Professors author ‘essential’ economic geography text

February 7, 2011

Clark University School of Geography professors Yuko Aoyama, James T. Murphy and Susan Hanson have authored a new textbook, “Key Concepts in Economic Geography,” published by Sage Publications. Written by internationally recognized geographers, the book is recommended as an essential addition to any geography student’s library.

Economic Geography book cover“This book covers the breadth of economic geography from its origins to the present and from developed to developing countries and regions, but it does so without losing sight of what has been the ‘core’ of economic geography,” Murphy said. “Our goal is to reconnect old ideas and new phenomena, and we do so by systematically demonstrating the relevance of historical concepts to contemporary debates and showing that what are viewed as newly emerging themes have long intellectual traditions. We demonstrate how each concept is used and applied today in order to provide explicit links between contemporary problems and theoretical debates.” 

The book is part of a set of companion texts for the human geography sub-disciplines. Organized around 20 short essays, this book provides an introduction to the central concepts that define contemporary research in economic geography, demonstrating their historical roots, and contemporary applications to fully understand the processes of economic change, regional growth and decline, globalization, and the changing locations of firms and industries.

“We have chosen 23 key concepts as points of departure for various ideas that are central to understanding economic geography,” Murphy noted. “Collectively, these key concepts span the field, combine methodological and ideological orientations, and have remained important over an extended history of the economic geography discipline.”

Aoyama, associate professor of geography and Henry J. Leir Faculty Fellow, is an economic/industrial geographer with expertise in global economic change, technological innovation, industrial organization, and cultural economy. She currently serves as an editor of Economic Geography, and is a member of the editorial board of Urban Geography and GeoJournal. Murphy, assistant professor of geography, joined the Clark University faculty in 2005.

His research examines the socio-spatial dynamics of industrial change, the institutional and relational dimensions of economic and urban development, the sociopolitical processes through which technologies are developed and diffused, and the challenges associated with achieving more socially and economically sustainable forms of development in the Global South. Hanson is research professor of geography.

She is an urban geographer with interests in gender and economy, transportation, local labor markets, and sustainability. Professor Hanson has been an editor of four geography journals ― Urban Geography, Economic Geography, The Annals of the Association of American Geographers, and The Professional Geographer ― and currently serves on the editorial boards of several other journals including Environmental and Planning A; Proceedings of the National Academy of Science; and The Professional Geographer.