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POL371H1 (16)

Lecture 1: Introduction

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Harald Bathelt

Table of contents1Why study the spatial political economy2Space and territoriality3State government and governance 4Distance and proximity5Limitations to traditional regional science approaches6Alternative design of a relational approach7Focus of a relational analysis four ions8Conclusions1Why study the spatial political economyGoals of this courseTo understand how economic agents shape the political economy To explore how jobs income opportunities are created and in which citiesregionsnations To understand which economicsocialculturalpolitical factors influence economic decisions in production Economic activities are not equally distributed in spaceThey are highly concentrated in some regions developed metropolitanindustrialized regionsThey are rare in other regions peripherallessdeveloped rural regions1Why study the spatial political economyFundamental disparities exist between placescitiesregions countriesnational statesTHUS we also need to understand the heterogeneity within national statesAspects to be investigated in the courseTo understand why regionalnational disparities exist To understand how economic activities are organised and how this differs between placesregionsTo understand how location decisions are madeTo understand why industries in some regions grow faster than in othersTo understand how policies can support economic growth innovation1Why study the spatial political economyCharacteristics of the course This course is about economic action NOT about the stateThe course applies a strong spatial perspectiveIt is primarily conceptual using empirical examples when neededIt employs a relational framework of economic action and interaction in spaceIt argues that economic action is not determined by economic principlesspatial structures aloneEconomic action is social in character The course will be interdisciplinary combining economics sociologyeconomic geographypolitical economy2Space and territoriality
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