Rethinking path creation: a geographical political economy approach

MacKinnon, D., Dawley, S., Pike, A. and Cumbers, A. (2019) Rethinking path creation: a geographical political economy approach. Economic Geography, 95(2), pp. 113-135. (doi: 10.1080/00130095.2018.1498294)

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A burgeoning strand of evolutionary economic geography (EEG) research is addressing questions of regional path creation, based on the idea that place-specific legacies and conditions play a critical role in supporting the emergence of new economic activities. Yet there has been little effort thus far to take stock of this emerging body of research. In response, the aims of this article are to offer a fresh synthesis of recent work and to develop a broader theoretical framework to inform future research. First, it presents a critical appraisal of the state of the art in path creation research. In an effort to address identified gaps in EEG research, this incorporates insights from sociological perspectives, the global production networks approach, and transition studies. Second, the article’s development of a systematic theoretical framework is based on the identification of key dimensions of path creation and their constitutive interrelations. This contribution is underpinned by a geographical political economy (GPE) approach that provides the ontological basis for the integration of the five key dimensions of path creation within an overarching framework and the positioning of regional processes in relation to the broader dynamics of uneven development. Informed by GPE, the argument is that knowledgeable actors, operating within multiscalar institutional environments, create paths through the strategic coupling of regional and extraregional assets to mechanisms of path creation and associated markets. To inform further research, the article outlines four concrete propositions regarding the operation of path creation processes in different types of regions and explores these through case studies of Berlin and Pittsburgh.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This article has been informed by discussions as part of a research project funded by the Research Council of Norway, Grant 255400 InNOWiC– Internationalization of Norwegian Offshore Wind Capabilities.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cumbers, Professor Andrew
Authors: MacKinnon, D., Dawley, S., Pike, A., and Cumbers, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Economic Geography
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1944-8287
Published Online:15 January 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Clark University
First Published:First published in Economic Geography 95(2): 113-135
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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