The Elgar Companion to Social Economics
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The Elgar Companion to Social Economics

Edited by John B. Davis and Wilfred Dolfsma

As this comprehensive Companion demonstrates, social economics is a dynamic and growing field that emphasizes the key role that values play in the economy and in economic life. Social economics treats the economy and economics as being embedded in the larger web of social and ethical relationships. It also regards economics and ethics as essentially connected, and adds values such as justice, fairness, dignity, well-being, freedom and equality to the standard emphasis on efficiency. The Elgar Companion to Social Economics brings together the leading contributors in the field to elucidate a wide range of recent developments across different subject areas and topics. In so doing the contributors also map the likely trends and directions of future research. This Companion will undoubtedly become a leading reference source and guide to social economics for many years to come.
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Chapter 34: Analysing Regional Development: From Territorial Innovation to Path-Dependent Geography

Frank Moulaert and Abid Mehmood


Frank Moulaert and Abid Mehmood 1. Introduction 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).1 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. The epistemological reductionism of TIMs (a capitalist market economic ontology: collapse of past and future perspectives, empirical and normative stances, institutions and structure, cultural and economic norms) means a backwards step compared to previous regional development theories. Therefore, section 3 argues in favour of a return to the ‘old’ institutionalist tradition of regional development analysis (German historical...

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