GE2202 Economy and Space

Please note that this module is now taught by another professor. Check the NUS Geography Department website for the latest module details.

This module is an introductory course in economic geography that explores the contemporary insights provided by geographers researching various dimensions of economy and space. The module will present a case for the importance of geographical insights, in which economic processes are seen as embedded in particular places, in which patterns and flows of economic activity across space are recognised and explained, and in which economic spaces and scales are themselves treated as representations and social constructions. These distinctively geographical sensibilities stand in contrast to the popular conceptions and assumptions in economics and management studies that often distort our understandings of economic lives and landscapes.


40% Continual Assessment (10% tutorial participation, 10% film review, 20% research essay);
60% final examination (closed book)


Lecturer: Dr Karen Lai
Room: AS2 03-19
Tel: 6601 1720
Consultation Hours: Wednesday 2pm – 3pm, Thursday 10am – 11am

Lecture venue: LT12
Lecture Time: Thursday 2-4pm (Starting 12 January 2012)

Tutorial time and venue:
Monday 12-2pm (Earth Lab AS2 #02-04)
Monday 2-4pm (Earth Lab AS2 #02-04)
Monday 4-6pm (Earth Lab AS2 #02-04)
Friday 10am-12pm (Earth Lab AS2 #02-03)
Friday 12-2pm (Earth Lab AS2 #02-03)

Tutorial 1 = Week 4 (30 Jan and 3 Feb)
Tutorial 2 = Week 6 (13 and 17 Feb)
Practical = Week 8 (5 and 9 Mar – To be confirmed)
Tutorial 3= Week 10 (19 and 23 Mar)
Tutorial 4 = Week 12 (2 and 6 Apr)*

Examination: Monday 30 April 2012 (Morning)

* Please note that 6 April 2012 is Good Friday public holiday. Tutorials on that day will be rescheduled. .

Lecture Topics

1. A geographical approach to the economy: What do you get if you cross an economist and a geographer? (12 January 2012)
2. Economic discourse – Does ‘the economy’ really exist? (19 January 2012)

3. Uneven development – Why is economic growth and development so uneven? (26 January 2012)
4. Commodity chains – Where does your breakfast come from? (2 February 2012)
5. Technology and agglomeration – Does technology eradicate distance? (9 February 2012)
6. Money and finance – Is capital truly global? (16 February 2012)

7. The state – who controls the economy: firms or governments? (1 March 2012)
8. The transnational corporation – How does the global firm keep it all together? (8 March 2012)
9. Labour power – can workers shape economic geographies? (15 March 2012)

10. Culture and the firm – Do countries and companies have economic cultures? (22 March 2012)
11. Gendered economic geographies – Does gender shape economic lives? (29 March 2012)
12. Ethnic economies – Do cultures have economies? (5 April 2012)
13. Review lecture (12 April 2011 – To be confirmed)

Text and Readings

This is set as the course textbook (available for sale at the NUS Co-Op):
Coe, Neil M., Kelly, Philip F. and Yeung, Henry W.C. (2007), Economic Geography: A Contemporary Introduction, Oxford: Blackwell.

I have asked the NUS Co-Op to bring in sufficient copies for your purchase. Please note that this textbook is compulsory for this module as I have formatted all lectures on the basis of the chapters in this textbook. Please also respect copyright and intellectual property rights by NOT photocopying anything more than 10% of the textbook for your own private use.

In addition, a list of relevant readings tailored to the specific lectures has been compiled. Readings marked with an * are essential for this module. Excluding the textbook chapters, I have allocated TWO readings per lecture. The reading list consists of selected journal articles and book chapters. These have been placed in RBR or E-Reserves and can also be downloaded via NUS LINC.

For more information on individual lecture topics and the full reading list, please access the NUS IVLE portal (may require NUS login).


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