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Grounding Globalization: The Prospects and Perils of Linking Economic Processes of Globalization to Environmental Outcomes

Gavin Bridge
Economic Geography
Vol. 78, No. 3 (Jul., 2002), pp. 361-386
Published by: Clark University
DOI: 10.2307/4140814
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4140814
Page Count: 26
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Grounding Globalization: The Prospects and Perils of Linking Economic Processes of Globalization to Environmental Outcomes
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Abstract

This article advances the argument that economic geography has prioritized the understanding of processes over the evaluation of outcomes. Contemporary research on globalization-like earlier studies of industrial restructuring, deindustrialization, and "localities"-tends to address outcomes only in so far as they shed light on underlying processes. Yet the earlier generation of research also produced a number of instructive methodological and epistemological critiques that now frame current attempts to understand the socioenvironmental effects of globalization. Three of these challenges are outlined in the context of research on the environmental effects of foreign direct investment: linking processes with outcomes; bridging across scales; and demonstrating the "difference that difference makes." The article contrasts the limited engagement by economic geographers with globalization's environmental effects with a growing body of work outside geography. Preliminary links between this well-developed, external literature and proximate bodies of geographic scholarship are put forth to demonstrate how hybrid approaches may best be able to capture the ways in which processes of economic globalization drive environmental outcomes. The article concludes with a worked example of ongoing research into the environmental impacts of foreign direct investment to illustrate how such an approach may engage globalization "on the ground."

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