A country, says Vidal de la Blache, ‘is like a metal struck in the likeness of a people’. 1 This view of geographic space emphasizes its inert quality and gives the impression that the image or likeness struck is essentially a function of the differentiating characteristics of the people. It is a view of space that sees it as a container, providing a framework or perhaps serving as the field of human action. This perception of the role of space is reflected in the scant attention given to the spatial dimension in the literature on development. Indeed, it is responsible for the lack of serious regard paid to it in the social sciences in general, a situation which geography has been striving quite strenuously to correct.