Introduction

Authored by: Janelle Knox-Hayes , Dariusz Wójcik

The Routledge Handbook of Financial Geography

Print publication date:  December  2020
Online publication date:  December  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815369738
eBook ISBN: 9781351119061
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351119061-1

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Abstract

Financial geography is concerned with the study of money and finance in space and time, and their impacts on economy, society, and nature. Geography is fundamental to understanding finance and vice versa. Finance is one of the most globalized and networked of human activities. Financial centers as nodes in these networks epitomize modern capitalism. Money penetrates every nook and cranny of the global economy, changing social and political relations and cultures in the process, as well as the natural environment. Though rooted in geography, financial geography is more than its subdiscipline. It is an interdisciplinary perspective informed by research in finance and economics, history, sociology, anthropology, politics, business studies, environmental studies and other social sciences, in addition to geography. While the terms ‘financial geography’ and ‘geography of finance’ are mostly used interchangeably, we make deliberate use of the former term. For us, the difference is more than one of syntax, and is underpinned not only by studying the impacts of money and finance on economy, society, and nature, but also by recognizing that understanding money and finance is fundamental to understanding geographical phenomena beyond money and finance. Put differently: in financial geography, finance is also ‘a lens through which one can look at other issues’ (Aalbers, 2018: 916). This highlights the open-ended, inclusive, and interdisciplinary character of financial geography.

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