Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Birtchnell, T. (2013). Fill the ships and we shall fill the shops: the making of geographies of manufacturing. Area, 45 (4), 436-442.


Alongside ‘Dig for Victory’, ‘Make Do and Mend’ is a well-known ideology from the austerity campaignsunleashed on Britain’s home front in the Second World War. Less well known are the post-war prosperitycampaigns. These campaigns mutated the moral economy created by wartime propaganda to encouragethe British to become reacquainted with geographies of manufacturing and to focus again on importsand exports. Post-Second World War consumers were entreated to forego localism, embrace the globaland ‘export or die’. That the drive for the global was showcased in an equally compelling politicalcampaign is particularly poignant. This article examines the processes by which the British were madeto become part of the complex, distributed and far-spanning geographies of manufacturing prevalenttoday. It sheds light on a brief lapse from globalisation and addresses a critical need in geography for ahistorical survey of the making of present global production networks and global cultures ofconsumption.