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An Interactive Economic Policy Approach to Manage Structural Change: The case of industry conversion in the German state of Bremen

Listed author(s):
  • Wolfram Elsner

The present paper deals with (1) the regional experience of a severe and sudden structural change sometimes faced by regions and cities which display considerable industrial specialisation, and (2) a proactive regional economic policy response: it offers a theoretical explanation of this policy and discusses the basic philosophy behind it, the agents involved, the instruments it employs and its effects. The German state (Land) of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen is a port and industry centre that has not only had considerable experience of industrial decline, but also of proactive industrial policy involvement. In addition, being the centre of the defence industry in northern Germany, Bremen experienced dramatic structural change due to the disarmament process that occurred during the 1990s. Bremen's industrial defence conversion approach has been widely considered as a case for further developing network forms of regional economic policy and for a managed industrial diversification strategy. It has indeed developed as a way to manage industrial change during the last ten years. This paper will discuss (1) the basic industrial problem; (2) some background conditions needed for success; (3) the approach and instruments developed; (4) the results obtained; and (5) a theoretical consideration on the basis of the experience.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 411-428

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Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:15:y:2001:i:4:p:411-428
DOI: 10.1080/02692170110081949
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