From a historical geographical perspective, most of the social sciences have effectively reified the state as a neatly delineated unitary agent that both expresses and serves a set of common interests in a given territory. Social sciences, therefore, have contributed to the territorialization of power around the state, effectively reproducing the state as both an idea and ideal. The act of reification continues to characterize scientific practice in the contemporary conjuncture. This is irrespective of the fact that critical scholars have long underscored how the practices, data and ways of asking social scientific questions indeed disclose ‘embedded statism’.
This part of the book explores the relationship between space, politics, governance and economy. One of the central premises of geographical approaches to the capitalist state has been that there is a close link between the changing regimes of capital accumulation and states’ spatial ‘patterning’. Another premise is that the changing geography of the state is not simply an outcome or reflection of wider economic processes, rather, it is fundamental to the manner in which entire regimes of capital accumulation are spatially constituted. This kind of political economy of state spaces is premised on a view that economy is an instituted process. Accordingly, all ‘economic activities’ are embedded in and manifested through social relations, extra-economic as well as economic institutions, and in a variety of socio-spatial configurations.
Sami Moisio and Andrew E.G. Jonas
In this chapter, we seek to provide some conceptual clarifications regarding the interrelationship between the concepts of ‘city-region’, ‘city-regionalism’ and ‘city-regionalization’. These relations have not been properly addressed in research that has otherwise carefully examined the various city-regional processes that bring together the private and the public, and the urban and the regional. Moreover, we argue that the analysis of city-regionalism warrants attention as regards economizing imaginaries of city-regionalization, that is, to the ways in which imagined territorial structures of the state and governance facilitate the realization of putative economies of scale and scope on the part of their economic and political proponents.
Sami Moisio and Andrew E.G. Jonas
The terms city-region and city-regionalism are today widely used by urban managers, planners, representatives of businesses associations and international organizations, real estate and property developers and state officials and politicians. These terms disclose the complex intertwining of contemporary urbanization, world economy and world politics. In this chapter we first review the economic geographical literature on city-regionalism. Second, we interrogate city regionalism as a set of political-administrative and/or geopolitical processes in more detail. We suggest that city-regions should not be understood as discrete spatial units that operate as ‘agents’ or ‘actor-scales’ in themselves. Nor should city-regions be considered as passive backdrops on which economy, politics or social reproduction simply happen. Rather city-regions may be conceptualized as dynamic sites of policy experimentation and political struggle, which are produced from various political processes operating within and around the national state and its institutions.
Sami Moisio, Juho Luukkonen and Andrew E.G. Jonas
This chapter elaborates upon political geographies of globalization. By this we refer to the different political discourses and related imaginaries, policy practices and regimes of governance through which globalization can be understood as being constantly produced in and through political geographical formations. We comprehend globalization both as an actually existing process which links places – cities, regions, etc., institutions (especially the state) and people (notably workers) – and creates interdependencies between them, and as a politically loaded rhetorical device used to rationalize and legitimate political decisions and policy practices. We single out three interlinked and partly overlapping issues through which the political geographies of globalization can be mapped out: the spatial formations of globalization and the state, the ‘globalizing’ role and ‘globalized’ nature of public policy, and the globalizing regimes and policies of labour.
Sami Moisio, Andrew E.G. Jonas, Natalie Koch, Christopher Lizotte and Juho Luukkonen
In this extensive introductory chapter, we introduce the reader to some basic information and concepts underpinning geographical approaches to the state. We first make a rudimentary mapping of some of the geographical approaches to the state before the 1970s. Second, we consider some more recent approaches that have appeared since the 1980s. Third, we reflect upon ‘methodological globalism’ as one of the challenges in a geographical study of the state as a dynamic socio-spatial organization. Finally, we outline research topics that merit attention in future research on the changing geographies of the state.