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Toward a reconceptualization of regional development paths: Is Leipzig's media cluster a continuation of or a rupture with the past?

  • Year: 2003
  • Author: Bathelt, Harald; Boggs, Jeffrey S
  • Journal Name: Economic Geography
  • Journal Number: Vol.79, No.3
  • Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
  • Published Location: Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Country: Germany
  • State/Region: Saxony

This article develops a model of regional development that is then used to examine the evolution of two media industries in Leipzig, Germany. We note that the city's current media cluster, centered on television/film production and interactive digital media, shares little in common with the city's once-premier book publishing media cluster. Treating interactive learning as the primary causal mechanism that drives economic growth and change, our conceptual framework incorporates both sectoral/technological and political crises as mechanisms that rupture regional development paths. These regional development paths are not homogeneous, but instead consist of bundles of various technological trajectories. Regions recover from crises as their actors continually rebundle local assets until they find a combination that generates growth. As a result of these crises, new opportunities for growth may arise for new and previously marginal industries. In turn, these expanding industries shape the region's development path.

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