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Durham University

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Publication details

Hudson, R. (2009). Regional Development: Uneven Regional Development. In International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography. Thrift, Nigel & Kitchin, Rob Amsterdam: Elsevier. 12: 18-23.

Author(s) from Durham


The concept of uneven development originally developed within Marxian political economy to describe – inter alia – relations between political classes, between the forces and relations of production, and between companies. Subsequently, it became generalized across a wide range of approaches in the social sciences and substantive domains, not least in that of regional uneven development. Uneven development is endemic to capitalist development at all spatial scales, including the regional (understood here to mean spatial units below the scale of the national). The empirical evidence is so widespread that, with the exception of the proponents of neoliberalism, there is a general acceptance of the fact of regional uneven development and that this is an endemic feature of capitalist development and is not something that can be eliminated. Whether it can be managed and its effects ameliorated so that it remains within politically and socially acceptable limits is a much more contentious issue.