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Turbulent Trade Routes


Lancaster University, Room TBA
26 November 2010, 11am-5.30pm

Organized by the Mediterranean Mobilities Research Network - Centre for Mobilities Research in collaboration with LEC.


Confirmed speakers include:


Tim Cresswell, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London



Tim Hall, Department of Natural and Social Sciences, University of Gloucestershire

'Invisible Trade Routes: Mobilities, Materialities and Geographies of Organised Crime'


Craig Martin, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London

'Piracy and Parasites: On the Competing Forces of Oceanic Trade Routes'


Peter North, Department of Geography, University of Liverpool

'Trade Routes and Eco-localisation: A Progressive Response to Peak Oil and Climate Change'


Kathy Pain, Globalization and World Cities Network, Loughborough University / University of Reading

'Gateways and Corridors in Globalization: Changing European Global City Roles and Functions'

The growing availability of commodities from all over the world is one of the most banal and pervasive expressions of the increasing if uneven connectivity between places at the turn of the 21st century. Economic geography has made substantial progress in mapping the shifting geographies of transnational production networks but much less is known, however, about the circulation networks of the commodity. Much less is known about how this circulation is made materially possible through transport routes and the resilience of transport infrastructures in the face of shifting economic, technological and environmental conditions.

Thus far interest on the heightened connectivity that has become a hallmark of globalization has largely focused on geographies of the internet (e.g. Castells 1996), aeromobilities and world city networks (e.g. Cwerner et al. 2008, Taylor 2004), circuits of money circulation (e.g. Thrift et al. 1994), and human mobility (e.g. Castles and Miller 1998). Despite being vital for the daily subsistence of an increasingly urban population and involving some of most extensive transport infrastructures and the biggest mobile machines, the quiet circulation of goods has not yet captured social scientists imagination.

After decades of globalization a renewed interest in trade routes is being triggered at the policy level by a shifting geopolitical landscape that is seeing global economic, political and military influence tilting towards the East. In what is being called an age of new empires, the growing demand of natural resources –especially oil-, the environmental transformations ushered by global warming, the growth of piracy associated with ‘failed states’ and the expanding and contested spheres of influence of new regional powers are raising concerns about the future of trade routes.

The aim of this workshop is to discuss the resilience of trade routes from a critical social science perspective, especially in relation with global warming, technological and geopolitical change.


The workshop will be held in Lancaster on 26 November 2010 (11am– 5.30 pm). Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-com first-served basis. If required, a range of overnight accommodation is available at own cost on campus and in Lancaster.

If you would like to attend please contact Javier Caletrío for any queries -

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Event sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences ‘Research and Enterprise Fund 2009-2010’.

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