This article examines the governance of international carbon offsets, analyzing the political economy of the origins and governance of offsets. We examine how the governance structures of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism and unregulated voluntary carbon offsets differ in regulation and in complexity of the chain that links consumers and reducers of carbon, with specific consequences for carbon reductions, development, and the ability to provide "accumulation by decarbonization." We show how carbon offsets represent capital-accumulation strategies that devolve governance over the atmosphere to supranational and nonstate actors and to the market.
Future changes in climate pose significant challenges for society, not the least of which is how best to adapt to observed and potential future impacts of these changes to which the world is already committed. Adaptation is a dynamic social process: the ability of societies to adapt is determined, in part, by the ability to act collectively. This article reviews emerging perspectives on collective action and social capital and argues that insights from these areas inform the nature of adaptive capacity and normative prescriptions of policies of adaptation. Specifically, social capital is increasingly understood within economics to have public and private elements, both of which are based on trust, reputation, and reciprocal action. The public-good aspects of particular forms of social capital are pertinent elements of adaptive capacity in interacting with natural capital and in relation to the performance of institutions that cope with the risks of changes in climate. Case studies are presented of present-day collective action for coping with extremes in weather in coastal areas in Southeast Asia and of community-based coastal management in the Caribbean. These cases demonstrate the importance of social capital framing both the public and private institutions of resource management that build resilience in the face of the risks of changes in climate. These cases illustrate, by analogy, the nature of adaptation processes and collective action in adapting to future changes in climate.
This article links up with the debate in economic geography on "local buzz" and "global pipelines" as two distinct forms of interactive knowledge creation among firms and related actors and argues for a rethinking of the way social scientists should approach interactive knowledge creation. It highlights the importance of combining the insights from studies of clusters and innovation systems with an activity-oriented approach in which more attention is paid to the specific characteristics of the innovation processes and the conditions underpinning their organization. To illustrate the applicability and added value of such an alternative approach, the notion of embeddedness is linked with some basic ideas adopted from the literature on knowledge communities. The framework is then applied to a study of innovation activities conducted by firms and academic research groups working with biotechnology-related applications in the Swedish part of the Medicon Valley life science region. The findings reveal that local buzz is largely absent in these types of activities. Most interactive knowledge creation, which appears to be spontaneous and unregulated, is, on closer examination, found safely embedded in globally configured professional knowledge communities and attainable only by those who qualify.
Relational approaches in economic geography have grown in popularity and influence, but have not been critically evaluated or discussed. This article argues that poststructural and network-based versions of relational economic geography undoubtedly open up new research issues and provide tools for certain purposes, but questions whether they provide a coherent research agenda and new theoretical paradigm that can guide the reconceptualization of economic geography. The article addresses two main cases for a relational approach: its correspondence with a knowledge and network-based capitalism and the claim that it provides an improved philosophy and ontology. It finds problems with both cases and argues that the approach provides an imprecise and selective ontology that is preoccupied with microscale processes. As a result, relational economic geography does not lend itself to causal explanations and schemas, is incapable of discriminating among different economic theories, and could become immune to empirical evaluation. In many cases, it seems to disregard many of the valuable insights of institutionalist and critical realist approaches, including the implications of emergence. The article concludes that instead of searching for a microlevel relational perspective or a new vocabulary, economic geography's analysis of connections and relations would be better set within an evolutionary and historical institutionalism that understands economic relations as forms of institutional rules and practices and does not privilege ties and networks over nodes and agents.
