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Socioeconomic restructuring and regional change: re-thinking growth in the European Community

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Scientific literature on the spatial effects of socioeconomic restructuring has tended to highlight three key components in what has been considered to be the emergence of a new territorial model: the significance of subnational units (regions and cities) as the genuine "post-Fordist" unit of analysis; the growing prominence of service activities in the configuration of new development areas; and, finally, either the "randomizing" of the location of growth poles or the appearance of the social dimension as a new determinant of growth. Most studies of spatial restructuring have been confined, however, to the theoretical dimension or to case study analyses. There is a lack of large empirical cross-sectional studies on the topic. In this article, I try to discern, using a cross-sectional method, the extent to which a new growth pattern is developing in the European Community (EC) and the influence of previously existing conditions in current territorial changes in wealth levels. I conclude that a flexible production spatial model is not yet the dominant pattern. Many characteristics of the mass production system are still evident in growth trends. Furthermore, this territorial restructuring is by no means a global and homogeneous process, since it implies different transformations in core, intermediate, and lagging areas.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/31197/

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