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ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY Spatial organization and distribution of economic activity –Outcome of decisions –Technology shifts advantages –Highly uneven at all.

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Presentation on theme: "ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY Spatial organization and distribution of economic activity –Outcome of decisions –Technology shifts advantages –Highly uneven at all."— Presentation transcript:

1 ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY Spatial organization and distribution of economic activity –Outcome of decisions –Technology shifts advantages –Highly uneven at all scales Zoltan Grossman, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA (Thanks to Tim Bawden, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)

2 Place in Economic Geography Where goods, labor, services come from As economies expand … –they stitch together places –they create global interdependency Principles of Location –Raw materials, Labor supply and cost, Processing costs, Markets, Transport costs, Government policies, Human behavior

3 “Fixes” to capital overaccumulation (David Harvey) “Temporal fix” (shift over time) –Debt, borrowing, investments, planning, etc. “Spatial fix” (shift over space) –Some capital is immobile; fear of high surplus –Geographical expansion to enlarge/absorb capital, labor “Fixes” to crisis in capitalism –“Shell game” destroys old, creates new socio-economic landscape

4 Uneven locally (Poverty in Milwaukee, Chicago)

5 Uneven regionally

6 Uneven nationally U.S. poverty (red dots)

7 Uneven globally U.N. Human Development Index ( life expectancy, education, income)

8 Per capita GNP (Gross National Product) ( Total value spread evenly in population) Uneven globally

9 An interdependent system of countries linked by economic and political competition World-System

10 World-systems processes (Immanuel Wallerstein) CORE –Industrialized capitalist countries (US, EU, Japan, Aus.) –Often former colonial powers; centers of trade, tech, productivity –Extract resources, labor from the Periphery & Semi-Periphery PERIPHERY –Poorer countries and regions (Africa, Latin America, S./S.E. Asia) –Former colonies; export resources and labor power –Exploited by Core & Semi-Periphery SEMI-PERIPHERY –Countries with mixed processes (S. Afr., Brazil, Mexico, Four Tigers) –“Developing”; both exporters and importers of goods, labor –Exploited by Core, but also exploits Periphery

11 Results of World-System The growth and strength of the Core is made possible by the exploitation of the rest of the world. The “poverty” in the Periphery is made possible by the exploitation by the rest of the world (How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney) Recent globalization has widened, not narrowed, the gap between Core and Periphery countries (& regions within).

12 Globalization is nothing new (Flows of goods, labor, capital, information)

13 Elements of a map

14 Industrial Revolution Early-1800s –Britain (Hearth) --from slave cotton –Textiles, steam power, iron, canals Mid-1800s –Diffusion to Germany, France, Belgium –Steel, railroads, steamships, telegraph Late-1800s/ early-1900s –Spread to much of Europe, US, Japan –Electricity, oil, engines, roads, radio


16 Direct Imperialism, 1914 Britain France Spain Portugal Netherlands Germany Russia U.S. Japan Italy

17 Geography Implicated in Imperialism Ethnocentrism and racism Biological justification of colonialism Environmental determinism

18 Imperialism: Spheres of Influence Core dominated, but not controlled, trade and resources China, Iran, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, etc. British opium war in China; seizure of Hong Kong

19 Anti- colonial revolts Colonial flags come down –Asia, 1940s-1950s, Africa 1960s-1970s “Neocolonialism” continues –Ex-colonial powers still dominate economies, resources, cultures

20 Cold War, 1949-1989 US-USSR “hot wars” fought in Periphery Periphery states competed for aid Arms race depleted global social resources

21 Enlargement of Soviet bloc after World War II Berlin Wall, 1961-89

22 NATO and Warsaw Pact, 1945-89

23 World divisions during Cold War First World - Industrialized capitalist countries of Western Europe, North America. Second World - Centrally-planned “socialist” countries such as Soviet Union. Third World - Ex-colonial nations such as India, Malaysia, Iran, Brazil, etc. “Fourth World” - Poorest nations (and indigenous communities)

24 Changes in Europe, 1990-93

25 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Kosovo military zones since 1999

26 European Union Began as European Economic Community (EEC), 1957. Stronger in 1994 Expansion to east, 1990-2007 euro

27 Transnational corporations Investments, activities transcend borders Subsidiaries in many Periphery/S-P countries Core domination, centralization outside state structure Cartoon on Standard Oil, 1904


29 Shift to “North/South” divisions Poor countries tend to be located in Global South (though some have pockets of wealth) World Bank estimates more than 1.3 billion people (1/5 world population) live in acute poverty of < $1 (U.S.) per day. –70% women and children –Self-sustaining poverty

30 Regions of the “World Village” In a world village of 1,000: 333 East Asians 274 South Asians 132 Africans 120 Europeans 86 Latin Americans 50 North Americans 5 from Oceania

31 Household income Average annual income $4,890 600 poor 300 marginal 100 well-off

32 Ownership/consumption 200 richest villagers own and consume 80% of goods Other villagers own and consume remaining 20%

33 Material World: A Global Family Portrait Japan Iceland Guatemala

34 Pockets of poverty in Core Philadelphia Infant Mortality Red area high than at least 28 “Third World” countries, including: Jamaica Cuba Costa Rica Malaysia Panama Sri Lanka South Korea Taiwan Uruguay Argentina Chile


36 Threats to the State Corporate globalization Ethnic nationalism The State

37 Corporate globalization Governments & elites Multinational corporations Global trade/finance agencies – World Bank, IMF, WTO Communications revolution – Internet aids globalization-from-below

38 Rise of ethnic nationalism Soviet, Yugoslav breakups Minority ethnic groups ending majority “oppression.” Increased ability to survive as smaller country. Increased local/ethnic identity can be a reaction to impersonal globalization. Rise of religious fundamentalism



41 Mental map of the world “Cognitive maps” show our perception of a place, from memory only. Don’t worry about geographic knowledge or artistic skills! DON’T put your name on the map, or show it to others. Be as accurate as you can about the size, shape, and location of world regions. Show as much as you possibly can; use all the time available. Be detailed about features, place names, political borders, etc. If you finish early, write your observations on the back.

42 Mental map interpretation Selection of information, details, labels Omission is as important as inclusion Proportions of sizes, scales, shapes Choice of physical or cultural features Relative placement of features Influence of personal experience Influence of media and world events Effect of core, periphery, semi-periphery

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