Business, Management, and Economics

The high-quality academic books, upper-level student texts and journal articles on our Business, Management and Economics list offer fresh perspectives on the economy, the future of work and organisations, and the relationship between business and addressing global social challenges.  

The list is home to a number of series including Organizations and Activism and Feminist Perspectives on Work and Organization, all of which are edited by leading scholars from the field, along with our journals in the area: Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, Work in the Global Economy and Global Political Economy.

Business, Management and Economics

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Timescapes, Power and Democracy
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A deep exploration on how questions of time and its organisation affect planning practice, this book is aimed at public and private planning practitioners, national and local politicians and policymakers involved in planning, academics and students studying planning and related disciplines.

It presents time as a pervasive form of power that is used to shape democratic practices, and questions ‘project speed’: where time to think, deliberate and plan has been squeezed. The authors demonstrate the many benefits of slow planning for the key participants, multiple interests and planning system overall.

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The chapter considers the role of time, public interest and deliberative democracy in relation to how planning inputs are organised and managed. In doing so, it considers the wider ‘public interest’ justification for planning to meet a range of present and future needs, and the role of democratic processes and deliberation as a means to enable ‘good’ planning. These are discussed in view of the implications of, and linkages with, time as a resource and the aims of planning, with consideration of the processes and tools available to foster proper time for planning. Care to sustain appropriate deliberative practices is linked to the act of planning itself as a participatory undertaking rather than an adjunct to public engagement, which is often offered under narrow terms and reflects attempts to orchestrate inputs. The challenges to enabling more deliberative approaches are considered in relation to critiques of (post-)democratic citizenship, competing values within increasingly pluralist societies and the unequal operation of power relations. Despite these issues, the case is made that enabling deliberation is an important component of good planning and should form a key part of the normative principles underpinning planning systems.

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The chapter highlights that neoliberal discourses have a particular prominence and influence on political and economic thought and policy in the UK. The thinking behind neoliberal policy places time firmly in view as something to be ‘managed’ in order for ‘efficiency’ to be assured and ‘delay’ minimised. This view stresses that business and service imperatives are promoted in governmental policy generally and through planning policy more specifically. The chapter presents a discussion of planning and the role of time in a neoliberalised policy environment, and outlines the idea of ‘project speed’, cited to focus attention on the political project of reforming planning in the English case. It shows that there have been concerted efforts to orient planning timescapes not necessarily in service of good planning or of supporting democratic accountability but instead to primarily achieve growth. We view the reforms promoted by waves of neoliberalisation and ‘project speed’ over a longer period as attempts to control the present and future. Both the use of political time to service these agendas and the wider temporal politics of growth are questioned as effective long-term strategies in aiding good processes and/or outcomes.

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This chapter provides a deep exposition of time and practice as conceptualised in the wider social sciences. It presents a review of how time has been theorised in social theory, drawing on key thinkers who emphasise the role of time in shaping social and institutional practices across capitalist economic systems, interpersonal power relations and political strategies. In considering this range, the chapter draws on a number of theorists’ work, notably, Pierre Bourdieu, Barbara Adam, Helga Nowotny and Nomi Lazar, whose ideas are presented as key in highlighting the operation of power, political strategy and the relationship of time to practice (and vice versa). This sets out a framework for analysis and provides both an insight and a guide to understanding the multiple temporalities of planning and how timescapes structure practice. By considering the use and organisation of time in organising how planning is practised and who is involved, the recognition that planning itself produces particular futures is brought into view. Key theoretical ideas are used specifically to examine, in later chapters, the way time is organised and deployed as a tool to exert control in the planning system in England.

