Economic activity has a spatial character influenced by the interaction of several factors, including natural resources,
culture, politics, and history in specific places. By dividing economic activities into key sectors, we can appreciate
why natural resources have different, values for different societies, and how places and regions acquire comparative advantages
In this section of the course, we learn about
the geographic elements of industrialization and development. We need to understand how models of economic development,
such as Rostow's stages of economic growth and Wallerstein’s World Systems Theory, help to explain why the world is
described as being divided into a well-developed core and a less-developed periphery. It also includes a comparison
of location theories, such as those by Weber and von Thünen, which stress resource and
market dependence, with accounts of economic g1obalization, which accent time—space compression and the new international
division of labor. For example, we might study the reasons why some Asian economies achieved rapid rates of growth in the
1980s while most sub-Saharan African economies experienced decline. In addition, we need to understand patterns of economic
growth mid decline in North America.
Contemporary issues surrounding economic activity
are also addressed. For example, countries, regions, and communities must confront new patterns of economic inequity that
are linked to geographies of interdependence in the global economy. Communities also face difficult questions regarding use
and conservation of resources and the impact of pollution on the environment and quality of life. We study the impact of deindustrialization,
the disaggregation of production, and the rise of consumption and leisure activities.
Guns, Germs and Steel traces humanity's journey over the last 13,000 years – from
the dawn of farming at the end of the last Ice Age to the realities of life in the twenty-first century.
by a question put to him on the island of Papua New Guinea more than thirty years ago, Diamond embarks on a world-wide quest
to understand the roots of global inequality.
Why were Europeans the ones to conquer so much of our planet?
Why didn't the Chinese, or the Inca, become masters of the globe instead?
Why did cities first evolve in the Middle East?
Why did farming never emerge in Australia?
And why are the tropics now the capital of global poverty?
Guns Germs & Steel