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Learning from conceptual flow in regional studies: Framing present debates, unbracketing past debates

  • Arnoud Lagendijk

Lagendijk A. (2006) Learning from conceptual flow in regional studies: framing present debates, unbracketing past debates, Regional Studies 40, 385-399. The field of regional studies is characterized by an intense flow of ideas and concepts, accompanying what can be described as a restless shifting of perspectives and approaches. Most of the inspiration for this dynamics is drawn from other disciplinary fields. Yet, the importation and translation of 'external' ideas is often criticized for resulting in rather haphazard and fuzzy conceptualizations. Moreover, rather than carefully assessing new ideas and insights in the context of ongoing debates on regional development, there is a tendency to sidetrack existing lines of debate and call for new 'turns' and 'perspectives'. Without playing down the importance of conceptual innovation, the paper calls for a stronger appreciation of our conceptual inheritance. Taking the genealogy of a dominant line of thinking in the field, the 'Territorial Innovation Models', as a starting point, the paper discusses how one can advance the debate by using both 'old' and 'new' (internal and external) ideas regarding three core analytical levels in regional studies: micro, meso and macro. Recent ideas on relationality, in particular, are considered helpful in reassessing as well as refining the value of 'older' structuralist-institutionalist macro-approaches, and in situating the contribution from more recent debates on the (micro) role of cognition and knowledge. Finally, a call is made for a careful absorption of sociological work to take into account the broader (meso) institutional economic environment in which regions operate. Lagendijk A. (2006) Ce que l'on peut tirer des flux conceptuels dans le domaine des etudes regionales: articuler les debats actuels, demystifier les debats anterieurs, Regional Studies 40, 385-399. Le domaine des etudes regionales se caracterise par un flux rapide d'idees et de notions, conjointement avec un deplacement continuel de perspectives et d'approches. Dans une large mesure, cette dynamique s'inspire des autres disciplines. Toujours est-il que l'importation et la traduction des idees 'externes' se voient souvent critiquees parce qu'il en resulte des conceptualisations plutot incoherentes et floues. Qui plus est, au lieu d'evaluer avec prudence des idees et des apercus nouveaux dans le cadre des debats en cours sur l'amenagement du territoire, on a tendance a detourner le sens des debats en cours et de demander des 'tournures' et des 'perspectives' nouvelles. Sans releguer l'importance de l'innovation conceptuelle au second plan, cet article cherche a reclamer une meilleure comprehension du patrimoine conceptuel. Prenant comme point de depart la genealogie d'une ligne de pensee dominante dans ce domaine, les 'Territorial Innovation Models' (modeles de l'innovation territoriale), cet article cherche a discuter comment on pourrait avancer le debat en employant a la fois les 'nouvelles' et les 'anciennes' idees (internes et externes) a l'egard de trois niveaux analytiques de base dans le domaine des etudes regionales: a savoir, micro, meso et macro. On considere que les idees recentes sur la notion de relationalite en particulier aident non seulement a evaluer mais aussi a peaufiner la valeur des approches macro-structuralo-institutionalistes plus anciennes, et a positionner la contribution des debats plus recents a propos du role (micro) de la cognition et de la connaissance. Pour conclure, on reclame l'integration prudente du travail sociologique afin de tenir compte du milieu economique institutionnel plus large (meso) ou fonctionnent les regions. Etudes regionales Geographie economique Approche de controle Approches institutionnelles Approches cognitives Lagendijk A. (2006) Lehren von der Begriffsentwicklung in Regional Studies: gegenwartiger Debatten, Klarung fruherer Debatten, Regional Studies 40, 385-399. Das Terrain der Zeitschrift 'Regional Studies' ist von einem kraftigen Strom von Begriffen und Ideen gekennzeichnet, der von einer als unaufhorlich zu bezeichnend Verschiebung der Perspektiven und Ansichten begleitet wird. Die meisten Inspirationen fu�r diese Dynamik kommen von anderen Disziplinen. Doch die Einfuhrung und Ubertragung 'von aussen kommender' Ideen wird oft kritisiert, dass sie zu zusatzlichen willkurlichen und verschwommenen Begriffsbildungen fuhrt. Ausserdem lasst sich statt sorgfaltiger Beurteilung neuer Ideen und Einsichten im Zusammenhang mit noch nicht abgeschlossenen Debatten uber regionale Entwicklung eine Tendenz beobachten, von vorhandenen, bereits debattierten Debattenketten abzulenken, und neue 'Wendungen'und Perspektiven zu verlangen. Ohne die Bedeutung begrifflicher Innovation herunterspielen zu wollen, tritt dieser Aufsatz dafur ein, unser begriffliches Erbe starker zu berucksichtigen. Vom Ausgangspunkt der Genealogie des 'territorialen Innovationsmodells', einer vorherrschenden Betrachtungsweise auf diesem Gebiet, wird in diesem Aufsatz diskutiert, wie man die Debatte unter Anwendung 'alter' und 'neuer' (interner und externer) Ideen in Regional Studies in Hinsicht auf drei analytische Hauptebenen: micro, meso und macro fordern konnte. Kurzlich geausserte Ideen, insbesondere solche uber Relationalitat, werden als nutzlich angesehen, sowohl bei Neuberechnung wie auch bei Verfeinerung der Werte 'alterer' strukturalist-institutionalistischer Makroansatze, und fur die Ansiedlung der Beitrage jungerer Debatten uber die (Mikro)rolle von Erkenntnis und Kenntnissen. Abschliessend wurde zur vorsichtigen Absorption soziologischer Arbeiten aufgerufen, um die umfassendere (meso)institutionelle Wirtschaftsumwelt, in der Regionen funktionieren, zu berucksichtigen. Regionalstudien Verordnungsansatz institutionelle Ansatze Wirtschaftsgeographie kognitive Ansatze Lagendijk A. (2006) Aprender del flujo conceptual en estudios regionales: Formulando debates presentes y descatalogando debates pasados, Regional Studies 40, 385-399. El campo de los estudios regionales se caracteriza por un intenso flujo de ideas y conceptos que acompanan a lo que se puede describir como un agitado cambio de perspectivas y planteamientos. La principal inspiracion para esta dinamica viene de otros campos disciplinarios. No obstante, muchas veces se critica la importacion y traduccion de ideas 'externas' porque desembocan en conceptualizaciones bastante incoherentes y confusas. Ademas, en lugar de evaluar detenidamente nuevas ideas y perspectivas en el contexto de debates continuos sobre el desarrollo regional, hay una tendencia a desviar las lineas actuales de debate y requerir nuevos 'giros' y 'perspectivas'. Sin minimizar la importancia de la innovacion conceptual, aqui buscamos una apreciacion mas solida de nuestra herencia conceptual. Si tomamos como punto de arranque la genealogia de una linea dominante de pensamiento en este campo, los 'Modelos de Innovacion Territorial', en este articulo analizamos como podriamos avanzar en el debate al usar ideas 'antiguas' y 'nuevas' (internas y externas) con respecto a los tres niveles analiticos principales en estudios regionales: micro, meso y macro. Se cree que las recientes ideas, particularmente sobre relacionalidad, son muy utiles a la hora de volver a valorar y definir el valor de los mas 'antiguos' enfoques macro estructuralistas e institucionalistas, y de situar la contribucion de debates mas recientes sobre el rol (micro) de cognicion y conocimiento. Finalmente, creemos que es necesaria una cuidadosa absorcion del trabajo sociologico para tener en cuenta el ambiente economico institucional mas extenso (meso) en el que funcionan las regiones. Estudios regionales Geografia economica Enfoque regulatorio Enfoques institucionales Enfoques cognitivos

