PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (9): 1073-1083.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.09.001

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Economic globalization research based on scale-construction in western human geography

Canfei HE1,2(), Xiyan MAO1,2   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Peking University-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, Beijing 100871, China
  • Online:2015-09-25 Published:2015-09-25


Time-space compression in the context of globalization leads to declining costs of communication and transportation and increasing transnational activities. The emergence of multi-national firms and international organizations, in accordance with increasing boundary-crossing activities, has simultaneously weaken the power of state on economic, political, and cultural processes within its territory. Under such circumstances, some researchers assert globalization as "the end of geography", which sounds like an argument of hyper-globalist. In light of scale construction, human geographers are engaged in reconstructing the global scale and relating it to other scales. It turns out that space matters in the process of globalization. Two key points emerge: (1) Scale construction is not necessarily with hierarchical structures. Relation-based scales provide a better model for globalization, which is featured with horizontal communication rather than vertical regulation. (2) Global shifting exhibits trends both towards globalization and localization simultaneously, much of which appears to be global-local nexus rather than simplex globalizing process. These findings introduce new perspectives into globalization research in human geography: framework based on relational network makes it possible to conduct a trans-territorial analysis and to depict a big picture of the reshaping pattern of global economic landscape. On the other hand, in light of localized globalization, researchers set out to refer regional development to global-local interactions other than local embeddedness and endogenous factors, which offers insight into urban and regional governance in the context of globalization.

Key words: liberalization, scale, space, network, global-local, transnational corporations, regional development