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Durham University

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Hadjimichalis, C. & Hudson, R. (2014). Contemporary crisis across Europe and the crisis of regional development theories. Regional Studies 48(1): 208-218.

Author(s) from Durham


Hadjimichalis C. and Hudson R. Contemporary crisis across Europe and the crisis of regional development theories, Regional Studies. This paper explores the prima facie puzzling issue of why so much contemporary theory in economic geography and regional planning – specifically New Economic Geography (NEG) and New Regionalism (NR) – has so little to say about the causes of the current post-2007 crisis and its geography globally and in Europe. It is argued here that this reflects its obsession with the regional ‘success stories’ of the 1970s and 1980s, its failure to appreciate the onset of crisis and the reasons for it in these regions in the 1990s, and its failure to appreciate the nature of capitalism as a crisis prone social system of combined and uneven development. Thus, the current economic crisis pushed dominant regional development theories into a homologous deep theoretical crisis. It is concluded that the time is ripe for a paradigm shift in theory and that this should involve a reconsideration of earlier theoretical approaches that fell out of fashion for a variety of intellectual and political reasons and of current radical social movements.