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The economic resilience of regions: towards an evolutionary approach


  • James Simmie
  • Ron Martin


In this paper, we review the different definitions of resilience and their potential application in explaining the long-term development of urban and regional economies. We reject equilibrist versions of resilience and argue instead that we should seek an understanding of the concept from an evolutionary perspective. After discussing a number of such perspectives, we focus on the adaptive cycle model from panarchy theory to generate testable hypotheses concerning urban and regional resilience. Two case study city-regional economies are used to explore this model. We conclude that the evolutionary adaptive cycle model, though not without problems, warrants further study as a framework for analysing regional economic resilience. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

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  • James Simmie & Ron Martin, 2009. "The economic resilience of regions: towards an evolutionary approach," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 3(1), pages 27-43.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cjrecs:v:3:y:2009:i:1:p:27-43

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George A. Akerlof, 2009. "How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It Matters," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1175-1175.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    3. Sanders, Anthony, 2008. "The subprime crisis and its role in the financial crisis," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 254-261, December.
    4. N/A, 2009. "On the Recession," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 24(3), pages 253-253, May.
    5. Harvey, David, 2007. "A Brief History of Neoliberalism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199283279, June.
    6. Reinhart, Karmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. ""This time is different": panorama of eight centuries of financial crises," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 77-114, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pradhan, Jaya Prakash, 2011. "Regional heterogeneity and firms’ innovation: the role of regional factors in industrial R&D in India," MPRA Paper 28096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Rudrajeet Pal & Reimar Westerlind & HÃ¥kan Torstensson, 2013. "Exploring the resilience development process by implementing the crisis strategic planning framework: a Swedish textile SME perspective," International Journal of Decision Sciences, Risk and Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(1), pages 1-34.
    3. Harald Bathelt & Andrew Munro & Ben Spigel, 2011. "Challenges of Transformation: Innovation, Re-bundling and Traditional Manufacturing in Canada's Technology Triangle," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1111, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jun 2011.

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