Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Theoretical advancement in economic
geography by engaged pluralism
Robert Hassink
Dept. of Geography,
University of Kiel,
Germany
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Fragmented
vs.
engaged pluralism (Barnes & Sheppard 2010)
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Evolutionary economic geography analyses and
explains “the processes by which the economic
landscape – the spatial organisation of economic
production, circulation, exchange, distribution and
consumption – is transformed from within over time”
(Boschma & Martin 2010, 6).
“why it is that some regional economies become locked
into development paths that lose dynamism, whilst
other regional economies seem able to avoid this
danger” (Martin & Sunley 2006, 395)
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Aim:
advancing evolutionary economic geography by
reviewing its core critique and proposed solutions,
particularly that of geographical political economy.
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
1. Introduction
2. Evolutionary economic geography
3. Critique
4. Alternative paradigms
5. Empirical reflection: locked in decline?
6. Conclusions
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Source: Boschma & Frenken 2006
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Evolutionary concepts and notes:
• Path dependence and lock-ins,
• Related and unrelated variety,
• Co-evolution,
• Sunk costs,
• Cluster life cycles.
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
‘‘A path-dependent process or system is one whose
outcome evolves as a consequence of the process’s or
system’s own history’’ (Martin & Sunley, 2006, 399)
Path dependence is not past dependence;
it is rather a contingent process
‘‘Lock-in is this notion that most fully captures the idea
that the combination of historical contingency and the
emergence of self-reinforcing effects, steers a technology,
industry or regional economy along one ‘path’ rather
than another’’ (Martin 2010, 3)
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Source: Boschma & Frenken 2006
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Source: Boschma & Frenken 2006
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
3. Critique
Pike et al 2009, MacKinnon et al 2009:
1. limited importance attached to institutions
2. under-conceptualized notion of social agency and
power
3. neglected multi-scalar interrelatedness and
embeddedness of firms
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Source: Hassink & Klaerding 2012
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
4. Alternative paradigms
Geographical political economy
Institutional economic geography
Relational economic geography
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
5. Empirical reflection: locked in decline?
Hassink, R. (2010) Locked in decline? On the role of
regional lock-ins in old industrial areas. The Handbook
of Evolutionary Economic Geography, 450.
"When the wind of change blows, some build walls, others
build windmills“
当风向改变时,有的人筑墙,有的人造风车
Chinese proverb
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Monostructure despite strong de-industrialisation after
reunification
All yards are part of larger concern
Strong competition with East Asian shipyards
Strong state support (federal state, Land, EU) to
modernise production capacities (3 billion €, 500,000 €
per job) => capacity limitation
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Local trade
unions
Robert Hassink
yards
Yard cities
State of
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Shipbuilding
Association
European Shipbuilding
Association
Federal government
European Commission
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Lobby:
 Against capacity limitation
 Against alleged dumping
prices of Korean yards
Results:
 Capacity limitations have
become less strict
 WTO case and due to that
allowance of subsidies (84
million €)
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Westmünsterland
History
• cross-border textile region since the 19th Century
• impulses from Twente (the Netherlands)
• early 1960s about 75% of manufacturing employment in
the textile industry
• crisis and de-industrialisation
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Political reactions
Little protest against plant
closures => “quiet” restructuring due to the lack of lockins:
• few subsidies
• support for new industry
• entrepreneur Schmitz
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Company reactions
Technical textiles:
Examples: car industry,
medical technology, fishery,
road and railroad construction,
agriculture
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Daegu
History
• genesis during colonial period
• strong growth during 1960s/1970s (targeted industry)
• natural fibres => synthetic fibres
• crisis and de-industrialisation
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Political reactions
Milano-Project
1999-2003
Strongly subsidised: € 650 mill.
Kim Dae-Jung’s official pledge (공약)
& regionalism
Aim:
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
• Fashion industry
• Upgrading textile
• Exhibitions
Problems:
• Conflicts
• Gap
Robert Hassink
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
Adjustment
/ renewal
Lock-ins
Dominant impact
factors
MecklenburgVorpommern
Adjustment
Strong at several
spatial levels
Both economicstructural and politicalinstitutional factors
Westmünsterland
Renewal
Weak
Both economicstructural and specific
regional politicalinstitutional factors
Daegu
Adjustment
Strong at local
level
Political-institutional
impact factors dominate
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
Robert Hassink
6. Conclusions
Evolutionary economic geography has some clear and
powerful theoretical notions
In order to overcome shortcomings in favour of
engaged pluralism => incorporating institutional and
relational economic geography => evolutionary
economic geography as a pluralistic project
In favour of theoretical stability
Vaasa, October 25th 2013
kiitos!
tusen tack!
Robert Hassink
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