The Global Conference on Economic Geography (GCEG), launched in Singapore in 2000, has rapidly grown into the centrepiece conference of economic geographers and scholars across the world through four successful conferences.
We plan to bring the conference back again to its original birthplace, Asia. Japan is proud to propose to host the 6th conference on 18–22 August 2021, three years after the 5th conference to be held in Cologne, Germany in 2018.
In our contemporary global economic geography, two major forces of capitalism determine the configuration of space. One is the global production network (GPN) organised in principle by transnational corporations (TNCs); the other is the neo-liberalist economic policy initiated by governments and global organisations such as IMF, the World Bank and World Trade Organization. This conference aims at focusing more on the variable and conflictual nature of the contemporary capitalism. It would also address the spatial disparities of global economies as manifested in more disadvantaged regions of the world and exploited segments of people generated through expansion of GPN constantly seeking greener fields globally, to deploy both cheap labour sources and pristine environment. The conference also envisages to bring the struggle of the people against TNCs and state power propagating neo-liberalist dominance to the fore, including attempts at indigenous economic development (through micro-production, etc.).
Therefore, one of the major characteristics of the 6th GCEG should be to address these socio-spatial issues of the GPN and global neo-liberalism from a more critical and alternative perspectives than the previous ones.
Brief History towards Tokyo, Japan to Host the 6th GCEG Conference
In December 2015, a group of economic geographers in Japan proposed Japan to host the GCEG Conference after Cologne 2018. The proposal was wholeheartedly agreed.The group organised themselves into a local organising committee and launched the preparation of the conference which is to be held in 2021.
In October 2016, a head of the past Organising Committee of GCEG visited Osaka, Japan and gave practical advice based on his experience, which organised committee members in Japan very valuable and became the guiding principle ever since. He also showed his understanding and appreciation for the uniqueness of the GCGC 2021 that the committee envisaged: critical approaches to economic geography.
Unfortunately however, Kenji Tsutsumi, Osaka University, who had been in charge of the international relations of the local organising committee resigned voluntarily as an organising committee member altogether in January 2017, and another member of the committee got his new academic position at a University in Tokyo Metropolitan Area in April 2017. The proposed venue of conference therefore needed to be shifted from Osaka to Tokyo. Currently, the process of preparing the conference is going along well without hindrances, to meet your expectations. More news of development will appear in this official GCEG2021 Website shortly. Please rest assured and keep posted.
Global, Struggle/Conflict and Symbiosis - The Key Concepts
In drawing upon the achievement of the critical scholarship in geography across the world, we are trying to make this conference distinct from the previous GCEG conferences: i.e. putting more emphasis on critical orientation of geography. The key concepts for the 6th GCEG are, therefore: Global, Struggle/Conflict and Symbiosis.
The venue of the conference is Tokyo, one of the world cities in Asia and on the rest of the world. There are convenient airline connections from every corner of the globe to the two international airports of Tokyo, Haneda and Narita.
Tokyo is normally reputed as an expensive place, yet we are trying to minimise your cost by holding the conference at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Centre. This a bit humble yet more efficient, safe and clean venue is situated conveniently in downtown Tokyo, yet in greenery setting with reasonably-priced accommodation provided on site. Shinjuku, a thriving urban commercial centre of Tokyo with many skyscrapers and amusement facilities are only ca. a quarter of an hour away by a frequent city-bus service.