Conflict, Institutional Change, and Development in the Era of Globalization
- New Thinking in Political Economy series
Edited by Joachim Ahrens, Rolf Caspers and Janina Weingarth
Chapter 14: Regions in the World Economic Triangle
* Dirk Messner 1. INTRODUCTION The geography of the world economy is changing. The world economy of yesteryear was mainly viewed as the sum total of national economies and conceived in the categories of periphery and center. The new world economy is marked by competition between local clusters (Nadvi and Schmitz 1999), global cities (Sassen 2000), global city regions (Scott 2001) and global value chains (Gereffi 1999) that no longer know national boundaries. The economy is in part breaking its links with territorially and politically constituted entities and creating functional and agglomeration spaces of its own. The reach of national governments ends at their external borders, which have largely ceased to constitute crucial boundaries to the transfer of money, goods, technology and knowledge. Along with its geography, the world economy's governance patterns are likewise in the midst of a process of change. They go beyond classical international organizations like the IMF, for example, and they are growing in significance and shaping the dynamics of the global economy. Such governance patterns include global regimes like the WTO; global clubs like the International Stability Forum; globally operating firms, organizing transnational production and trade networks; and internationally active NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that negotiate with multinational corporations over social and ecological standards. Against this background of increasingly dense global interdependencies and transnational interactions in the world economy we are forced to readdress the issue of whether and to what extent economic development can be formulated and shaped by political means. This chapter centers on the...
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