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Reconstructing the Regional Economy

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Reconstructing the Regional Economy

Industrial Transformation and Regional Development in Slovakia

9781858986517 Edward Elgar Publishing
Adrian Smith, Department of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
Publication Date: 1998 ISBN: 978 1 85898 651 7 Extent: 456 pp
Reconstructing the Regional Economy examines both the limits and scope of regional capitalist development, documenting the nature and causes of uneven development in Slovakia. It addresses industrial and restructuring strategies, arguing that current progress must be understood within the context of the past, and that the present complex mix of old and new economic and institutional structures contribute significantly to economic fragmentation and divergence.

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Critical Acclaim
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The current economic transition in Central and Eastern Europe is leading to the emergence of significant fragmentation within regions and between countries.

The competitive struggle for scarce resources and global markets during the transition to capitalism in Eastern and Central Europe has caused countries to move away from a process of regional convergence which existed under state socialism to regional divergence. This book focuses on regional economic change in Eastern and Central Europe using Slovakia as a case study. It explains the relationship between industrial change and regional development, and discusses fragmentation within the context of the legacy of the state socialist industrialization model. The book interweaves up-to-date empirical analysis with theoretical debates and uses regional case studies to highlight key issues.

Reconstructing the Regional Economy examines both the limits and scope of regional capitalist development, documenting the nature and causes of uneven development in Slovakia. It addresses industrial and restructuring strategies, arguing that current progress must be understood within the context of the past, and that the present complex mix of old and new economic and institutional structures contribute significantly to economic fragmentation and divergence. The author criticises shock therapy, and argues that the transition to a market economy cannot simply be achieved through filling the supposed vacuum left by the collapse of central planning.

This original and important book will be welcomed by academics and students interested in the economics of transition and by policymakers in Western and Eastern European countries.
Critical Acclaim
‘Reconstructing the Regional Economy is a book that seriously and vigorously explores the origins and processes of uneven regional economic development in the post-socialist sphere. The combination of theoretical understanding and extensive empirical knowledge provides a “wholeness” of presentation that is convincing and impressive. It is a significant work that will both contribute to, and further, our understanding of post-socialist transformation.’
– Melonie Feakins, European Planning Studies

‘. . . it presents one of the first attempts by and economic geographer to produce an empirically rigorous and theoretically informed analysis of the regional dimensions of post-communist economic transformation. It not only provides original insight into reconstructing the regional economy in Slovakia, it provides a framework that can be applied to similar studies in other communist states. It is already essential reading for any graduate student contemplating research on the regional dimensions of economic transformation. The elegant simplicity of its structure is one of the many strengths of the book.’
– Michael Bradshaw, Economic Geography

‘The book is essential reading for anyone teaching or researching the transition of ECE, particularly because it provides a wider view of these processes. In addition, it is a highly suitable text for students because its clear presentation and lucid style make it accessible.’
– Jane Hardy, Progress in Human Geography

‘. . . the best parts of the book . . . point to the importance of detailed empirical study and to the recognition of diversity even within individual countries.’
– Martin Myant, Slavic Review

‘Notwithstanding the voluminous transition literature, there has been a relative paucity of studies which focus attention on the differentiated passage of post-socialist transformations at a variety of scales and in a variety of places. This book makes a significant contribution to countering that paucity and to developing many concepts and perspectives often marginalized in work on “the transition” in east central Europe and the former Soviet Union. By focusing on Slovakia, Adrian Smith brings to our attention the experiences of a country rarely analysed and provides less well-known examples of the nature and impacts of economic and social transformation. For these reasons, his monograph should be welcomed by both area specialists and by those with broader interests in regional development. . . Furthermore, Smith’s introductory and concluding chapters raise important issues for a much wider audience. I would have no hesitation in recommending these chapters to students looking for a way into understanding post-socialist transformations. . . The book contains a rich, theoretically-informed study of socialist and post-socialist transformations which will be of interest to a variety of different audiences, who should be encouraged to read it in different ways.’
– Alison Stenning, Regional Studies
Contents
Contents: 1. Introduction: The Regional Question and Approaches to Transition in Eastern and Central Europe Part I: Regional Development, Industrial Restructuring and Eastern and Central Europe Part II: State Socialism and Regional Development Part III: The ‘Transition to Capitalism’ and Regional Development Part IV: Conclusions and Alternatives Index
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