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Title: The political economy of adaptation and resilience in old industrial regions : a comparative study of South Saarland and Teesside
Author: Evenhuis, Emil
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 456X
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2016
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This project aims to make a conceptual, methodological and empirical contribution to the burgeoning field of Evolutionary Perspectives in Economic Geography. To date, Evolutionary Perspectives have tended to underplay the role of the state and macro-institutions, and how notions of agency, power, and scale feature in the evolution of a regional economy. This thesis draws upon Geographical Political Economy to develop an Evolutionary Perspective that is more sensitive to these concerns. In particular, I have focussed on aspects of policy and governance in the long-term adaptation and resilience of old industrial regions coping with disruptive structural change. Based on the Path Dependency perspective – which within Evolutionary Perspectives seems best suited to theorise aspects of policy and governance - I have developed an analytical framework and detailed a methodology of ‘deep contextualisation’, to understand (1) how policies and institutions evolve over time, (2) what role they play in long-term adaptation and resilience, and (3) how this may be shaped by the wider institutional environment. This framework and methodology (with these three distinct levels of analysis) was subsequently used to study and compare two cases: the old steel regions of South Saarland in Germany, and Teesside in the United Kingdom. These regions both experienced a crisis in their economies in the 1970s and 1980s. South Saarland has been able to adapt successfully, whereas Teesside continues to struggle. The study presents compelling evidence that this has to a considerable extent been a result of (1) different priorities and consistency in the policies implemented, (2) the more robust governance arrangements present in South Saarland compared to Teesside, and (3) the federal government structure and more cooperative form of capitalism in Germany, which appears to have been more conducive for long-term resilience than the centralist structure and more liberal model in the United Kingdom.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available