Engaging the global countryside: globalization, hybridity and the reconstitution of rural place

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This article applies Massey's (2005) call for a relational understanding of space that can challenge aspatial readings of globalization to the study of globalization in a rural context. Critiquing existing rural research for tending towards studies of global commodity chains and overarching processes of globalization, it argues for more place-based studies of globalization as experienced in rural localities. The concept of the `global countryside' is introduced as a hypothetical space that represents the ultimate outcome of globalizing processes, yet it is noted that the characteristics of the `global countryside' find only partial articulation in particular rural spaces. Understanding this differentiated geography of rural globalization, it is argued, requires a closer understanding of how globalization remakes rural places, for which Massey's thesis provides a guide. The article thus examines the reconstitution of rural places under globalization, highlighting the interaction of local and global actors, and of human and non-human actants, to produce new hybrid forms and relations. As such, it is argued, the politics of globalization cannot be reduced to domination or subordination, but are instead a politics of negotiation and configuration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-507
Number of pages23
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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