Entrepreneurship is an important process in regional economic development. Especially the growth of new firms is of major significance to the commercialization of new ideas and employment growth. These growing new firms are transforming structurally like caterpillars turning into butterflies. However, like butterflies, they are at risk of leaving their region of origin for better places. This article analyzes how and why the spatial organization of firms develops subsequent to their start-up. A new conceptual framework and an empirical study of the life course of entrepreneurial firms are used to construct a theory on the firms' locational behavior that explains that behavior as the outcome of a process of initiatives by entrepreneurs, enabled and constrained by resources, capabilities, and relations with stakeholders within and outside the firms. The study shows that entrepreneurs decide whether to move their firms outside their region of origin for different reasons in distinct phases of the firms' life course. Being embedded in social networks, for example, is an important constraint on locational behavior during the early life course of a firm, but over time it becomes less important, and other mechanisms, such as sunk costs, increasingly determine a firm's locational behavior. The development of spatial organization is also of major importance: when a multilocational spatial organization has been realized, it is much easier to move the headquarters to another region. The spatial organization of entrepreneurial firms co-evolves with the accumulation of the firms' capabilities. A developmental approach that incorporates evolutionary mechanisms and recognizes human agency provides new insights into the age-old study of the location of firms.
In this article, we explore the ways in which a divided and segmented migrant labor force is assembled to serve guests in a London hotel. We draw on previous studies of hotel work, as well as on cultural analyses of the ways in which employers and managers use stereotypical assumptions about the embodied attributes of workers to name workers as suitable for particular types of labor. We argue that a dual process of interpellation operates within service-sector workplaces that is reinforced and resisted in daily social practices and relationships between managers, workers, and guests in a hotel. The article, which draws on a case study of employment practices in a large London hotel, looks in detail at the micropolitics of everyday working lives, the representation of workers of different nationalities, and the performance of service work.
This article contributes to an understanding of temporary or event-based economic phenomena in economic and industrial geography by drawing on research conducted on the furniture and interior design industry. It argues that trade fairs should be seen not simply as temporary industry gatherings, but as central, though temporary, spaces for knowledge and market processes that symbolize microcosms of the industry they represent and function as effective marketplaces. It suggests that these temporary events should be viewed not as isolated from one another, but as arranged together in an almost continual global circuit. In this sense, trade fairs are less temporary clusters than they are cyclical clusters; they are complexes of overlapping spaces that are scheduled and arranged in such a way that spaces can be reproduced, reenacted, and renewed over time. Although actual fairs are short-lived events, their presence in the business cycle has lasting consequences for the organization of markets and industries and for the firms of which they are comprised.
Despite the universal mantra that "the customer is king," the role of the customer has so far seemed to have been confined to a passive recipient of products. Recently, however, this traditional perception has been challenged. On the one hand, users are increasingly appreciated as reflexive actors who are actively involved in the evaluation, modif ication, and configuration of products. On the other hand, beyond the established repertoire to access external knowledge through interorganizational networks, firms increasingly attempt to harness user knowledge. These two concurrent shifts do not result in a smooth convergence. Rather, they open up a highly contested terrain in which habitual distinctions between the producer and user are blurred. In this article, we map the evolving terrain of user-producer interaction in innovation processes. Specifically, we contrast more traditional approaches to incorporate customer knowledge with an emerging class of innovative user-producer relationships, provisionally dubbed "co-development." We then propose a typology of different modes of codevelopment that is organized along two dimensions: the degree of user involvement and the prevailing locus of knowledge production. This typology seeks to capture the heterogeneity of co-development approaches and to provide a conceptual template for further empirical research on user involvement in innovation.
The Wenzhou Municipality in Zhejiang Province is spearheading China' marketization and development of private enterprises. Its successful development trajectory, centered on family-owned small businesses embedded in thick local institutions, resembles Marshallian industrial districts (MIDs). However, with China' changing institutional environment and intensifying competition, Wenzhou has been facing challenges. Since the late 1980s, Wenzhou has gone through two major rounds of restructuring (from family enterprises to shareholding cooperatives to shareholding enterprises), that have included four major types of strategic response: institutional change, technological upgrading, industrial diversification, and spatial restructuring. Firms in Wenzhou have gone through localization and delocalization, and locational choices reflect the dual destinations of globalizing cities and interior cities. The formation of new firms and clusters has been accompanied by mergers, acquisitions, and the emergence of multiregional enterprises (MREs), some of which have relocated their headquarters and specialized functions to metropolitan areas, especially Shanghai and Hangzhou. More recently, Wenzhou' growth has slowed, leading some to question the sustainability of the Wenzhou model. We argue that Wenzhou' development is in danger of regional lock-ins-relational, intergenerational, and structural. Wenzhou' experience challenges the orthodox concept of MIDs and calls for "scaling up" regional development.
