International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities
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International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities

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Edited by Ben Derudder, Michael Hoyler, Peter J. Taylor and Frank Witlox

This Handbook offers an unrivalled overview of current research into how globalization is affecting the external relations and internal structures of major cities in the world.
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Chapter 43: Geographies of Power in the Indonesia–Malaysia–Singapore Growth Triangle

Tim Bunnell, Carl Grundy-Warr, James D. Sidaway and Matthew Sparke


43 Geographies of power in the Indonesia– Malaysia–Singapore Growth Triangle Tim Bunnell, Carl Grundy-Warr, James D. Sidaway and Matthew Sparke INTRODUCTION Given the complexity and specificity of both the global and the national, their interlacing suggests the existence of frontier zones – from the perspective of research and theorization, these analytic borderlands are sure to require independent theoretical and methodological specificity. (Sassen, 2000, p. 216) While Saskia Sassen and others have made many such arguments about the theoretical and methodological specificity demanded in studying the frontier zones of the global and national, there have been fewer examples provided of how to try and do this in practice. As we have argued elsewhere (e.g. Sidaway, 2002; Bunnell, 2004; Rajaram and GrundyWarr, 2007; Sparke, 2009a and 2005), treating frontiers and borderlands as metaphors for other less spatial forms of intermixing runs the risk of ignoring critical geographies that profoundly shape how the global and national are interlaced. By way of an alternative, we chart some of the geographical specificities of the regional reterritorialization exemplified by the Indonesia–Malaysia–Singapore (IMS) borderlands (see Figure 43.1). Globally promoted as a Growth Triangle since the latter part of the 1980s, this crossborder region illustrates how the frontiers of the global and the national that pre-occupy so many theorists of globalization, global cities and so-called deterritorialization remain nonetheless sites in which spatial relations and territorial formations are particularly pertinent to explaining power relations. We sketch a complex regional geography of power relations that counterpoints the simplified...

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