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This final chapter summarises the main arguments of the book and argues for a more reflective planning and practice that takes time and its implications more seriously. It reflects on planning timescapes as oriented towards neoliberal speed-growth agendas, such as project speed, in order to assist in problematising existing approach(es) to planning. In doings so, the case is made that there is much more at stake than simply whether planning is ‘fast’ or ‘slow’; instead, far greater emphasis is required about what we are planning for and why. A reset of planning systems away from short-term political and business agendas and towards considering longer-term challenges requires a rethinking of normative principles and overall goals, as well as, it follows, a reshaping of the timescape(s) of planning in order to fashion proper time(s). This assemblage should feature the central tenets of inclusion, deliberation and public interest as design principles for planning systems, processes and practices. How time is conceptualised, challenged, managed and practised by different actors with a stake in planning and its outcomes appears critical to just, sustainable futures. It concludes by outlining a research agenda in which understandings of time in and for planning can be further developed to advance practice.

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This introductory chapter provides an initial grounding for the rationale, aims and scope of the book. It also indicates why this topic area should be embraced and absorbed in planning, and how this is useful for providing a deeper understanding of time in practice and the impact of time on practice. The consideration of time in relation to planning is an obvious one: planning is critically concerned with time as an activity in creating plans and policies for the present and future. Yet, beyond such seemingly self-evident claims and understandings of the importance of time, we need to consider the concept much more deeply to appreciate the profound role that time and ‘timescaping’ plays in structuring society, economies and politics, as well as for understanding how temporalisation shapes planning, which in turn shapes the experience of planning. In this respect, time has often been an obscure or uncritically accepted part of discourses shaping planning. This lays the foundations for exploring the contention that time, in its deployment both rhetorically and practically, can have profound impacts on both planning processes and outcomes.

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In this chapter, I profile feminist political economic geographer, Beverley Mullings. Dr Mullings’s research brings to economic geography a much-needed focus on global and intimate forms of neoliberal governmentality through an intersectional, multi-scalar analysis. Over her career, Dr Mullings has brought a sustained critique of the ways that development and state policies transform subjectivities, everyday lives and possibilities. Through a commitment to feminist political economy, she has been a leader in pushing the discipline to centre the multiple systems of oppression that shape people’s lives in space and place. Importantly, she has done this by focusing on the relationship between diaspora and home, spheres of social reproduction and the politics of praxis. In this profile, I shed light on how these three threads of her research work in concert and are each primary concerns for economic geography and geographers. Mullings’s research and her own praxis provide a more just model for doing economic geography research and academia.

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This chapter explores the resurgence of interest in social reproduction in the social sciences and its stalled uptake in economic geography. Charting a brief history of analyses of the relationship between productive and reproductive labour, I argue that feminist economic geographers have long called for a future research agenda for economic geography that takes seriously the domains of reproduction and care as ‘properly economic’. That reproductive labour is racialized, as well as gendered and classed, signals the imperative for feminists to take seriously the imbrication of social reproduction and racial capitalism in relation to both research and praxis.

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The subdiscipline of economic geography has a long and varied history, and recent work has pushed the field to diversify even further. This collection takes this agenda forward by showcasing inspiring, critical and plural perspectives for contemporary economic geographies. Highlighting the contributions of global scholars, the 30 chapters highlight fresh ways of approaching economic geography in research, teaching and praxis. With sections on thought leaders, contemporary critical debates and future research agendas, this collection calls for greater openness and inclusivity.

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Studies of consumption have long been positioned at the intersection of economic and cultural geography embracing the interplay between industry and commerce and the lifeworlds through which goods and services are purchased, used and experienced. Economic geographers have played an important role in mapping and conceptualizing the commodity chains linking consumers with local, regional and global systems of production, as well as understanding landscapes of retail and household economies. This chapter acknowledges a rich suite of consumption studies to which economic geography has contributed, but it also seeks to unsettle dominant narratives of consumption driven by Western framings. We suggest that perspectives of postcolonial economy help to foreground more inclusive and diverse geographies of consumption and theorization from Global South settings. To demonstrate this, we take food as our empirical focus and specifically examine changing discourses of food consumption in Brazil. We use a postcolonial lens to broaden the analysis of domestic food consumption in Brazil, revealing its plural contingencies and histories. In doing so, we place the values and models of food consumption in Brazil centre stage, with all its potential to inform critical and plural perspectives on contemporary economic geography.

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