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 campaigns unleashed on Britain’s home front in the Second World War. Less well known are the post-war prosperity campaigns. These campaigns mutated the moral economy created by wartime propaganda to encourage the British to become reacquainted with geographies of manufacturing and to focus again on imports and exports. Post-Second World War consumers were entreated to forego localism, embrace the global and ‘export or die’. That the drive for the global was showcased in an equally compelling political campaign is particularly poignant. This article examines the processes by which the British were made to become part of the complex, distributed and far-spanning geographies of manufacturing prevalent today. It sheds light on a brief lapse from globalisation and addresses a critical need in geography for a historical survey of the making of present global production networks and global cultures of consumption.



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