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By Eric S. Sheppard, Trevor J. Barnes

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Extra resources for A Companion to Economic Geography (Blackwell Companions to Geography, 2)

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If economic geographers cannot invoke explanatory laws, they must be ``concerned with the description and interpretation of unique cases . '' (Hartshorne, 1939, p. 449). In contrast, Chisholm and Smith, while recognizing the importance of geographical difference, and relying heavily on description, are at pains to emphasize the wider geographical and economic system that revolves around world production and trade, and that connects places and regions together. This is missing in much of the regionalist economic geography.

In G. Clark, M. S. Gertler and M. Feldman, A Handbook of Economic Geography. Oxford: Blackwell. Smith, J. Russell. 1913. Industrial and Commercial Geography. New York: Henry Holt and Co. Starkey, O. P. 1967. Joseph Russell Smith, 1874±1966. Annals, Association of American Geographers, 57, 198±202. Van Dyke Robinson, E. 1909. Economic geography: An attempt to state what it is and what it is not. Publications of the American Economic Association, 3rd series 10, 247±57. Von ThuÈnen, J. H. 1966. The Isolated State, an English translation of Der Isolierte Staat by C.

The same holds for economic geography. The discipline arose because of a set of contextual factors, and as those factors changed so did economic geography. Further, those factors, like the relationship between electricity and the light bulb, entered into economic geography's very constitution, shaping the questions it asked, the methods and tools it used, and the range of answers it deemed acceptable. For sure the discipline had its own geniuses, people who were brilliant in thinking up new ideas, but their creativity was always, like Edison's, informed and tempered by a wider context.

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