Chapter 38: Analysing regional development: from territorial innovation to path-dependent geography
With the rise (or the ‘return’?) of ‘Regionalism’, the study of regional development and policy has once again become a major focus in social science spatial analysis. To benefit fully from the long tradition of research in this field (say starting with the German historical school in the nineteenth century), an equilibrated use of ‘old’ and ‘new’ epistemological stances and of ‘back to basics’ regional analysis is needed – the latter being a plea by Lovering (2001). Over the last 20 years regional development has been addressed mainly through the bird’s-eye view of territorial and especially regional innovation models, the spearheads of the so-called ‘new regionalism’ movement. These models, discussed in section 2 as Territorial Innovation Models (TIMs) (a generic or family name for industrial district, milieu innovateur, learning region, among others; see section 2 for details), were a significant advance on neoclassical regional growth analysis because they enabled the filling of the ‘black box’ – the institutional dynamics of development – traditionally left untouched by neoclassical economics. However, territorial innovation models go only half-way in solving the analytical problems in regional development and policy analysis.
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