Discussions of the spatiality of globalization have largely focused on place-based attributes that fix globalization locally, on globalization as the construction of scale, and on networks as a distinctive feature of contemporary globalization. By contrast, position within the global economy is frequently regarded as anachronistic in a shrinking, networked world. A critical review of how place, scale, and networks are used as metaphors for the spatiality of globalization suggests that space/time still matters. Positionality (position in relational space/time within the global economy) is conceptualized as both shaping and shaped by the trajectories of globalization and as influencing the conditions of possibility of places in a globalizing world. The wormhole is invoked as a way of describing the concrete geographies of positionality and their non-Euclidean relationship to the Earth's surface. The inclusion of positionality challenges the simplicity of pro- and antiglobalization narratives and can change how we think about globalization and devise strategies to alter its trajectory.
Taking as its point of departure recent debates on the theoretical status of scale and rescaling in political-economic geography, this article explores the scalar politics of neoliberal workfare. This tendentially hegemonic form of neoliberal social and labor-market policy combines objectives of the dismantling of welfare and the rollback of entitlements with an insistent focus on the activation and enforcement of work. The welfare/workfare restructuring process is an illustration of a deeply politicized and highly dynamic form of regulatory rescaling, based inter alia on the selective appropriation of disembedded local programming models and their purposeful circulation around extralocal policy networks, the dumping of regulatory risks and responsibilities at the local scale and that of the "poor body," and the complex orchestration of ostensibly decentralized policy regimes by national states and transnational agencies and intermediaries. The rollback of Keynesian-welfarist institutions at the level of the national state provides the (scaled) context for the emergence of these neoliberalized political forms, but crucially, these forms are also beginning to exhibit their own distinctive dynamics and logics-captured here in terms of an ascendant regime of "fast-policy" formation. Workfare regimes are not monolithic systems, but dynamic configurations of restless reform, technocratic emulation, and tangled scalar relations. Politically constructed, they are also responsive/subject to (scaled) processes of local policy failure and social contestation. Scale and scale relations certainly matter, then, but in ways that are politically mediated and institutionally specific, rather than theoretically preordained.
Mergers and acquisitions are important operations that happen nowadays. The goal of such processes is to "conquer" new markets and benefit from their resources (natural or human), or to lower competition (by acquiring a competitor or merging with it). More and more studies are written on this subject, thing that makes people interested in it have a difficult job in staying up to date. That is why the present research had as a goal to evaluate and summarize the latest trends in the study of this subject. Based on our goal we have conducted an extended analysis on the studies published in 2014 in this field. Additionally, we have also descriptively analyzed the period 2010-2014. For this, we have presumed that the most important research is to be found in the ISI-Thomson Web of Knowledge. We point out the lack on such literature on the developing countries, as most of these studies are related to the developed ones, such as the USA, the UK, China or Germany. The major part of them is published in the Journal of Corporate Finance. The second part of the article comes to emphasize the most important ideas that are to be found in the 2014 field's literature. Many of the studies are related to the banking sector. Additionally, we found new indexes created to evaluate the M&A performance or the concentration degree of the market due to and after M&A operations. There are papers that assess different theories, such as the merger waves theory, the concentration-fragility hypothesis, the too-big-to-merge, too-big-to-succeed or, too-big-to-fail theories and so on.
