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  The creation and maintenance of intense and diverse patterns of interaction and control between formerly more or less separate social spaces. Integration involves the bringing together of different systems of meaning and action founded in different sets of social relations (norms, means of communication, indicators of direction and value, structures of power, domination and subordination). At the limit integration implies the obliteration of difference, but it can take place only through social relations capable of being stretched and modified to incorporate other systems of meaning without reaching breaking point — not least in response to resistance to integration. An example would be the chain of production (Dicken, 1998) which integrates the stages of production within or between different corporate structures.

Geography is central to this process. Integration takes place through — not merely across — space. A geography of the links involved in integration (e.g. a political geography of the state apparatus involved in the governance of integration) must be created and a new geography of integration may emerge. Thus the creation of a space or spaces of integration is central to any form of integration; without such spaces, the social relations which constitute integration cannot themselves be constituted.

The defence of territory may create separation — the logical pre-condition of integration — which may be broken down forcibly (e.g. via war, annexation), peaceably (via mutually agreed negotiation) or through a mixture of violence and peaceful means. Thus Sidney Pollard (1981), for example, refers to the economic integration of Europe as a process of \'peaceful conquest\'. Economic integration may take place via the market, through the circulation of capital, labour and knowledge, through modern processes of imperialism such as the global integration of consumer practice (which in the case of Coca-Cola is paradigmatic), or through international political economy (via decisions on the conditions of international economic interaction — trade, investment, labour migration and so on).

time-space convergence (itself driven by the formation of new spaces of interaction) may dynamize integration through distanciation as the influence of once distant and remote others is made more and more insistent through the convergence of space-time. A contemporary example of this process of distanciation is the sudden suspension in the light of the crisis in Southeast Asia during 1997/ 1998 of contemporary discussion of the need to \'easternize\' European social practices to compete with the Asian countries of the Pacific Rim.

There are a number of interlinked elements of integration which may be more or less strongly developed in any specific circumstance:

{img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } A dynamic of integration — e.g. a geographically expansionary system of material production; an embryonic empire. {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } Integration imagined — this may involve an ideology, of, for example, an integrated Europe, a European geography. Such ideologies, which may in turn act themselves as a dynamic of integration, imply a belief in or desire for particular views of what is being integrated. In the case of European integration, beliefs about the nature of \'Europe\', about the space that is thought of as \'Europe\' and about the nature of the integrated entity, become very important. Here the question concerns not only the \'definition\' of the extent of Europe — where does it begin and end? — but the meaning that we endow upon it and the significance that we attach to it. An example would be the debate within contemporary Europe between those who favour the move towards a federal system and those who wish to retain the existing system of nation-states. This debate reflects highly divergent \'ideologies\' of Europe and quite different views on the importance of Europe in either positive or normative terms. {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } Social construction: the making of geographies which enable, facilitate, encourage or even demand integration. {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } Processes of integration: including both formal (negotiated) integrations and informal (socially constructed tendencies) integration such as those emanating from global media (Morley and Robins, 1995) or from globalization within relations of social reproduction. {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } Institutional binding: institutions/organizations which (help to) bind the (integrated) space together. Economists, for example, recognize several levels of institutional integration: free trade area, customs union, common market, monetary union and economic and political union. {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } landscapes of integration: the geography of social life within the integrated space. This would include not merely fixed investments like communication and transport systems as well as processes of interaction like flows of investment and trade and complex structures like city systems but symbolic landscapes of tradition (pre-integration) and change (post-integration) and the struggle — over these landscapes — exemplified by neo-Nazis in an eastern Germany coming to terms with the dislocations of integration into the West by attempting to define and violently to impose their racist and xenophobic notions of place purity within towns and cities in the region.In an age of electronic landscapes, for example, signs and symbols are both ever-present and ever-changing and rapidly transmitted and absorbed and so cultural boundaries become both fluid and contested. Under such circumstances Morley and Robins (1995, p. 1) explore \'the complex and contradictory nature of contemporary cultural identities and … the role of communications media in the reconfiguration of these identities … in the context of the relationships between Europe and the significant Others — America, Islam, Japan and the Orient — against which its own identity has been and is now being, defined\'.

The objectives of integration are commonly disputed and range from the creation of a unity (e.g. economic and political union — exemplified, for example, by the reunification of Germany in 1990; European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); a takeover of one firm by another; assimilation), to diversity within some form of unity (e.g. the European Union as a community of nations; a common market; federalism; multiculturalism; a joint venture) and links between independent units (e.g. a free trade area; a commonwealth; sub-contracting).

The achievement of unity must involve both positive integration (in which new structures and institutions — e.g. a common currency within EMU — are created to replace the extant, more divisive structures and institutions) and negative integration (the removal of pre-existing barriers and impediments to integration — e.g. tariff barriers). Anything less than the achievement of unity may involve either positive or negative integration or a combination of the two.

