Geographies of field-configuring events

Bastian Lange 1 , Dominic Power 2  and Lech Suwala 1
  • 1 Berlin
  • 2 Uppsala


This paper treats the concept of ‘field-configuring events’ (FCE) and relates it to economic geographical research. The FCE approach attempts to draw attention to the role of events in fields of economic and social action and suggests that events can be important to introducing, structuring, maintaining and configuring new products, industrial standards, cultural artefacts and knowledge categories. The FCE approach has primarily been used to study the actors and networks associated with events such as trade shows, professional gatherings, technology contests, cultural tournaments, industrial exhibitions and business ceremonies: events where actors assemble to reveal novel products, develop industry designs, initiate cultural trends, create social networks, and allocate meaning to previously unfamiliar circumstances. In this introductory paper, we identify the main research trajectories in FCE and link these to economic geography by identifying some common lines of thinking apparent in economic geography, management and organisational studies. The paper moves on to investigate the nature of the “field”, “configuration” and “events” from a geographic perspective, and to emphasize the role that space and power play as a structuring mechanisms in all three. We conclude that the FCE approach can function as a useful tool for geographical analysis of the increasing fluid and episodic contours of the contemporary space economy.

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Journal + Issues

The primary focus of the German Journal for Economic Geography (ZFW) is on theory-led empirical research about spatial economic structures and regional dynamics. ZFW, which is the only scientific journal on Economic Geography in German speaking countries, addresses scientists and students as well as decision makers in private firms and economic promotion agencies.