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 27: Ports, cities and the global maritime infrastructure

Markus Hesse and Evan McDonough

Abstract

This chapter further develops the idea of maritime globalizations, and the role of actors such as national governments and local decision makers in strategically and successfully positioning their deep-sea and inland ports as connectors between sea, land and air, and within global shipping networks. Approaching these maritime networks from a relational perspective, we understand cities and regions as co-constituted by the global flows. In this context, the expansion of globally connected ports and logistics areas such as Rotterdam and Venlo, and local developments at the urban-regional level that cope with this demand, can be understood as the materalization of these globalization processes. From a supply-side perspective, we situate these global flows and their local interface within the unique trajectory of technological and regulatory change, and the global restructuring and redistribution of manufacturing platforms made possible by the dominance of the standard shipping container. The case study of Rotterdam, a product of the city’s unique history and the Netherlands’ 'mainport' strategy, illustrates the spatio-temporal dimensions of these global maritime spaces and flows, as does the example of case of Venlo, an inland port and freight distribution area that has recently capitalized on the city's location along corridors of shipping flows into the European hinterland. The chapter concludes with some remarks on possible changes to maritime globalizations that may occur in the near future, and briefly discusses the related consequences for further research.

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