Venue: 1st Floor, Exhibition Space, Great North Museum

Time/Date: 24th October 2012, 16:00 - 18:00

CURDS are delighted to invite to you to register here for the 2012-13 Annual Distinguished lecture to be given by Professor Richard Walker.

The Rise and Fall of the Golden State: Hard Lessons of Liberal Capitalism Learned in California.
Professor Richard Walker, Geography at Berkeley, University of California

California has one of the largest economies in the world, and is at the vanguard of both U.S. development and global high-tech industry. The success of the Golden State has been explained in many ways – gold, sunshine, migration, entrepreneurship – but none of them is satisfactory.  The reasons run deeper than free gifts of nature, free markets and free choice; it has to do with the specific social and political constellation of an especially liberal capitalism.  Which is not to whitewash things:  like all capitalisms and all liberalism, it has had a dark side of exploitation, racism, militarism and environmental ruin. Nonetheless, the peculiar twists of class, nature, state and politics has kept California on the high road of development since the Gold Rush.  Until recently, that is, when the liberal fabric began to unwind under a regime of neo-liberalism, for which California served as a major source.  A combination of financial speculation, growing class inequality, and government bankruptcy has led the Golden State to the sorry place of serving as the crucible of the Great Recession in the USA.

Professor Richard Walker has written extensively about economic and urban geography, providing some of the key ideas and most cited texts shaping contemporary economic geography research. He is co-author of “The Capitalist Imperative: Territory, Technology and Industrial Growth (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989) and “The New Social Economy: Reworking the Division of Labor (Cambridge USA: Blackwell, 1992).

Published: 14th September 2012