How might economic geography (re)position itself within the interdisciplinary field of heterodox economics? Reflecting on this question, this article offers a critical assessment of the "New Economic Sociology," making the case for moving beyond the limited confines of the networks-and-embeddedness paradigm. More specifically, it argues for a more broadly based and purposive conversation with various currents within social-constructivist and macroeconomic sociology, which, in turn, calls for a more full-blooded critique of market relations and analytics and a more militant attitude toward economic orthodoxies. The promise of such a conversation, strategically focused on the simultaneously social and geographic constitution of economic relations, is an emboldened economic geography with a more persuasive voice in the field of heterodox economic studies.
The literatures on economic globalization and feminist understandings of global processes have largely remained separate. In this article, our goal is to bring them into productive conversation so that research on globalization can benefit from feminist engagements with globalization. In the first section, which focuses on the conceptual challenges of bringing the economic globalization literature into conversation with feminist analysis, we identify several key exclusions in that literature and propose parallel inclusions that a feminist reading of globalization suggests. Our suggested inclusions relate to the spaces, scales, subjects, and forms of work that research on economic globalization has largely neglected. The second section takes up several key themes in the large body of feminist research on global economic processes, which is also largely absent from the economic globalization literature: the gendering of work, gender and structural adjustment programs, and mobility and diaspora. In the final section, we address the implications of feminist epistemologies and methodologies for research on economic globalization. Here we argue for grounded, collaborative studies that incorporate perspectives of the south as well as the north and that construct understandings of place and the local, as well as space and general global processes; we point to the coconstitution of different geographic scales and highlight the need for studies that cut across them. The article demonstrates how a feminist analysis of globalization entails far more than recognizing the importance of gender; it requires substantial rethinking of how to conceptualize, study, and act in relation to economic globalization.
Following the recent critical debate on the role of the firm versus that of the region, this article contends that for a true test of the importance of the role of the region for a firm's innovative performance firm-specific heterogeneity needs to be minimized. Empirical studies have tended to deduce that the region matters from the macrophenomenon of regional clusters of economic activity. This deduction has led to an ecological fallacy, in which global phenomena or data aggregates that are actual representations of lower-level phenomena cannot be generalized to those lower levels. This article argues that if researchers want to analyze how a firm's environment affects its performance, they need to include firm-level strategy and structure. As an empirical illustration of this argument, the article presents a test-controlling for a number of firm-specific factors-of whether regional characteristics like the intensity of regional research and development (R&D), the number of R&D workers in the region, and the presence of a research institute are significantly related to a firm's ability to produce innovations. The findings suggest that the firm-specific drivers of innovation are more important than is a firm's regional environment. The article concludes that a renewed focus on the main actors and their interrelationships is needed, particularly those that involve the exchange of knowledge, to assess the extent to which such interactions are carried out within bounded territories.
This article examines the growing importance of global, or external, search networks that firms and other actors rely on to locate collaborators who can solve part of a problem they face or require part of a solution they may be able provide. We focus on the creation in emerging economies of venture capital-an institution that is organized to search systematically for, and foster the development of, firms and industries that can, in turn, collaborate in codesign. The article examines the case of Taiwan, where first-generation immigrant professionals from U.S. technology industries have collaborated with their home-country counterparts to develop the context for entrepreneurial development. It refers to the members of these networks as the new Argonauts, an allusion to the ancient Greek Jason and the Argonauts, who searched for the Golden Fleece. We also argue that the most significant contributions of these skilled professionals to their home countries are not direct transfers of technology or knowledge, but participation in external search and domestic institutional reform. The new Argonauts are ideally positioned to search beyond prevailing routines to identify opportunities for complementary "peripheral" participation in the global economy and to work with public officials to adapt and redesign relevant institutions and firms in their native countries. They are, therefore, exemplary protagonists of "self-discovery"-the process by which an enterprise or entrepreneur determines which markets it can serve-and of a microlevel institutional reform that can, diffusing and cascading, ultimately produce wider structural transformations.
