Cities and Regions in the 21st Century
Chapter 3: Toward a new economy: technology, labor, globalization
Capitalism is endemically subject to a logic of evolutionary change. For greater or lesser periods of time relatively stable regimes comprising dominant sectors, technologies, labor relations, and forms of competition may make their appearance, but these are always superseded by other versions of capitalism marked by other organizational structures. The 19th century factory and workshop system developed in a climate of open economic competition and was able to produce a variety of output but at a limited scale. In 20th century keynesian–fordist society, the automated assembly line freed production from quantitative restraint, but at the expense of variety. Producers in the new globally competitive economy of the 21st century are able to achieve significant economies of scale, but are now also capable of combining scale with ever-shifting product variety. This latest version of capitalism is dramatically different from anything that theorists in the middle of the 20th century foresaw as the shape of things to come. When Schumpeter (1942) wrote his great book on capitalism, socialism and democracy, he tried to deduce the future by extrapolating forward out of the condition of American mass production at the time, and accordingly he foresaw a never-ending continuation of capital-intensification, mechanization, and increasing internal economies of scale in corporate enterprise.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.