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GGRA02H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: International Political Economy, Spatial Scale, Post-Fordism

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Michael Bunce
Study Guide

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Preparing for the final exam
You will be examined on your understanding of KEY themes, concepts, processes,
factors, impacts and issues from each lecture topic as outlined below. Key readings
and sections from readings are indicated and will help you answer the questions
Topic 1
• Ideologies and discourses of globalization
Pro-globalization: good for the economy and therefore good for people. Increases trade and
integration into the global economy, therefore encourages economic growth which will trickle
down even to poorer countries.
Anti-globalization: increases disparities, environmental degradation, reduces national sovereignty.
Benefits of any global economic growth will trickle up to richer countries, financiers, global
Plus “Alter-globalization” (Murray, p.13) – the idea that globalization can result in positive and negative
outcomes depending on how it’s constructed, this would involve changing rather than dismantling
globalization. Well return to this idea at the end of the course.
• What does geography have to offer to the study of globalization?
Read Murray, pp.19-25 – his three reasons for arguing that human geography offers a
distinctive framework for studying globalization
i)Its concern with space, spatial interaction and different scales of activity
ii)Human geography ‘peoples (i.e. adds human beings and societies) to discourses of
iii)Human geography is an eclectic subject – it brings together cultural,
environmental, economic, sociological, political aspects and methods of study.
• Six concepts of human geography:
o Space
oabsolute space - space just a container
ofunctional space - space defined by its use
ocognitive space –the way we experience, perceive, visualize spaces.e.g. mental maps,
sometimes called “mind maps, maps we draw from memory.
ospatiality the production and construction of the characteristics of spaces by those who use
and control it. An extreme example is Dubai, a space constructed on the ‘absolute space of
desert. It displays power over space by centres of capital and finance and the way that spaces
can be produced to satisfy particular demands. But you can also think about how the space of

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your own neighbourhood has been produced or constructed by developers, city planners,
transportation engineers, people landscaping their properties, etc.
o Places (and regions)
ospace with meaning, i.e. grounded or attached to a specific place which has meaning for
people who occupy
ouniqueness and identity - places have distinct characteristics which differentiate them from
other places.
ointerconnection of places – most places (and regions) dont exist in isolation, they function in
a global context by interacting with other places to some degree.
oSome like the geographer Doreen Massey have argued that place has become un-grounded by
globalization, in other have lost their identity and meaning to global culture and economy.
What do you think?
o Location
Formal: e.g. political units such as provinces
Functional: regions defined according to their main activities, e.g. a tourist region
Cultural: regions defined according to cultural characteristics of language, religion, ethnicity, e.g.
o Spatial scale
oHierarchies of scales - from the body to the world
oConnections between scales – local places connected to larger scale through exchanges of
goods, services, information, etc.
oMaps and spatial imaging used at different scales to portray location and spatial pattern
o Spatial interaction
oFlows of goods, services, information, people across space
- interaction between places is the most powerful process of globalization
oConvergence of time and space: shrinking distance as time taken for interaction between
places declines making physical distance less and less significant. Many types of interaction
can now take place virtually instantaneously – the Internet.
o Human/environment relations
Locations of activities
oSpatial distribution of activities, population, resources
oProximity and distance
oLocal / global

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oAnother way of thinking of this:Globalization is boundary-broadening, localization is
o What is where, why is it there, how did it get there, and for whom is it there?
Human-environment relations
oBut better to say, human relations with the rest of nature
oPhysical environment as resource AND constraint
oGlobal scale processes as environmental problem
13. How does thinking geographically all this help us to understand global processes?
Relational thinking
Spatial relationships between places at different scales. In his article, Jackson makes the point
that decisions taken at a local level have global consequences and vice versa. Can you think of
an example of this?
How we think about the rest of world – Jackson, “the way we think about differences and
similarities, how we label others.
How we think about our place in the world,
You should know these concepts especially their meaning and their applications to
understanding global processes. You should be able to give examples of these
Topic 2
Key Concepts
Colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, industrialism, Fordism and Post-fordism.
Read Foster, whole article
Sachs, parts II, III and V
• Earliest globalizations - modes of spatial expansion of Greek, Roman and Islamic
empires – what were most important features?
The expansionist civilizations:
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