The Economic Geography Reader: Producing and Consuming Global Capitalism

The Economic Geography Reader: Producing and Consuming Global Capitalism

The Economic Geography Reader: Producing and Consuming Global Capitalism

The Economic Geography Reader: Producing and Consuming Global Capitalism


Provides students as well as lecturers with an international Reader focusing on the evolving economic geography of the advanced capitalist economies of Europe, North America, and the Pacific Rim within the framework of economic globalisation. It gives readers an easily accessible collection of some of the most important papers published in this dynamic discipline.

The book spans the economic geographies of globalisation, new spaces of production and consumption, new landscapes of work and the restucturing of welfare, and includes a specially written introductory chapter, section overviews, and suggested further reading. An important statement on economic geography today, this book provides an indispensable resource for undergraduates in economic geography, regional economics and other related social sciences.


Selecting the readings for this volume has not been easy. One possible model would have been to focus on just a limited number of 'landmark' contributions, and to provide a detailed interpretative commentary. The problem is that the economic geography literature is now so vast that the choice of which readings to include and which to exclude is by no means straightforward. A small set of papers, reproduced with interpretative notes, may work in the case of a specific theme or subfield, but could not possibly capture the full diversity and development of the subject. This task is better accomplished, we believe, by bringing together a large number of closely edited contributions which cover the bulk of the field, and letting those writings 'speak for themselves'. This is the model followed here.

Our purpose in this Reader, then, has been to bring together, in edited form, those papers and other writings that, in our joint view, provide a representative map of the current vitality and breadth of economic geography. In particular, our aim was to produce a comparative international Reader which focuses on the evolving economic geography of Europe, North America and the Pacific Rim, within the framework of the global economy (or, at the very least, the processes of economic globalization currently underway). No doubt our choice can be criticized on various grounds, both for what we have included and what we have excluded. Certainly, we are aware that there are many different types of economy, and that this Reader represents a 'Western' reading of economic processes and their maps of transformation. To some extent, however, the readings included here were self-selecting, in the sense that they seemed to all of us to contain readily accessible – and highly readable discussions of the key issues, concepts and arguments that have played a formative role in the development of the subject over the past decade or so. Numerous important statements and authors have inevitably been omitted, but we hope we have paid due acknowledgement to most of these both in this part of the Reader and in the guides to further reading.

Whilst we do consider that the papers 'speak for themselves' (sometimes in numerous ways), the Introductions to each Part provide a guide to the organization of the material. The Introductions are used to contextualize the papers and in so doing reveal the rationale ('the approach') to paper selection, their insertion into sections and their ordering within sections. In essence, then, the Introductions illustrate our particular readings of the papers. Furthermore, the aim is that when the Introductions are combined with Part One, including the introductory chapter on the field of economic geography, our particular 'approach' to economic geography may be seen.

Most especially, whilst the empirical aim of our approach was outlined above, we have been keen to produce a Reader which provides a foundation in many of the key ideas influential in contemporary economic geography. The Introductions and Readings combined try to capture economic geography's evolution in content, theory and methodology and provide, ultimately, an overview and illustration of recent developments which still draws on the sub-discipline's rich, if young, traditions.

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