Temporary Knowledge Ecologies
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Temporary Knowledge Ecologies

The Rise of Trade Fairs in the Asia-Pacific Region

Edited by Harald Bathelt and Gang Zeng

Temporary Knowledge Ecologies investigates and theorizes the nature, rise and evolution of trade fair knowledge ecologies in the Asia-Pacific region. It provides a comprehensive overview of trade fairs in this key world region applying a comparative perspective that involves highly diverse developed and developing countries. The book identifies (i) knowledge generation and transfer processes through trade fairs, (ii) interrelationships between industrial specialization and trade fair specialization, and (iii) linkages between economic development, industrial policy and trade fair development.
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Chapter 11: Trade fairs in peripheral places: towards a political economy of Australian fashion events

Sally A. Weller


This chapter focuses attention on the under-researched characteristics of trade events in peripheral regional locations. The chapter questions whether the learning and innovation effects associated with prominent global events – the events that are the focus of most trade fair research in both economic geography and business studies – are shared by all types of trade fairs; or whether, in fact, processes of interactive learning and knowledge creation are peculiar to events located both physically and discursively at the center of global industry knowledge flows. The chapter shifts the research focus to the evolution of regional-scale trade events. Here it is possible to examine how the positioning of events conditions their role in a globalizing political economy and how their relation to the evolution of regional production systems, industries and economies shapes their role in economic development. To examine the ways that regional events mediate the relationship between places and industries, the chapter analyzes a group of events held in two regional cities – Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. Poot (2001) describes such cities as being located on the periphery of global interactions, where peripherality is a relational social construct identifying places by their distance in space, separation in time and subordinate relationship to core locations that have allocative power over resources (Giddens 1985).

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