The region as method

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: European Specialty Group, Eurasian Specialty Group, Asian Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Endymion, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Organizers: Christian Sellar, Jeremy Tasch
Chairs: Christian Sellar


Cold War era area studies and traditional regional geography were presented by their proponents as integrative fields – approaches to coalesce macro and micro level analyses of geo-strategic motives, social processes, and political and economic dynamics. In the 1990s, a reiteration of regional geography under the label of New Regionalism (Storper 1997) explored economic processes at the local level, yet maintaining a keen attention to multilevel and comparative sociopolitical dimensions. Since then, the predominance of thematic foci in the discipline – such as political geography writ large, and strands of economic geography such as global value chains and production networks created topical, theoretical, and in some cases methodological division between state-centered analyses in political geography and firms-centered analyses in economic geography. Notwithstanding the claims of geoeconomics to account for the role of the market in larger political decisions, and GVC and GPN roles of the state in governance, it is difficult to account for the liminal spaces in which firms and states actually interact, and, consequently, for the ways in which the increasingly transnational life of firms influences changes in the structure of states.

This session invites reflections on how regional analyses may be able to carry forward more nuanced analyses of the processes tying together firms and states. These include, but are not limited to, new forms of sovereignty and territoriality aimed at regulating but also supporting firms within as well as without borders.

• We welcome regionally focused contributions from economic, political, and cultural geographers that include, but are not limited to:

• Theoretical reflections on the notion of region within geo-economic imaginaries that privilege metaphors of flows over viewing states as static frames;

• The interactions between states sponsored investment promotion practices and firms’ locational choices;

• Commercial and business diplomacy;

• Questioning of the organizational boundaries between states and firms through public-private partnerships and other means;

• Theoretical discussions of the role of states in value chains and production networks, as well as the role of firms in geo-economics;

• Empirical studies of how transnational firms (both large multinationals and small transnational or diaspora businesses), governments, and civil societies communicate their reciprocal interests and mediate conflicts;

Depending on the quality of the papers and inclinations of the participants we will submit a special journal issue proposal. Accordingly, please plan to submit a paper at an advanced draft level.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Donald Planey*, Geography, University Of Illinois, Urbana Champaign - Urbana, IL, Manufacturing Discourse: Regional Industrial Policy and Post-Recession Governance in Chicagoland 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Christian Sellar*, University of Mississippi, Blind spots in economic geography’s treatments of the State: examples from 20th century Italy 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Borislav Nikoltchev*, University of Oklahoma, Fred Shelley*, University of Oklahoma, Interiors of the Islands 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Maria Kuklina*, Irkutsk State Technical University, Role of actor-networks in construction of the Baikal tourist region 20 9:00 AM
Presenter Kuan-chi Wang*, University of Oregon, East Asian Food Regimes: Agrarian Warriors, Edamame Beans, and Spatial Topologies of Food Regimes in East Asia 20 9:20 AM

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