Within and Cumbers, 2007, pp31). This was

Within the period between the
late 1800s until the 1930, commercial geography existed, and concerned commodities
according to their places of origin and their paths of transportation (MacKinnon
and Cumbers, 2007, pp23). Post World War 1, a decline in the colonial empires powers
was seen (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp24) and the realisation of the need
for major growth in the economy was globally apparent.

 

The 1930s saw the rise of
Fordism, a system of mass production and consumption, bringing high rates of
productivity in the workplace and expanding wages (Mackinnon and Cumbers, 2007,
pp31). This was possible through fixed expenses being shared over a larger
number of outputs thereby reducing unit costs and the exploitation of the division
of labour (Thompson, 2007). A period of sustained high economic growth and
economic advancements was present throughout most major world economies due to
Fordism (Thompson, 2007).

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However, Keynes emphasised the
importance of government control over the level of demand in the economy to
reach full employment. States took on interventionist approaches Mackinnon and
Cumbers, 2007, pp 31).  The Keynesian
economic theory, which consisted of raising government expenditure and lowering
tax rates, aimed to stimulate demand and get economies out of a depression and
was entrenched during the 1930s (Investopedia, n.d.).  

 

Fordism experienced many
problems leading up to the 1970s. A new form of ‘post-Fordism’ saw a larger
emphasis on the role of small firms, ICT and individualised forms of
consumption (Mackinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp32).

 

Neoliberal approaches became
more apparent in the 1970s as we shifted away from Keynesianism, towards the
reduction of state intervention and the increase of free markets, which
promoted competition (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp32). 

 

The development of the
Marxist theory came about in the late 1960s (Mackinnon and Cumbers, 2007,
pp30).  In its early stages, focus was
based on how capitalism can create certain geographical landscapes; there is
both need for capital to be fixed in one place and for it to be able to move
around (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp31). Productive environments need to be
built up over a period of time, which is done through keeping capital immobile however,
if capital doesn’t eventually move, it will not be able to respond to the
changing economic conditions and miss out on locations that are more profitable
(MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp31). Spatial fix, which is “the establishment
of relatively stable geographical arrangements that facilitate the expansion of
the capitalist economy for a certain period of time” (MacKinnon and Cumbers,
2007, pp302), saw North America and Western Europe deindustrialise in the late
1970s and expansions in certain industries in newly industrialising countries
(MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp.31).

 

In the 1980s, Marxism became criticised
for being too out of touch with modern times and thought (MacKinnon and
Cumbers, 2007, pp32). Three important critiques included the view of human
beings as their class instead of their individual person, too much stress on
economic forces and relations and too much attention to class, with little to
gender or race (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp33).

 

The post war welfare state
agreed with Keynesianism theories to accelerate economic growth. Keynes
rejected the idea of a classical market economy and embraced state fiscal
policy to offset business cycles and reach maximum employment (MacKinnon and
Cumbers, 2007, pp93). Spatial Keynesianism was enforced to close the widening
gap between richer and poorer regions. Factories and office spaces were
positioned in depressed locations and development of financial core regions was
halted to even out the development (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp95). These
policies were prominent until the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, when
attention shifted towards neoliberalism (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp96).

 

Neoliberalism is concerned
with underlining free market competition and is non-interventionist (Smith,
n.d.). It reinvented regulatory techniques since the early 1980s, introducing
new experiments and reforms, based on private enterprise and individual liberty
(MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp103). The three main policies of neoliberalism
are privatisation, liberalisation and deregulation in order to open up new
markets (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp103). When Prime Minister Thatcher was
elected in 1979 and President Reegan in 1981, the reduction of state
intervention was put into practice, the International Monetary Fund also spread
neoliberalism across the world through grants and loans and by the early 1990s
neoliberalism was considered normal and the correct way to go about controlling
the economy (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp104). 

 

During the mid 1990s, a new
balance between state socialism and free market capitalism was sort due to the
uneven implementation of neoliberal policies, as states had adopted some parts
of policies whilst completely ignoring others (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007,
pp104). Neoliberalism has created problems which ultimately resulted in the
2007 – 2008 financial crisis. Due to the implementation of neoliberalist
policies such as deregulation and liberalisation 20 to 30 years prior, world
trade dropped and developing countries whose economies were built on exporting
raw materials saw a great downturn (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp106 &
218). Countries that saw economic growth during the 2000s suffered
dramatically, a real turn around for Ireland the ‘Celtic Tiger’, which suddenly
became one of Europe’s weakest economies (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp218).
However, one country in particular did not see such problems, China, due to its
vast amount of infrastructure spending, was still able to keep production and
growth rates high during this period (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp218).

 

The growth in Multinational
Corporations (MNCs) was mainly to do with state policy changes brought about since
Keynesianism was discarded (MacKinnon and Cumbers, 2007, pp106). The opening up
of national economies led to governments turning their focus to low tax and
inflation rates and more flexible labour (MacKinnon and cumbers, 2007, pp107). In
order for developing countries to receive loans and grants from the IMF and
World Bank, strict rules and conditions were imposed, including partaking in
Structural Adjustment Programmes, which are designed to advance a countries
foreign investment climate in three ways: ridding of trade and investment
regulations, cutting government spending and promoting exports (Chebucto,
n.d.).

 

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