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The geographies of the institutional and industrial constraints on the financialization of German brewing

Liam Keenan

Environment and Planning A, 2020, vol. 52, issue 8, 1662-1680

Abstract: In recent decades, financialization has reworked the ownership, organization and geographies of global brewing. However, the institutional constellations of national, regional and local markets continue to shape and mediate its processes in variegated ways. Presenting a more granular and spatially sensitive conceptualization of financialization, this article adopts a cultural political economy (CPE) framework to analyse its relationships with the German brewing industry. First, the article distils the key elements of firm-level financialization and identifies a range of core constituents which provide the foundations for observing how financialization is enacted as part of wider institutional and political economic contexts. Second, the paper explains how these core constituents unfold as part of the global brewing industry, where the growing importance of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), the cultivation of global brands and the strategic prioritization of value over volume have reconstituted mature beer markets. Analysis then turns to the brewing industry and market in Germany, where regional patterns of production, a localized culture of consumption and various forms of state intervention are shown to constrain the enactment of financialization. Building on this empirical evidence, it is argued that geographically particular social relations, cultural conditions and political economic structures intertwine to shape and mediate processes of financialization, in different ways, with geography both causal and constitutive in its uneven expression.

Keywords: Financialization; cultural political economy; global brewing industry (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/0308518X20917414

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Handle: RePEc:sae:envira:v:52:y:2020:i:8:p:1662-1680