Handbook of Contemporary Research on Emerging Markets
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Handbook of Contemporary Research on Emerging Markets

Edited by Hemant Merchant

The Handbook brings together leading scholars from IB as well as other disciplines to contribute state-of-the-art thinking on emerging markets. The volume extends theoretical and conceptual thinking, looks at operational practices and their implications and provides a research agenda to move the field forward. The contributors offer an in-depth look at specific geographies and functional areas to enrich our understanding of emerging markets.
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Chapter 2: Heterogeneous economic space in a global archipelago: an economic-geography perspective of emerging markets

Claes G. Alvstam, Patrik Ström and Robert Wentrup


The aim of this chapter is to explore the concept of emerging markets through the close-up lens of the economic geographer. It is argued that we need to apply a more explicit and specific, yet flexible, idea of ‘space’ with all its inbuilt complexities and incongruities, in order to bridge the still prevailing mental gap between academic disciplinarians, who in relative isolation from each other aim to better understand the dynamics of economic transformations at different geographic levels, from the global to the local, orchestrated by states and regions, as well as by individual firms. The economic-geographer’s view of the concept of ‘emerging markets’ is ambiguous. It may be symptomatic that it is avoided or put within quotation marks in the most widespread handbooks and textbooks of economic geography (e.g. Clark et al., 2000; Coe et al., 2007; Dicken, 2015), although featured by others (e.g. Aoyama et al., 2011; Iammarino and McCann, 2013). The term is non-geographical in itself, since it implies that an emerging market represents a country, regardless of geographical location, which until recently has been commercially underdeveloped, underperforming and generally underrepresented in the global economic system, but which is now about to rise to an economic size, importance and general welfare level which is more equivalent to its size of population and physical resource endowment.

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