Spaces of Globalization: Reasserting the Power of the Local

By Kevin R. Cox | Go to book overview

Introduction

GLOBALIZATION AND ITS
POLITICS IN QUESTION

Kevin R. Cox


CONTEXT

Arguments about the globalization of economic relations have become commonplace, part of the everyday diet of social science and public affairs alike. Typically they are backed up by reference to a wide variety of empirical tendencies. These include the growth of multinational and transnational corporations, the expansion of trade and foreign investment, the New International Division of Labor, the enhanced mobility of money capital across international boundaries, intensified international competition with the rise of the Newly Industrializing Countries (NICs), and the globalization of markets for consumer goods.

Less common but not to be excluded are analogous arguments at subnational scales. Improvements in transportation and communications and the deskilling of work processes are widely heralded as laying the conditions for the displacement of production to Third World peripheries. But similar processes are resulting in the growth of peripheries in North America and Western Europe: for example, the American Sun Belt and small towns everywhere. Left behind by these displacements are the hollowed out cores and rust belts of the First World.

Alongside these "global shifts," and in many ways related to them, are yet other changes. In the First World there are the so-called new industrial spaces of Silicon Valley, the Third Italy, Baden-Württemberg, and Orange County. And the emergence of new firm spatial divisions of labor and the telecommunications revolution have provided the basis for the rise of the so‐ called "world cities."

The old is challenged by the new, old industrial cores are eclipsed by new peripheries, centers of mass production are displaced by new industrial districts employing more flexible forms of work process, and the spatial organi

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