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

Volume (Year): 40 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 385-399

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  1. Gordon MacLeod, 2001. "Beyond soft institutionalism: accumulation, regulation, and their geographical fixes," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 33(7), pages 1145-1167, July.
  2. Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge codification and the geography of innovation: the case of Brescia mechanical cluster," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1479-1500, December.
  3. Andre Torre & Alain Rallet, 2005. "Proximity and Localization," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 47-59.
  4. Meric S. Gertler, 2003. "Tacit knowledge and the economic geography of context, or The undefinable tacitness of being (there)," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 75-99, January.
  5. Bob Jessop, 2001. "Institutional re(turns) and the strategic - relational approach," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 33(7), pages 1213-1235, July.
  6. Arnoud Lagendijk, 2004. "Global 'Lifeworlds' Versus Local 'Systemworlds': How Flying Winemakers Produce Global Wines In Interconnected Locales," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 95(5), pages 511-526, December.
  7. Scott, Allen J, 2000. "Economic Geography: The Great Half-Century," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 483-504, July.
  8. Roberta Capello, 1999. "Spatial Transfer of Knowledge in High Technology Milieux: Learning Versus Collective Learning Processes," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 353-365.
  9. Harald Bathelt & Andersand Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "Clusters and Knowledge Local Buzz, Global Pipelines and the Process of Knowledge Creation," DRUID Working Papers 02-12, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  10. Arnoud Lagendijk, 2003. "Towards Conceptual Quality in Regional Studies: The Need for Subtle Critique - A Response to Markusen," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6-7), pages 719-727.
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