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Updating the global‐local disorder concept (revisiting Peck and Tickell)

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Abstract:

This essay updates and refines Peck and Tickell's important notion of global‐local disorder that is identified as the centrepiece of their classic thesis ‘Jungle law breaks out’. Three points are offered to nuance this concept in today's complex political‐economic times. First, we need to identify local governances as more vibrant and active in engaging capital. Whereas Peck and Tickell present a constricted, moribund local governance, I posit this formation as surprisingly active (i.e. it accepts and spurns fractions of capital). Second, we need to recognise the importance of the national scale in structuring governance‐driven economic development. While Peck and Tickell posit an essentially ‘hollowed out’, unimportant national scale, I suggest that this scale continues to house an important resource routinely tapped by local economic development actors: nationalist ideologies. Third, we need to identify the most recent survivalist strategy used by local governances: the deploying of the ‘economy of fear’ generally and the ‘global trope’ in particular. Peck and Tickell provide little specificity about this governance's ability to negotiate turbulence and contradiction. These points are meant as refinements of a thesis that I suggest is still important in guiding our understanding of contemporary economic development policy in the UK and US.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2012.01092.x

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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