Within the sphere of production (see, e.g. Storper and Walker, 1989, ch. 3), integration (or disintegration) may be vertical — a process which refers to the extent to which successive stages in production and distribution are placed under the control of a single firm (shaped by internal economies of scope); horizontal — the extent to which firms producing related products (competitive, complementary or by-products) operate under central control; or diagonal, the corporate integration of firms operating in different sectors and at different stages of the production chain. The disintegration of production is often interpreted as a manifestation of the emergence of flexibility in production (see economic geography; industrial district).

Integration may be formal or informal.

Informal integration consists of those patterns of interaction which develop without the impetus of deliberate political decisions, following the dynamics of markets, technology, communications networks and social change.

Thus the economic and social historians Eric Hobsbawm (1962), Sidney Pollard (1973, 1981) and William Ashworth (1974), for example, conceive of European integration during the nineteenth century in terms of the construction of new geographies through which the impulses of industrialization — which greatly extended the geographical and quantitative scale of circuits of social reproduction — might course, thereby transforming Europe which \'at the end of the eighteenth century was very far from being an economic unit\' (Ashworth, 1974, p. 296), consisting of \'a conglomeration of small, semi-autarkic markets, each with its own fairly complete array of trades\' (Landes, 1969, p. 133), to \'one single macro-development area\' (Pollard, 1973, p. 639).

Formal integration consists of those changes in the framework of rules and regulations which encourage — or inhibit, or redirect — informal flows. Informal integration is a continuous process, a flow; it creeps unawares out of the myriad transactions of private individuals pursuing private interests. Formal integration is discontinuous: it proceeds decision by decision, bargain by bargain, treaty by treaty (Wallace, 1990, p. 9).

An example from within the formal political sphere would be the institutional processes which led up to the formation of the European Economic Community and the subsequent widening (extension of geographical scale) and deepening (the shift from relatively limited negative integration to more complex and demanding positive integration) involved in the re-formed European Union and EMU.

Marx (1976) distinguishes, too, between the concentration of capital — \'the increasing concentration of … wealth in the hands of individual capitalists … which grows directly out of accumulation, or rather is identical to it\' (p. 776); and the centralization of capital — \'the attraction of capital by capital\' (p. 777). Centralization is a process through which one capital takes over another — either in a hostile bid or through mutual agreement; either way, though, formal negotiations must take place and they may be subject to anti-monopoly investigations by the state before centralization may proceed.

Helpful as the formal / informal distinction is, it fails to acknowledge that social relations underpin the tendency towards integration and the possibilities of achieving it; it conceives of integration in universal terms. The emergence of capitalism as a dominant set of social relations implies both geographical and quantitative expansion (Smith, 1984, ch. 3; Lee, 1989; see economic geography; world-systems analysis). Integration is, therefore, a tendency accelerated and intensified by capitalism. Thus in the attempt to understand integration within Europe, Lee (1976, p. 12) wished to escape from the narrow view of institutional (formal) approaches to integration:

Both the supposed dichotomy between economic and political integration and the atomistic concept of the self-determining state are inadequate starting points for the analysis of integration. The international economy is not a simple aggregation of national economies but a total system in which nations are subordinate, but not necessarily subdominant, structures and economic integration is, in fact, a fundamental concept determined by the mode of production.He went on to outline an historical geography of European integration in terms somewhat less reminiscent of structuralism but which, nevertheless, explored the process of structuration between economic, political and social processes in the context of the dynamic geography of the circuit of capital (Lee, 1990).

Although the expansionary nature of the capitalist world-economy continuously poses the question of integration, it is important to remember that other forces may resist it. During the sixteenth century \'Islam and Christendom, faced each other along the north-south divide between the Levant and the western Mediterranean, a line running from the shores of the Adriatic to Sicily and then on to the coast of present-day Tunisia\' and although \'merchant vessels sailed across it every day\' (Braudel, 1985, p. 22), the cultural and social divisions remain highly influential. The integrative world economy is, as Braudel (1985, p. 45) points out, simply \'an order among other orders\' and the struggle between integration and distinction remains a powerful determinant of economic, political and social relations.

Of course such a struggle cannot be reduced to this dualism. Integration involves the geographies of the intersection of social relations and their consequent transformation and subsequent re-transformations. Thus there are two ways in which places are said to be endowed with geographical specificity: through an internalized historical geography; and through the construction of

a particular constellation of social relations, meeting and weaving together at a particular locus … each \'place\' can be seen as a particular, unique, point of their intersection. It is indeed a meeting place. (Massey, 1991/1996, p. 244).The implication here is that rather than thinking of places as being constructed in and through their own terms — through some internal dynamic driven by the circumstances within a particular space (an internalized historical geography), places are seen as being constructed through the intersection of local conditions and the perpetually changing relations with the rest of the world. And, of course, the apparently \'internal\' characteristics of places will themselves be a mix of external and internal influences. In short there can be no such thing as a bounded place, defined simply in its own terms.

Instead, then, of thinking of places as areas with boundaries around, they can be imagined as articulated moments in networks of social relations and understandings, but where a large proportion of those relations, experiences and understandings are constructed on a far larger scale than what we happen to define for that moment as the place itself, whether that be a street, or a region or even a continent. And this in turn allows a sense of place which is extrovert, which includes a consciousness of its links with the wider world, which integrates in a positive way the global and the local.

