The turbulence of the current times has dramatically transformed the world’s economic geographies. The scale and scope of such changes require urgent attention. With intellectual roots dating to the nineteenth century, economic geography has traditionally sought to examine the spatial distributions of economic activity and the principles that account for them. More recently, the field has turned its attention to a range of questions relating to: globalization and its impact on different peoples and places; economic inequalities at different geographic scales; the development of the knowledge-based economy; and the relationship between economy and environment. Now, more than ever, the changing fortunes of peoples and places demands our attention.
Economic Geography provides a stimulating and innovative introduction to economic geography by establishing the substantive concerns of economic geographers, the methods deployed to study them, the key concepts and theories that animate the field, and the major issues generating debate. This book is the first to address the diverse approaches to economic geography as well as the constantly shifting economic geographies on the ground. It encompasses traditional approaches, albeit from a critical perspective, while providing a thorough, accessible and engaging examination of the concerns, methods and approaches of the ‘new economic geography’. This unique introductory text covers the breadth of economic geography while engaging with a range of contemporary debates at the cutting-edge of the field.
Written in an accessible and lucid style, this book offers a thorough and systematic introductory survey. It is enhanced by pedagogical features throughout including case studies dealing with topics ranging from the head office locations of the Fortune 500, Mexico’s maquiladoras to China’s investments in Southern Africa. This book also contains exercises based on the key concepts and annotated further reading and websites.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Part 1: Traditional Economic Geographies 2. Traditional Location Theory 3. Modeling Economic Geographies Part 2: Geographies of the Firm and Other Institutions 4. The Geographies of the Firm 5. Going Global Part 3: Geographies of Uneven Development 6. Geographic Inequalities 7. The Changing Fortunes of Local and Regional Economies Part 4: Geographies of Networks, Places and Flows 8. Economic Geography 'Unbound' 9. Conclusions
Andrew Wood is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky. He is an economic, urban and political geographer with research interests in urban and regional governance, the politics of local economic development and issues relating to competition and collaboration between firms.
Sue Roberts is Professor and Chair of Geography at the University of Kentucky where she is also affiliated with the Gender and Women’s Studies Program and the Committee on Social Theory. Her research interests are in economic and political geography and development studies.
"Wood and Roberts have produced a refreshing and comprehensive introduction to how economic geographers try to understand the changing world. This book, wide ranging both in its theoretical coverage and use of examples from diverse contexts, illustrates how more recent approaches have drawn from and reacted to previous rounds of theoretical endeavour and economic change. From understanding the roots of economic geography through to current cutting edge debates, students will find this book an invaluable aid." Dr Jane Pollard, CURDS, Newcastle University, UK.
"Economic Geography is the only contemporary text to engage constructively between the different approaches that characterize 'economic geography'. Clearly written and replete with up to date examples, students are challenged to deepen their understanding. Readers will appreciate the fundamental questions that economic geographers ask concerning the world and the economy, and gain novel insights into the uneven geographies of contemporary capitalist globalization." Professor Eric Sheppard, Department of Geography, University of Minnesota, USA.