Edited by Gillian Bristow and Adrian Healy
Chapter 4: Adaptation, adaptability and regional economic resilience: a conceptual framework
In recent years, regional resilience has become a fashionable term mainly used to understand how regional economies recover after ‘sudden’ shocks. However, little attention has been paid to how regions adapt to a ‘slow-burn’ crisis in a long-term perspective, and why they adapt differently. Moreover, the notion of resilience has suffered from conceptual fuzziness and trade-off thinking, which undermines its explanatory power in empirical studies. This chapter addresses this gap by developing a conceptual framework of uneven resilience of regions in a long-term perspective. This framework defines adaptation and adaptability in an evolutionary and mutually influencing way that goes beyond the traditional trade-off idea. It also demonstrates how variations of the adaptation–adaptability relationship can result in uneven regional resilience. In future research, more attention should be paid to the differentiated processes and qualities of regional long-term economic evolution both from the adaptation and adaptability perspective.
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