It is a sense place, an understanding of \'its character\', which can only be constructed by linking that place to places beyond. A progressive sense of place would recognize that, without being threatened by it, what we need, it seems to me, is a global sense of the local, a global sense of place. (Massey, 1996, pp. 244-5.)Integration is, in short, a permanent but constantly changing process involving the social construction of geographies through which identities and social relations are formed, contested and transformed and social and environmental life can proceed. As such it presents the most profound political challenges. The nature of these challenges may be exemplified by Tom Nairn\'s (1983, pp. 195-7) account of the counterpoint of integration.

Nairn argues that geographies of disaffection and disintegration parallel those of industrialization and integration in Europe:

The advancing capitalism of the more bourgeois societies bore down upon the societies surrounding them — societies which predominantly appear until the 1790s as buried in feudal and absolutist slumber … polite universalist visions of progress had turned into means of domination. … The spread of free commerce … was turning into the domination of English manufactures — the tyranny of the English \'City\' over the European \'country\'. In short there was a sort of imperialism built into \'development\'. And it had become a prime necessity to resist this aspect of development.Thus instead of \'continuous diffusion from centre to periphery\' and a process whereby the \'metropolis would gradually elevate the rustic hinterland up to its level\' uneven development is a means of exploitation so that

progress comes to seem a hammer-blow as well as (sometimes instead of) a prospectus for general uplift and improvement. … So areas of the hinterland, even in order to \'catch up\' … are also compelled to mobilise against progress … to demand progress not as it is thrust upon them … by the metropolitan centre, but \'on their own terms\'.\'Nationalism\' is in one sense only the label for the general unfolding of this vast struggle, since the end of the eighteenth century.

Clearly nationalities, ethnic disputes and nation-states had existed before. And this is not surprising given the diversity and continuous history of Europe (cf. ethnic cleansing; nationalism; racism). But industrialization transformed such features

into the general condition of nationalism after the bourgeois revolutions exploded fully into the world … and gave them a qualitatively distinct function, an altogether new dynamism for both good and evil.The political geography of this process follows that of the economic:

In terms of political geography, the contours of the process are familiar. The \'tidal wave\' [of modernization and the response of nationalism] invaded one zone after another, in concentric circles. First Germany and Italy. … Almost at the same time, or shortly after, Central and Eastern Europe, and the more peripheral regions of Iberia, Ireland and Scandinavia.This account should not be taken to imply that the political is a mere reaction to the economic but rather to illustrate the resistance to integration as a process of domination rather than as a discourse of the logic of development or modernization. (RL)

References Ashworth, W. 1974: Industrialisation and the economic integration of nineteenth-century Europe. European Studies Review 4: 291-315. Braudel, F. 1985: Civilization and capitalism 15th-18th Century, vol. III: The perspective of the world. London: Fontana Press. Dicken, P. 1998: Global shift: transforming the world economy, 3rd edn. London: Paul Chapman Publishing, ch. 1. Hobsbawm, E.J. 1962: The age of revolution Europe 1789-1848. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson. Landes, D. 1969: The unbound Prometheus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lee, R. 1976: Integration, spatial structure and the capitalist mode of production in the EEC. In Lee, R. and Ogden, P.E., eds, Economy and society in the EEC. Farnborough: Saxon House, 11-37. Lee, R. 1989: Social relations and the geography of material life. In D. Gregory and R. Walford, Horizons in human geography. London: Macmillan; New York: St. Martin\'s Press, 152-69. Lee, R. 1990: Making Europe: towards a geography of European integration. In M. Chisholm and D.M. Smith, eds, Shared space. Divided space. London: Unwin Hyman, 235-59. Marx, K. 1976: Capital vol. I. Harmondsworth: New Left Review/Penguin. Massey, D. 1991: A global sense of place. Marxism Today, June: 24-9 [reprinted in Massey, D. 1994: Space, place and gender. Cambridge and Oxford: Polity Press, ch. 6, 146-56 and in S. Daniels and R. Lee, eds, 1996: Exploring human geography. London: Arnold, 237-45]. Morley, D. and Robins, K. 1995: Spaces of identity. Global media, electronic landscapes and cultural boundaries. London and New York: Routledge. Nairn, T. 1983: Nationalism and the uneven geography of development. In D. Held et al., eds, States and societies, ch. 2.5. Oxford: Martin Robertson, 195-206. Pollard, S. 1973: Industrialisation and the European economy. Economic History Review 26: 636-48. Pollard, S. 1981: Peaceful conquest. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Smith, N. 1984: Uneven development. Oxford and New York: Basil Blackwell. Storper, M. and Walker, R. 1989: The capitalist imperative. New York and Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Wallace, W. 1990: Introduction: the dynamics of European integration. In Wallace, W. ed., The dynamics of European integration. London and New York: Pinter Publishers, 1-24.

Suggested Reading Lee (1990). Robins, K. 1995: The new spaces of global media. In R.J. Johnston, M.J. Watts and P.J. Taylor, eds, Geographies of global change: remapping the world in the late twentieth century. Oxford and Cambridge MA: Blackwell; Nairn (1983).



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