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Relocating resource peripheries to the core of economic geography's theorizing: rationale and agenda

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Theorizing in economic geography has focused on core regions, industrial and non-industrial, old and new. Indeed, contemplation of the idea of globalization has reinforced this quest. This paper disputes this blinkered thinking that peripheralizes resource peripheries, and seeks to re-position and emphasize resource peripheries within economic geography's theoretical agenda, specifically that associated with the new ‘institutional’ approach. A truly ‘global’ economic geography cannot afford to ignore resource peripheries. In particular, we argue that characterizing resource peripheries, and making them distinct from cores, is the intersection of four sets of institutional values or dimensions which we summarize in terms of industrialism (economic dimension), environmentalism (environmental dimension), aboriginalism (cultural dimension) and imperialism (geopolitical dimension). This admittedly preliminary framework underlies our hypothesis that resource peripheries around the world have become deeply contested spaces, much more so than those found in cores.

Keywords: contested space; cores; economic geography; peripheries; theorizing

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6, Email: 2: Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z2, Email: 3: Department of Geography, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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