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The Economic Geography of the UK

The Economic Geography of the UK

Edited by:

September 2010 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This text offers the first systematic and comprehensive overview of the economic geography of the UK for two decades. With contributions by many of the leading academics in the field, it offers a powerful case for exploring the UK economy from a geographical perspective.

Key Features:

  • Investigates a single aspect of the UK economy within each chapter
  • Covers topics including: the uneven development of the UK, the city and finance, government spending, pensions, housing, manufacturing, business services, agriculture, retailing, energy, immigration, and labor market change
  • Demonstrates how the UK economy's fortunes are increasingly shaped by its links to the wider European and global economies

Written for students studying the economic development of the UK, the text offers a vibrant, easy-to-understand analysis of the current and future challenges that face the contemporary UK economy.


Doreen Massey
Part I: Setting the Scene: Uneven Economic Geographies
Neil M. Coe and Andrew Jones
Introduction: the shifting geographies of the UK economy?
Danny Dorling
Persistent North/South divides
Ron Martin
Uneven regional growth: the geographies of boom and bust under New Labour
Part II: Landscapes of Power, Inequality and Finance
John Allen
The City and finance: changing landscapes of power:
Shaun French, Karen Lai and Andrew Leyshon
Banking on financial services
Steve Musson
The geography of UK government finance: tax, spend and what lies between
Andy Pike and John Tomaney
State and economy: governing uneven development in the UK
Chris Hamnett
Housing and the UK economy
Kendra Strauss and Gordon Clark
The geographical pension gap: understanding patterns of inequality in UK occupational pensions
Part III: Landscapes of Production and Circulation
Ray Hudson
The changing geographies of manufacturing and work: Made in the UK?
James Faulconbridge
Business services: driving the knowledge-based economy in the UK?
Brian Ilbery and Damian Maye
Agricultural restructuring and changing food networks in the UK
Neil Wrigley
The shifting geographies of UK retailing
Michael Bradshaw
UK energy dilemmas: energy security and climate change
Part IV: Landscapes of Social Change
Kevin Ward
Restructuring UK labour markets: work and employment in the twenty-first century
Jane Wills, Cathy McIlwaine, Kavita Datta, Jon May, Joanna Herbert and Yara Evans
New migrant divisions of labour
Alison Stenning
The UK economy and the transformation of East Central Europe
Neil M. Coe and Andrew Jones
Coda: The UK Economy in an era of globalization

That geography forms, rather than merely reflects, economies is by now widely recognized. But fully to understand that there are no such things as economies, only economic geographies, requires careful and theoretically sophisticated accounts. The contributions in this book offer such an understanding of the economic geographies of the UK and are thereby sensitive to the complex geographies through which economies take place. It is essential reading within and, even more, beyond Geography. The current crisis of economy and Economics demands no less.

Roger Lee
Professor Emeritus of Geography, Queen Mary University of London

In the aftermath of the global economic crisis, The Economic Geography of the UK brings to the academy a highly-innovative, thought provoking and empirically-rich collection of essays that tracks the most significant socio-economic changes of the U.K.'s space economy over recent times. From re-visiting the geographical imaginations of the North-South divide to uncovering the City of London's financial economy within a UK and global context, to understanding new social landscapes of work, immigration and labour market change, both undergraduate and graduate students and researchers alike, from across the social sciences, will all be treated to one of the most authoritative and research-driven texts, which uncovers the geography of contemporary economic and social change in the UK. Neil Coe and Andrew Jones, and all contributing authors, must be commended on the highest quality of their incisive theoretical and empirical scholarship, which I would suggest must be an essential companion to anyone seeking knowledge and understanding of socio-economic change in the contemporary UK space economy.

Jonathan V. Beaverstock
University of Nottingham

The most outstanding feature of the text is the statistical data and figues utilised by the authors to complement the written word...the figures could be used in the teaching of the geogrpahical concept of special change over time... I would recommend the text for those who are interested in pursuing research in the area of socioeconomic change or have an interest in the demography of the UK.

Geographical Education

The book is written in an accessible form both organizationally and stylistically. Individual chapters, while offering the intellectual depth of an academic journal article, are careful to explain terminology and benefit from bulleted aims at the start of each contribution allowing readers to gain a quick grasp of its focus. Such thoughtful presentation eases undergraduate students into serious academic engagement and potentially provides a springboard for further exploration into the recommended reading at the end of each chapter... This book will most obviously be compulsory reading on under and postgraduate economic geography modules where it will encourage critical engagement and thinking. However, I believe that it could (and should) gain traction beyond its core discipline. Given the wide ranging multi-disciplinary nature of the themes discussed, it should also provide interest across the social sciences, notably for sociologists and throughout business and management studies.

Steve Wood
University of Southampton

The quality and usefulness of this book [make it] a core text in an undergraduate or indeed postgraduate module, or as evidence for research into the UK’s changing economic geography.

Oli Mould
University of Salford

I have been looking for a new and innovative undergraduate text book which focuses on uneven geographies of the UK. I have been recommending Dorling's 2005 book The Human Geography of the UK (fab for data and great ideas for students exercises!) and also Human Geography of the UK: an introduction by Hadrill et al. However, both these books were getting rather dated and i was looking for a more up to date text. In addition, I was looking for a text which was a little more theoretically infomed while still being accessible to the first/second year undergraduate who struggle with heavy theory. I have found it! Perhaps a little too 'economic' for my course at the expensive of the social/cultural - but not a criticism of the book per se but expains why I adopted it as recommended rather than essential reading.

Dr Annie Hughes
School of Earth Science & Geography, Kingston University
February 11, 2012

This book gives a impressive and highly accessible insight into the (emerging) economic geography/ ies of the UK, and is highly appropriate for all levels of university teaching (undergraduate and postgraduate)

Dr Richard White
Faculty of Development and Society, Sheffield Hallam University
December 23, 2010

Super up to date text.

I am requiring my students to read Chapter 12 as it gives such a useful overview of recent agricultural restructuring and changes in the UK food network.

I have also shown the text to colleagues who are going to recommend the text on their final year module in Economic Policy & Rural Development.

Mrs Susan Ragbourne
Rural Affairs & Environment, Harper Adams University College
November 15, 2010

This is a nice book that covers a wide range of issues relating to the UK economy. As such it will provide students on my course with details on the UK economy and how it has changed over the last few decades. It will provide a useful complementary text for courses with a 'global' focus; highly recommended as an introduction to British political economy.

Dr Kean Birch
School of Applied Social Sciences, Strathclyde University
November 12, 2010

A timely review and update of a number of important dimensions of the UK economy that will provide useful background reading for sudents taking clases in urban and economic geography

Professor Michael Pacione
Department of Geography and Sociology, Strathclyde University
September 22, 2010

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