Understandings of the Changing Nature of Space and the Future of Global Governance

  • John Agnew University of California
Keywords: Global Space, Geopolitics, Time-Space Compression, Governance, End of History


Recent geographical writing challenges the idea that space is inert historically and claims that 'lived space' or place is evolving from being organized primarily with respect to the territories of states into a more complex kaleidoscope of spatial forms. From one perspective this is due to the revolutionary 'time-space compression' of recent times associated with the rise of new communications and transportation technologies and the opportunities for capital accumulation they have provided. From another perspective, however, there is considerable continuity between past and present as a result of either new flows of capital, goods, and people coming into contact with existing territorial arrangements in complex ways or because of the geopolitical sponsorship of the increasingly globalized world economy by the United States and its allies around the world. Whereas the first perspective pays little or no attention to questions of global governance, the latter does, suggesting either some version of multi-tier governance or a critical analysis of proposals to project the U.S. model onto the world at large, claiming that such proposals reflect American intellectual hegemony rather than the most suitable type of political arrangement for an increasingly globalized world.


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