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UK and globalisation

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Frédéric Ledru

on 4 January 2019

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Transcript of UK and globalisation

UK and globalisation
How is the United Kingdom involved in globalisation ?

What is the impact of globalisation on the British territory ?

An old and deep
insertion in globalisation
International trade in goods 2007-2012 (source : Eurostat)

International trade in services 2007-2012 (source : Eurostat)

International trade balance between 1990 and 2011

260 000 people
1.7 million km²

The United Kingdom : overseas territories

Eleven main world languages

British economy is specialized in services (80 % of the economy)

First exporter of services in the EU (one third of the total)

Very positive balance in services > connected to the dynanism of the City of London (financial services)
but not only London... the first British bank is a scottish one (Royal Bank of Scotland).

On the other hand, the British commercial balance is in deficit (200 billions of euros in 2012) > weaknesses of British industry (car manufacturing, textile)

Some industries are dynamic > pharmaceutical, aeronautic industries, oil and gas industry
UK depends on EU for its exports of services
The EU represents 50 % of the exports of the UK.
Americas more than one quarter.
So UK has one of the world's most globalised economies.
The impact of the Brexit is actually unknown, but it could hinder the British economy.
The Brexit will be a long process with two years of negociations with the UE. But, for the moment, the UK didn't ask officially to leave the EU.
Source : Office for national statistics
An economy specialized in services
A commercial balance in the red
A/ The UK: an important hub of globalisation
B/ A founder of globalisation
Oldest state involved in globalisation > thanks to its empire (five continents connected)

The economic ideology that dominates globalisation is liberalism > invented in the UK (Adam Smith is scottish 1723-1790)
The Commonwealth is still an important organisation (53 countries) > common culture and a common political symbol (the British monarchy).

Some states are still ruled by the queen : Canada / Australia for example.
English language is very important for the UK. It's the language of business and globalisation.

Around 1 billion people are speaking english today as a mother or a second langage.

One third of the websites in the world are in english
What’s globalisation ?
the process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through communication, transportation, and trade.

London : the heart of globalisation in the UK
A globalised UK outside London
A/ A global city
B/ A major hub of Globalisation
C/ A city in motion
Inner London = 3.1 million people (12 boroughs)
Outer London = 4.7 million people (20 boroughs)

The Greater London = Inner London + Outer London = 7.8 million people

The metropolitan area of London = commuter Belt = 12 million
First metropolitan area of the UE for population and GDP.

A big concentration of wealth (22 % of the GDP of the UK). The richest metropolitan area of the EU.
What’s a global city ?
A global city is an important city by its population and its concentration of powers and functions at a global level, in economy, in politics and in culture.
The financial power : The City
Heart of global finance > first concentration of banks and third stock exchange in the world (first in Europe)
An old process of concentration :
medieval times > the City was independent from the rest of London and from the royal power (the mayor of the City is different from the mayor of London until today).

British empire (XIXth century) > Empire gave the City a global dimension.
English language is the language of the markets and because of its location the City can exchange with Asia in the morning and with the Americas in the afternoon.
A center for innovation
Important place for innovations in services : IT, advertising, marketing, media...
Especially along the M4 in the metropolitan area between London and Bristol.
A new trend > research are coming back in the Inner London since a few years.
The decline and renewal of industrial power in London
Important decline of industrial activities in the Greater London since the 70ies (car manufacturing for example).
But since a few years, industries are coming back > pharmaceutical and new technologies
A major city of culture
Attractive city for students > domination of english (reinforcement of innovation)
Tourism increased a lot since the Channel tunnel opened and thanks to the 2012 Olympic games.
First european market for publishing
London is included in the European megalopolis from London to Milan.
In the world and in Europe
London is close to a very dynamic european region : with the proximity of the other European global city, Paris (the passenger traffic between Paris and London is the most important in Europe), the proximity of the European Institutions (example : Bruxelles)
The proximity of the Northern Range (it’s a big concentration of ports between Le Havre and Hambourg, with the biggest port of the world in the middle (Rotterdam). 800 kms.
From port to airport
London was for a long period the biggest port in the world, but today it’s the 84th port in the world (in volume) and the activity move eastward to the estuary of the Thames river.
It’s because of the industrial crisis since the end of the second world war.

But, London is a major hub of the global air traffic. The six London airports are together the first airport system in the world (more than 130 million passengers a year).
From decline to Renewal
After the WWII, London population declined because of the industrial crisis. From 1951 to 1981, the population declined from 8.1 million people to 6.6 million.
Since the 1980ies, London succeded to adapt to changing world and the population is increasing since this period. Thanks to the services activities.
The symbol of this evolution are the Docklands, which were the former Port of London. The former docks have been replaced by luxury flats and offices and is an extension of the City... a symbol of the renewal of London.
The Olympic games in 2012 participated to the renewal of London. The new skyline of London is a symbol of this renewal (with the Shard inaugurated in 2012, tallest building in Europe, 310 m high).
This renewal is possible thanks to immigration.
It is the “World in one city”. 300 languages are spoken in London, (40 communities of more than 10 000 thousands people).
One third of the population is born in a foreign country.
It’s an old tradition, and since the 18th century London welcomed immigrants from all over Europe : French persecuted protestants, Jews from Eastern Europe...
Irish people are important too, and it’s an old immigration of poor people but this immigration decreased since the entrance of Eire in the EU.

