The course is proposed to define a clear and comprehensive framework concerning the relationships between the various forms of the economy and the geographical spaces of the globe. The deep territorial transformations of the economy, from the local to the global scale, have produced new economic scenarios and geopolitical arrangements through the breakup of well-established equilibria and through the emerging of new productive areas within a growing interdependence between the various regions of the world. These dynamics have to be read and understood in the view of environmental, economic, political, cultural and social determinants, by encouraging the discussion about the meaning of the current trends and their future evolving and by deepening the dimension of the new geography of the development through critical contributions. These goals help to understand in a critical and “specialized” way the economics’ and markets’ dynamics. In particular, the knowledge of the economic value of the territory; the criteria for identifying the typologies of economic regions; the mechanisms by which the globalization produces and reproduces material unbalances; the problematic character of the development idea and the policies aimed to pursue it are some of the various skills (declined through the several development factors: human capital, resources, infrastructures, technology) that this course is proposed to provide to the student. These skills will make the student to be able to debate in a critical way some economic issues which are related, for example, to the localization choices, the territorial unbalances, the competitiveness factors and they will permit him/her to analyze regional case studies, by expressing an independent judgment about the strengths and weaknesses of the territory, by identifying the issues and by suggesting suitable solutions.
The topics of the course:
a) The geographical categories within the context of the economy globalization. The geographical-economic space: territory, regions, networks. The world-system. Population, welfare, migrations, society, cultures. Agricultural spaces. Mining and energy production. Industrial activity. Transportation and communications. Tourism spaces. Cities and economic centres. Policies for the economic development.
b) Geography of the world-system: traces of history. The development: ideas and ideologies. Representations of the world-system. The multinational companies and the international division of labour. The network of foreign direct investments. The space of world trade. The nodes of the globalizations: the urban dimension. The digital divide.
For the ERASMUS students, the program provides for the topics defined as “geographical categories within the context of the economy globalization” and reported under the group (a), as well as a short deepening essay about an economic geography topic, supposedly referable to their Country or Region of origin.