Table of Contents

List of Figures xi

List of Tables xv

List of Boxes xvii

Preface to the Third Edition xix

Acknowledgements xxvi

Part I Conceptual Foundations 1

1 Geography: How do we think spatially? 3

1.1 Introduction: Message in a Bottle 3

1.2 Bottled Water: A Contentious Commodity 7

1.3 Location and Patterns in Space 11

1.4 The Uniqueness of Place 15

1.5 Connecting Across Space Through Networks 20

1.6 Defining and Controlling Space Through Territory 26

1.7 Summary 30

2 The Economy: What does it mean? 36

2.1 Introduction 36

2.2 What ‘Counts’ as the Economy? 38

2.3 A Brief History of ‘the Economy’ 44

2.4 Basic Economic Processes 50

2.5 From Economics to Economic Geography 55

2.6 Summary 65

3 Dynamics of Capitalism: Why is economic growth so uneven? 69

3.1 Introduction 69

3.2 Uneven Development – Naturally! 73

3.3 Fundamentals of the Capitalist System 74

3.4 The Spaces and Scales of Uneven Geographical Development 82

3.5 Can Places and Regions Chart Their Own Futures? 93

3.6 Summary 98

4 Networks: How is the world economy interconnected? 102

4.1 Introduction 102

4.2 The Missing Relations Between Producers and Consumers? 105

4.3 Production Networks: Connecting Distant Places and Economies 108

4.4 Bringing Commodities Together: The Logistics Revolution 123

4.5 Where Does a Production Network End? From Waste to Commodities Again 127

4.6 Summary 129

Part II Key Economic Actors 135

5 Transnational Corporations: How do they keep it all together? 137

5.1 Introduction 137

5.2 The Myth of Being Everywhere, Effortlessly 139

5.3 The Changing Organization of TNCs 142

5.4 Organizing Transnational Economic Activities 1 – Intra‐firm Relationships 146

5.5 Organizing Transnational Economic Activities 2 – Inter‐firm Relationships 155

5.6 The Risks of Global Presence 164

5.7 Summary 167

6 Labour: Are migrant workers the new normal? 171

6.1 Introduction 171

6.2 Are Migrants the Problem? 174

6.3 Territorial Power and Migrant Types 178

6.4 Migrant Labour and Places of Settlement 183

6.5 Migrant Labour and Places of Origin 189

6.6 Organizing Migrant Labour 192

6.7 The Migration Industry 197

6.8 Summary 200

7 Consumers: Who decides what we buy? 206

7.1 Introduction 206

7.2 Towards Viewing Consumption as a Sociocultural Process 209

7.3 The Shifting Spatial Patterns of Retailing 213

7.4 Uneven Geographies of Consumption 232

7.5 Consuming Places: Travel and Tourism 238

7.6 Summary 243

8 Finance: How has capital become so powerful? 247

8.1 Introduction 247

8.2 How is the Real Economy Financed? 251

8.3 Deregulation and the Rise of Global Finance 253

8.4 Putting Global Finance in Its Place 257

8.5 Financialization: Circulating Global Capital 263

8.6 A Different Kind of Finance? 273

8.7 Summary 276

Part III Governing the Economy 281

9 States: Who runs the economy? 283

9.1 Introduction 283

9.2 Neo‐liberal Globalization and the End of the State? 286

9.3 The State as the Architect of the National Economy 289

9.4 Varieties of Capitalisms and States 301

9.5 Graduated Sovereignty and the State 309

9.6 Summary 309

10 International Institutions: How do they govern and foster global development? 314

10.1 Introduction 314

10.2 A Market Mechanism for the ‘Global South’? 317

10.3 Governing the Global Economy 319

10.4 Fostering Development in the Global South 331

10.5 Bottom‐Up? The Rise of Community‐Based Development 339

10.6 Summary 340

11 Environment: Does global climate change change everything? 345

11.1 Introduction 345

11.2 Climate Complacency 348

11.3 Causes and Sources of Climate Change 351

11.4 The Impacts and Costs of Climate Change 356

11.5 Regulating Emissions 360

11.6 Geographies of the Green Economy 368

11.7 Should this Change Everything? 373

11.8 Summary 375

Part IV Social and Cultural Dimensions 381

12 Clusters: Why does proximity matter? 383

12.1 Introduction 383

12.2 Industrial Location Theory 387

12.3 Towards a Typology of Clusters? 390

12.4 Binding Clusters Together: Agglomeration Economies 398

12.5 Untraded Interdependencies and Regional Cultures of Production 402

12.6 A Dynamic Approach to Clusters 409

12.7 Can Clusters Be Temporary? 412

12.8 Summary 415

13 Identities: Are economies gendered and racialized? 420

13.1 Introduction 420

13.2 Seeing Gender and Race in the Economy 422

13.3 Uneven Geographies of Gender and Work 425

13.4 Gender, Race, and the Labour Market 432

13.5 Identity and the Workplace 433

13.6 Ethnic Clusters and Networks 437

13.7 Intersecting Identities 446

13.8 Summary 448

14 Alternatives: Can we create diverse economies? 453

14.1 Introduction 453

14.2 Beyond a ‘Capitalocentric’ View of the Economy 456

14.3 Alternative Markets 461

14.4 Alternative Enterprises 465

14.5 Alternative Working 473

14.6 Alternative Property 477

14.7 The Limits to Diverse Economies? 481

14.8 Summary 485

Part V Conclusion 489

15 Economic Geography: Intellectual journeys and future horizons 491

15.1 Introduction 491

15.2 A Changing Field 493

15.3 A Changing World 505

15.4 Summary 510

Index 515

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