Re-imagining evolutionary economic geography — why, and why now?

February 14, 2024 3:08 pm Published by

It is now more than two decades since the idea of adopting evolutionary ideas in economic geography was first mooted (Rigby and Essletzbichler, 1997; Boschma and Lambooy, 1999). Since then, the paradigm has developed significantly, both theoretically and empirically (for some useful surveys, see, for example, Boschma and Frenken, 2006, 2018; MacKinnon et al., 2009; Boschma and Martin, 2010; Kogler, 2015; Pike et al., 2016; Henning, 2022; Martin and Sunley, 2023). Whether or not the paradigm of evolutionary economic geography (EEG) can be said to have yet reached ‘middle age’, it is certainly the case that its first flush of youth is now past. It is perhaps germane, therefore, to reflect on what has been achieved, and what remains to be done. A key question is whether the theoretical and empirical scope of EEG needs adjusting so that it is (better) suited to help understand the upheavals, crises and transformations that confront contemporary capitalism and its spatial configurations, and what those adjustments should be.

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