[URBANTH-L]CFP: Old Industrial Knowledges: Call for Papers/Participation

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Wed Nov 24 11:27:48 EST 2004

"The role of 'industrial knowledges' in economic development of
de-industrialising regions"
A Regional Studies Association Working Group 
14-15 February 2005, Newcastle, UK

Industrial change - and particularly decline - has been a painful
process for many European regions.  The industries driving these regions
fell into uncompetitiveness, and 'economic realities' forced them into a
restructuring and rationalisation process which has decimated, and in
many cases obliterated, those industries.  This industrial transition
has been underpinned by neo-liberal prescriptions promoted by the
European Commission, within Europe through competition regulation, and
in eastern Europe through special advisers funded by the PHARE and TACIS
programmes.  In their own terms, many of these policies have been
successful, reducing production costs, subsidy levels and Government
budget deficits, whilst raising the competitiveness of what industry

Where these policies have undoubtedly failed is in providing access to
new growth opportunities, by giving those regions the wherewithal to
participate effectively in the enlarged, competitive European market.
Regional policy has followed several phases, through cutting labour
costs, then attracting inwards investment, then developing indigenous
innovation and knowledge activities.  However, those regions furthest
through restructuring have found that by the time Governments choose to
emphasise indigenous growth, they have lost many local activities in
which there is knowledge to be commercialised.  Where some old economies
have been successful, it is often because assets have been retained
dating back to the old industrial era, encompassing 'old' institutional
forms, social market relations, cultures, businesses and entrepreneurs.

In this seminar, we bring together experiences from regions in western
and central Europe undergoing industrial restructuring, to explore how
these industrial knowledges have survived and metamorphosed into the
fragments of post-industrial knowledge economies. We seek to address six
key questions:-

- What are the industrial knowledges which have successfully made the
transition through deindustrialisation? 
- Are 'industrial knowledges' explicable in the language and theories of
the 'new knowledge economy'? 
- How have these knowledges remained territorially embedded, resisted
disruption and rediscovered new value through change? 
- Can these new knowledges contribute significantly to economic
development in less successful regions?
- Does focusing on these 'industrial knowledges' meaningfully improve
the way we theorise regional economic development? 
- Can these industrial knowledges be shared and transferred in practice?

We are now pleased to announce a call for expressions of interest for
participation in this seminar, to be held on 14-15 February 2005, in
Newcastle, UK.  A second seminar will be held in central Europe in
mid-2005.  We hope to be able to publish a selection of papers from both
events in a single volume.

We invite both expressions of interest for presenting papers and also
for attending the first of these two events.  The focus on the two
seminars will be slightly different; in the first seminar we
concentration on assembling empirical evidence whilst in the second
seminar, we think through some of the practical implications of the
value of old industrial knowledges for new forms of regional development
policies in the context of the post-2006 reforms of the Structural

The seminar will be free to attend but participants will have to cover
their own travel costs. There are limited funds to cover  the travel and
accommodation costs of some central European participants.

For further information and to express an interest, please contact the
organisers before 17th December.

Alison Stenning & Paul Benneworth
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom

email: alison.stenning at ncl.ac.uk
tel: + 44 191 222 8016

More information about the URBANTH-L mailing list