In this paper we analyze a turn to "quality" in both food production and consumption. We argue that quality in the food sector, as it is being asserted at the present time, is closely linked to nature and the local embeddedness of supply chains. We thus outline the broad contours of this shift and discuss the most appropriate theoretical approaches. We consider political economy, actor-network theory, and conventions theory and argue that, whereas political economy has proved useful in the analysis of globalization, it may prove less so in the examination of quality. We concentrate, therefore, upon actor-network theory and conventions theory and show that the former allows nature to be brought to the center of analytical attention but provides few tools for the analysis of quality, especially in the context of the food sector. Conventions theory, on the other hand, links together a range of aspects found in food supply chains and allows us to consider the establishment of quality as a system of negotiation between specific qualities. We illustrate possible uses of the approach through a brief consideration of food supply chains in Wales.
The role of space and place in shaping the transformation of firms and industries and the impact of such transformations on the wider processes of territorial development at local, regional, national, and global scales are basic research issues in economic geography. Such analyses tend to be compartmentalized, focusing on a specific economic activity or on a specific territory, rather than on the relationships between them. It is difficult simultaneously to conceptualize economic activities (including such phenomena as firms, industries, and other types of systems of networked economic activity), on the one hand, and territorially defined economies, on the other. In this paper, we address the interconnections between economic activities and territories through an exploration of the mutually constitutive relationships between firms and territories: the firm-territory nexus. The focus of our analysis is the nexus of three major dimensions-firms, industrial systems, and territories-embedded in turn in the overall macro dimension of governance systems.
Much of the literature on the impact of institutions on economic development has focused on the tradeoffs between society and community as mutually opposed forms of institutional coordination. On the one hand, sociologists, geographers, and some economists have stressed the positive economic externalities that are associated with the development of associational or group life. Most economists, in contrast, hold that the development of communities may be a second-best solution to the development of formal institutions or even have negative effects, such as the promotion of rent-seeking behavior and principal-agent problems. Societal institutions-such as clear, transparent rules and enforcement mechanisms-are held to be universally positive for development. But there are no real-world cases in which only one of the two exists;society and community are always and everywhere in interaction. This interaction, however, has attracted little attention. In this article, society and community are conceived of as complementary forms of organization whose relative balance and interaction shape the economic potential of every territory. Changes in the balance between community and society take place constantly and affect the medium- and long-run development prospects of every territory. The depth and the speed of change depend on a series of factors, such as starting points in the interaction of society and community, the sources and dynamics of change, and the conflict-solving capacities of the preexisting situation.
Taking as its point of departure recent debates on the theoretical status of scale and resealing in political-economic geography, this article explores the scalar politics of neoliberal workfare. This tendentially hegemonic form of neoliberal social and labor-market policy combines objectives of the dismantling of welfare and the rollback of entitlements with an insistent focus on the activation and enforcement of work. The welfare/workfare restructuring process is an illustration of a deeply politicized and highly dynamic form of regulatory resealing, based inter alia on the selective appropriation of disembedded local programming models and their purposeful circulation around extralocal policy networks, the dumping of regulatory risks and responsibilities at the local scale and that of the "poor body," and the complex orchestration of ostensibly decentralized policy regimes by national states and transnational agencies and intermediaries. The rollback of Keynesian-welfarist institutions at the level of the national state provides the (scaled) context for the emergence of these neoliberalized political forms, but crucially, these forms are also beginning to exhibit their own distinctive dynamics and logics-captured here in terms of an ascendant regime of "fast-policy" formation. Workfare regimes are not monolithic systems, but dynamic configurations of restless reform, technocratic emulation, and tangled scalar relations. Politically constructed, they are also responsive/subject to (scaled) processes of local policy failure and social contestation. Scale and scale relations certainly matter, then, but in ways that are politically mediated and institutionally specific, rather than theoretically preordained.