Immigration from the former colonies is important too. South Asian immigration is very important from Pakistan and India (13.1 % of the population), or carribean immigration and african immigration.
Since ten years, the diversity of immigration is more important with a mix of people from Asia but important moves from Europe (Poland, Russia, Poland...) with an attractive job market. Polish community is about 800 000 people.
African and Carribean people are living in the center, people from Pakistan and India in the North west of the Greater London.

Social inequalities
At the same time, the social gap between the richest part of the City (western Inner London, around Hyde Park) and the poorest part (called the East End) is increasing since twenty years.
This gap is connected too with a racial gap, most of the time the poorest districts are the ones were the immigrants are living.
The job market is divided in two kinds of jobs : very high payed jobs (in FIRE activities for example) and low payed jobs (nick named “mac jobs”) typical of the development of the Globalisation.

A/ Other Bristish centres of globalisation
Southern Wales around Cardiff = dynamic region connected to London (M4).

+ paper industry (due to the port of Cardiff).
The "silicon glen"
Between Edinburgh and Glasgow = the “Silicon Glen”.

> electronic industries (more than 40 000 direct jobs) > japanese compagnies.

> But fragile = only assembly plants (few research).
Oil and gas industries
Oil and Gas industries impact > eastern coast of Scotland and England.

Ex : Around Aberdeen (in Scotland) one third of the jobs, specialized city

Newcastle in Northern England and Hull (a very dynamic Port) take advantage of it too.

but Stocks of Oil and Gas are dwindling.

+ eastern coast = dynamism due to trade with the EU

B/ "Outsiders" of globalisation
Globalisation has a strong impact on the British territory, and some former centers became peripheries because of globalisation.
Regions of England very prosperous before 1945.

Where ? from Birmingham to Newcastle, a big part of the Midlands and the North of England.

They were very powerful industrial regions (coal mining, garment indutries, steel industry, car manufacturing...).

Today, all the indicators are bad : higher unemployement rate, lower wages...

Why such a decline ?
> consequence of globalisation > lower transportation cost + low wages in Asia = offshoring of industries

> destruction of industries in developed countries.
North and South divide
East coast and west coast
> Globalisation = shift from west coast to east coast
XIXth century, Liverpool (west coast) = port of the British empire.
After 1945 > disappearance of the Bristish Empire > Decline of Liverpool and Manchester

The eastern coast more dynamic (Newcastle, York and Hull) today for two reasons : oil and gas industries + European Union attraction
Peripheries outside England
It’s a group of regions that are distant from London and its dynamic center: North-West of Scotland, North Ireland, and North-west of Wales.

They share common problems :
1/ lower population density : 65 hab/km² in Scotland (S) for 400 hab/km² in England,
2/ distance and transport
3/ cultural distance (language for Wales, religion for Scotland),
4/ economic peripheries (higher unemployment rate)
Globalisation and spatial organisation are strongly connected in the UK.

UK is the oldest and still a major state in globalisation. Its a center of globalisation.

At every scale, from small scale (state) to large scale (city), UK is transformed by globalisation but only London seems to be able to follow this evolutions and is still now the main gate of globalisation in the UK.

There are other centers of globalisation in the UK, but they are existing because of London.

The Brexit is partially due to the reject of Globalisation, embodied by the European Union (Prezi: map)

VIDEO ABOUT AIRPORTS / http://econ.st/1d5OgSg
Hub : a centre connected to other centres by spokes. Hub and spokes [noeuds et réseaux] structure. An important concept in geography.
We are speaking about economic globalisation. Economic globalisation leads to specialized economies.

What will be the impact of the Brexit for UK and London ?
The Brexit is a blow for London.
The Londoners are more involved in globalisation than the rest of the UK, and they vote to remain in the EU.
They elected a mayor, Sadiq Khan, with immigrants parents, in may 2016, a sign of their attraction for a globalised world.
For the City, it could force banks and insurance companies to leave the City...
This kind of map is exagerating the place of immigrants in the London population (source :
mailonline, 4 january 2016
The election of Sadiq Khan in may 2016, a Londoner with Pakistani origins, is a proof of the open-mindedness of the Londoners. But immigration is a subject of tensions all over UK and even London.
Source :
New York times on line, june 23 2016
Docklands, West Indian Docks. (source : mailonline, Mark Duell, 18 may 2013
Docklands, West Indian Docks. (source : mailonline, Mark Duell, 18 may 2013)
The Docklands, a Margareth Thatcher's project, 1988 (source : The Guardian, Julia Kollowe, 28 january 2015)
The Docklands, a contested project (poster), 1987 (source : The Guardian, Julia Kollowe, 28 january 2015)
Docklands in 2016, Canary Wharf (source : mailonline, Mark Duell, 18 may 2013)
Full transcript