CP0211: Spaces of Production: Economic Geography
|School||Cardiff School of Geography and Planning|
|External Subject Code||L721|
|Number of Credits||20|
|Language of Delivery||English|
|Module Leader||Dr Crispian Fuller|
How the module will be assessed
Central to this module is the development of students’ ability to describe, define, understand and critically evaluate key theories and debates in economic geography and explore their empirical relevance. They are assessed through written methods but there is room for flexibility here by setting alternative, comparable assessments.
This module will be assessed by two pieces of written coursework each of which will constitute 50% of the final assessment.
The first assessment consists of a piece of written work exploring on a debate around one of the key concepts in economic geography with a case study industry as illustration (2,000 words).
The second assessment consists of an essay (2,000 words)
Type of assessment
Approx. date of Assessment
How the module will be delivered
This module will be taught over one semester and is divided into topics, with each topic time-tabled for one week. Each topic has one two-hour lecture session in which theoretical ideas, key concepts and debates are introduced, explained and illustrated. There will also be regular one hour seminar sessions or interactive workshops, in which students explore and discuss the application of these ideas through small group discussions, video presentations and case studies. Compulsory guided reading associated with each topic will be provided to supplement and deepen the taught component. This will be met, in part, through the application of e-learning and interactive Learning Central software.
Outline Description of Module
This module is about the spatial dimensions of economic activity - i.e. why and where businesses create jobs and wealth, where people work and earn money, how and where firms create jobs and wealth, and the role of the state in shaping the geographies of economies. The module primarily focuses on analysing manufacturing and service sectors, using contemporary economic geography perspectives. It also considers the role of different actors (such as large transnational firms and governments) in shaping the geography of economic activity. The module uses lectures to introduce key analytical ideas, concepts and readings, and uses workshops and discussions to enable students to understand and explore these ideas in more detail.
On completion of the module a student should be able to
- Define the concepts of production and production chains, and relate these to a range of different global industries.
- Describe and critically examine contemporary theories of economic geography, and assess the relevance of these theories to a range of global industries.
- Explain the growth and significance of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) in the global economy and evaluate the degree to which they are ‘placeless’ organisations.
- Evaluate the role and potential for global and national regulation of TNCs.
- Describe and critically compare the features of Fordist and post-Fordist production systems, and evaluate their value in understanding the global organisation and geography of production in contemporary economies.
- Understand contemporary theories of flexible production, clusters and the creative industries and relate these to understanding the phenomenon of industrial clusters.
- Understand and critically examine the changing nature of employment;
- Understand the social and economic consequences of uneven economic geographies, with reference to global and UK inequalities.
- Critically evaluate the role of government in influencing economic geographies.
Skills that will be practised and developed
- Use theoretical propositions to guide the collection of case study material and data relating to the geography of economic activity
- Use case study material and data to explore, illustrate and test theoretical propositions.
- Read and understand intermediate level economic and geographical arguments about economic geography and explain them to others.
- Lead small group discussions, using theoretical ideas, policy issues and interpreting evidence.
- handle conceptual and factual material through both oral and written forms;
- write clearly and competently, and to make reflective comments upon topics learned;
- use library, internet and a virtual learning environment (Learning Central) effectively to extend the insights given in lectures;
- participate in small group discussions and debate relevant theoretical, empirical and policy issues.
- Develop reasoned arguments, both orally and in written form, and demonstrate the ability to critically assess and evaluate evidence and claims;
- understand that markets create wealth and can redistribute resources progressively (particularly over time) as well as generating social costs and increasing inequality;
- understand the role that governments can play in redistributing wealth and resources, as well as reducing social costs and inequalities;
- understand that the geography of economies can be significantly shaped by the self-interest of key players, including governments;
- understand how different viewpoints and ideologies can influence both theoretical and empirical analyses of the geography of economic activity.
Essential Reading and Resource List
Coe, N., Kelly, P. and Wai-chung Yeung, H. (2007) Economic Geography: A Contemporary Introduction, Blackwell: Oxford.
Mackinnon, D. and Cumbers, A. (2014) An Introduction to Economic Geography: Globalization, Uneven Development and Place, Second Edition; Prentice Hall: London.
Dicken, P. (2010) Global Shift: Mapping the Changing Contours of the World Economy. Sixth Edition, Sage: London.
Background Reading and Resource List
Clark, G., Feldman, M. and Gertler, M.S. (eds) (2000) A Handbook of Economic Geography. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Coe, N.M. and Jones, A. (2010) (eds) The Economic Geography of the UK. Sage: London.
Huggins, R. and Thompson, P. (2017) Handbook of Regions and Competitiveness Contemporary Theories and Perspectives on Economic Development. Elgar.
McCann, P (2016) The UK Regional–National Economic Problem Geography, globalisation and governance. Routledge
Pike, A., Rodrígues-Pose, A. and Tomaney, J. (2006) Local and Regional Development. London: Routledge.
Please note that specific reading will also be given with each topic.
The module is delivered through two hour lectures and one hour seminars. The following topics are examined in the module:
- Introduction and overview of economic geography
- Commodity chains: Where does your breakfast come from?
- Transnational corporations (TNC’s): the primary ‘movers and shapers’ of the global economy
- Clustering of economic activity
- Geographies of finance
- Labour geographies
- The uneven role of creative/cultural industries in urban economies
- Alternative economic spaces
- Geographies of uneven development
- The state and economy