The Global Economic System

The Global Economic System

The Global Economic System

The Global Economic System

Synopsis

The author clearly demonstrates the relevance of past events to contemporary options for coping with economic change, and stresses the importance of the biophysical environment, even in "postindustrial" societies. The Global Economic System demonstrates the reality and significance of contemporary global economic interdependencies, and indicates that environmental and cultural/historical perspectives are crucial to understanding the evolution of national and regional economies. The book will be a key text for undergraduate students of economic geography, and will also serve the needs of courses in international affairs, global political economy, and development studies.

Excerpt

Over ten years have elapsed since the idea of this book took shape. As the dynamism and unpredictability of the contemporary capitalist world-economy is one of its principal themes, there is a certain wry appropriateness to the delays the manuscript has suffered through intracorporate transfers and untimely takeovers in the transnational publishing industry. I am grateful to Unwin Hyman for ‘adopting’ the manuscript late in the day.

Fortunately, the book provides a perspective which I believe is even more pertinent today than when it was first conceived. Wherever one is situated, geographical analysis of economic change needs to start by ‘taking the rest of the world seriously’ (Thrift 1985). It must also incorporate the biophysical environment, and cultural and political context, of economic activity before it can successfully attempt to interpret currently formative institutions and processes. The philosophical stance from which I have approached this task is not expounded here, but it grows out of the position I developed in Wallace (1978).

I have been using the book, substantially in its present form, for a number of years in my second-year class at Carleton University. Others may lack the time or the inclination to cover all the ground in a single course, but should find sufficient material to build on in the chapters most suitable to their needs. I am encouraged by the number of students who have found the approach and content of this volume to have enriched their understanding of issues in subsequent and related courses, and who have made active use of it throughout their undergraduate careers. I trust others will find it similarly useful.

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