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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The introduction approaches economic geography with reference to where, why, and so what questions focused on understanding economy. The latter is defined broadly as a totality of processes through which individuals, households, and societies make a living and sustain themselves. This economic–geographical approach is then elaborated with the concepts of location, place, territory, distance, proximity, diversity, scale, heterogeneity, and differentiation. The evolution of the discipline, the main challenges facing the world economy in the twenty-first century, and ways in which the discipline has responded to understanding these challenges are outlined briefly. The chapter demonstrates that the discipline has remained open and dynamic in a pursuit of explaining the spatiality of economic processes and their impacts on growth, uneven development, stability, and sustainability. Finally, the structure and arguments of the Handbook are previewed, highlighting how the discipline has changed since the first Handbook was published in 2000.

Keywords: location, place, territory, distance, proximity, diversity, scale, heterogeneity, differentiation, evolution

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