The relational turn in economic geography

Document Type

Book Chapter


This chapter aims to explain what relational Economic Geography is and how it can be productively drawn upon by scholars of International Business. When businesses, industries, and inter-firm networks are viewed as phenomena constituted by bundles or arrangements of socio-spatial and socio-material practices, it is possible to develop a richer understanding of the ways in which businesses are embedded in territories, networks, and societies. The chapter outlines the origins and antecedents of relational thinking in human geography. It provides an overview of the contributions that relational approaches have made to extant debates and dialogues in Economic Geography. The chapter discusses the value of relational concepts and approaches for the field of International Business focusing on two ideas – relational proximity and socio-spatial practice – that are particularly relevant. Understanding proximity in a relational manner is an essential means through which one can examine and understand how such relational spaces are created, constituted, and transformed over time.

Publication Title

The Routledge Companion to the Geography of International Business

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