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ENVIRONMENTAL AND EVOLUTIONARY ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY: TIME FOR EEG

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ABSTRACT

This article argues that recent proposals for environmental and evolutionary economic geographies (EEG 1 and EEG2) should be integrated; EEG2 is used as “passing convenience” to make this case. EEG1's emphasis on environmental imperatives is loosely framed and needs a theoretical socio‐economic evolutionary base that is the central thrust of EEG2. Meanwhile EEG2 would be empowered by incorporating environmental concerns within its mandate. Moreover, both EEG1 and EEG2 share common roots in institutional methodologies, emphasize cumulative causation and path‐dependent behaviour, have strong interests at regional scales of analysis, and both are intimately tied to the causes and consequences of innovation. This article provides a rationale and suggests an integrative conceptual approach for developing EEG2. In particular, the article outlines a conceptual framework that interprets EEG2 in terms of co‐evolutionary socio‐ecological and multi‐scalar processes that are situated within a reasoned history interpretation of economic development. This framework further highlights the roles of path dependency, innovation, multinational corporations and value chains. How this multi‐scalar framework may be elaborated is then discussed around three themes: extending placed‐based analysis of localized clusters; broadening the scope of global value chain analysis; and re‐engaging the analysis of core–periphery relations. Ultimately the case for EEG2 is to ensure that economic geographic perspectives are fully incorporated in debates over the co‐evolution of economy and environment, in research and policy terms one of, if not the, central challenges of development in the 21st century.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Social Sciences, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, 2: Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada,

Publication date: 01 June 2013

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