Edited by Philip McCann
Philip McCann The most obvious conclusion that can be drawn from observations of the geography of industrial production is that space is not homogeneous. In other words, different economic activities take place in different locations. Understanding why this is the case, and explaining exactly how industries are organized spatially, is the central issue of interest in industrial location economics and industrial geography. Over the last decade there has been a general renewal of interest in issues concerning the location behaviour of ﬁrms and industries. This renewed interest has not been conﬁned to the academic and research worlds, but has also pervaded many private sector business and public policy spheres. The widespread nature of this revival of interest can be attributed to two different inﬂuences, one academic and the other institutional. First, certain key inﬂuential authors, such as Paul Krugman and Michael Porter, have highlighted the importance of geographical behaviour for both economics and business analysis. Their work has brought to the attention of a wider audience, previously largely unaware of the signiﬁcance of these issues, the importance of location questions for a variety of different research ﬁelds. Second, institutional changes in international political environments have forced both business and public policy decision-makers to consider the locational aspects of industry at a more explicitly local level. The reasons for this are primarily connected with the development of areas of free trade and free factor mobility, such as the European Union (EU), NAFTA (the North American Free Trade...