Handbook on the Geographies of Globalization
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Handbook on the Geographies of Globalization

Edited by Robert C. Kloosterman, Virginie Mamadouh and Pieter Terhorst

Processes of globalization have changed the world in many, often fundamental, ways. Increasingly these processes are being debated and contested. This Handbook offers a timely, rich as well as critical panorama of these multifaceted processes with up-to-date chapters by renowned specialists from many countries. It comprises chapters on the historical background of globalization, different geographical perspectives (including world systems analysis and geopolitics), the geographies of flows (of people, goods and services, and capital), and the geographies of places (including global cities, clusters, port cities and the impact of climate change).
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Chapter 18: Geographies of finance in a globalizing world

David Bassens and Michiel Van Meeteren

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of the main drivers of financial globalization, a process characterized by the growing range and depth of financial relations enshrined in a global financial system that supersedes the international state system. What is it about finance that allows its globalization to take place so rapidly and so deeply? We argue that a main answer lies in the inherent capacity of finance to overcome space and time constraints. Finance appears to produce space, yet, co-constitutively, geographic-institutional variegation feeds back into how finance operates in the world. Resultantly, variegated geographies of finance co-evolve to an important extent with pre-existing geographies of knowledge, law, and power. The chapter offers an overview of how financial geographers have studied financial globalization, and the variegation it produces, through the lens of international financial centres, firms, flows, and products. We illustrate these perspectives through the case of post-war European financial integration by narrating how European states have sought ways to benefit from financial globalization. This application of the analytical apparatus to European financial space reveals how financial globalization has been fundamental in deepening uneven development on the continent. The chapter concludes with an urgent plea to give space a central place in future studies of finance.

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