New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 7: Towards New European Peripheries?
Juan R. Cuadrado-Roura INTRODUCTION Centre–periphery patterns of the global economy have been investigated by the structuralist school of development studies since the 1950s. As is well known there are some differences between the approaches developed taking the core idea of centre–periphery relationships. The most elaborated is surely the one that sees centre and periphery as relative concepts that depend upon one another (Friedmann, 1972). From this point of view, a centre needs its periphery to be able to act as centre and vice versa; and, on the other hand, the same region (or city or metropolitan area) can be centre in one relationship and periphery in another. Nevertheless, an important part of the literature on the centre–periphery antinomy has usually been employed without explicit linkage to a specific paradigm. It simply refers to the spatial concentration of activities and related disparities, leaving patterns of power and dependency aside. At the same time, it is noteworthy that the structuralist school has avoided penetrating the regional level in its analysis. From a narrow and statistical perspective, peripherality boils down to the problem of accessibility. Distances give rise to transport needs, which implies real costs to be borne by somebody. This advantage is increased further by the fact that scale economies in production and in the use of infrastructure cannot always be developed and utilized to the same extent in peripheries as in centres. Centre and periphery patterns in the location of activities derive, to a large extent, from the...
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