منطقه یادگیری در دوره ریاضت اقتصادی: سرمایه گذاری در دانش، کارآفرینی و سرمایه داری انعکاسی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Geoforum, Volume 31, Issue 2, May 2000, Pages 219–236
A recent round of academic analyses (e.g., Castells, M., 1996. The Rise of the Network Society. Blackwell, Oxford) are emphasizing the effective production and translation of knowledge as a critical factor in establishing a sustainable post-Fordist regime. A notable inference of these accounts is that such productions and translations appear to be gravitating towards certain regions. In an emerging regional political economy, illustrious regions in Western Europe and the United States are being hailed as exemplars in terms of convening economic reflexivity, capitalizing on knowledge, and socializing risk. In turn, those less illustrious regions are being summoned to activate interactive learning, reflexive knowledge networks, innovation, and social capital. The author reviews and critically assesses this new regionalist thought in economic geography. He then draws on this to analyze Lowland Scotland’s ongoing policy endeavor to establish a new form of ‘reflexive capitalism’. In undertaking this he make two claims. First, much of the new regionalist thinking has paid insufficient attention to the intricate social relations between the recent regional renaissance and the restructuring of the state. Second, many of the policy innovations associated with the new regionalism should be seen as running parallel alongside a deeper political effort to ‘manage’ the erosion of the Keynesian welfarist institutional settlement. In a concluding section drawing on the work of Ulrich Beck, he argues that these emerging social geographies of reflexive capitalism require to be highlighted to the extent that they constitute an important sociopolitical backdrop with which to locate the more specific imprint of risk in economic development.
It is commonplace now to assert that the relative political and economic certainties of the post-war era of welfare capitalism, and the social and ontological securities1 that they helped to realize, are but a distant memory Lash and Urry, 1994, Giddens, 1991 and Giddens, 1998. If we are then to accept that the period since the 1970s has been one of radical restructuring, then we must also accept that academics have now had considerable time to reflect on what may be the emerging social and economic order Martin, 1989a, Gertler, 1992 and Amin, 1994. No one can complain of a deafening silence on this. The transition has been variously described as one from mass production to flexible specialization (Piore and Sabel, 1984); Fordism to post-Fordism (Lipietz, 1994) or flexible accumulation (Harvey, 1989); organized to disorganized capitalism (Lash and Urry, 1987); and industrial capitalism to the informational age or the network society (Castells, 1996). These labels have been useful in raising our awareness of a whole series of changes in capital and labor markets, corporate strategies, industrial technologies, industrial geographies, financial regulation, labor processes, managerial hierarchies, and the restructuring of the (welfare) state. However, it has often been the case that such interpretations have tended to fall back on an overly structural analysis: one which presents political economic evolution as a succession of binary histories, themselves translated into a series of systemic ‘models, fantasies and phantoms of transition’ Sayer, 1989 and Amin, 1994. Often these models ignore what may be some extant continuities, rigidities, and contradictions in the prevailing socioeconomic, political and institutional conditions Hudson, 1989 and Gertler, 1992. They have also glossed over many questions relating to the uneven development of new leading edge industrial and institutional innovations (Tickell and Peck, 1992), political struggle (Graham 1992), and gender relations (McDowell, 1991). And in analytical terms, it has been claimed that these approaches have tended to shy away from exploring the dynamic processes, interpretative actions, and situated path dependencies through which particular economic, social, and political forms are constituted Thrift, 1989, Lash and Urry, 1994 and Painter and Goodwin, 1995. A growing acknowledgement of these empirical and analytical anomalies has led some scholars to take a more cautious line to argue that, as yet, western capitalist societies (not to mention those in Eastern Europe), appear to be engaged in an enduring search for a new institutional compromise (Peck and Tickell, 1994). One theorist who has taken this search seriously is Michael Storper (1997). Storper assesses the emerging socioeconomic conjuncture as one of reflexive capitalism. Here, he extends his earlier work on regional economic development, and, in an effort to transcend the structuralist limitations of the above approaches, he places at the very core of his analysis considerations of cognitive reflexivity, human subjectivity and agency (cf. Beck et al., 1994, Lash and Urry, 1994 and Cooke, 1997)2. Storper defines contemporary reflexive capitalism as: …a system that manufactures new kinds of risks (economic, personal, ecological, psychological, social, etc.). In the economic sphere, these risks are expressed through the redefinition of competition – what it takes to win and how it is possible to lose. Winning has become a much more complex target, because the conditions which a firm, region, or production system must now satisfy in order to win are manufactured and remanufactured more thoroughly and more rapidly than ever before, creating a moving target for success and a shifting minefield of risks of failure (Storper, 1997, p. 30).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The frame of reference of institutionalized state politics and administration on the one hand, and that of individuals trying to hold together their biography fragments on the other, are breaking apart and then colliding antagonistically in opposed conceptions of ‘public welfare’, ‘quality of life’, ‘future viability’, ‘justice’, ‘progress’. A rift is opening between the images of society prevalent in politics and institutions, and those arising from the situations of individuals struggling for viable ways of living (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 1996, p. 41). In many respects the material gleaned from the above case study appears to resonate with the themes being raised in the influential work of Amin and Thrift, Florida, Cooke and Morgan, and Storper. At one level, a growing consciousness is permeating the economic geographical imagination within Scotland’s economic policy bloc that the regional (Scottish or Lowland Scottish) scale matters in enframing and activating economic renewal. Alongside this the nature of policy is changing. From being predominantly concerned with highly visible, physical factors (roads, sites for inward investors), the Lowland bloc is increasingly and self-consciously engaged in harvesting an institutional infrastructure that accords with what Storper terms a ‘heterodox policy framework’. Networking, entrepreneurialism, collaboration, interdependence, and a shared vision are all being hailed as mandatory for reinventing Scotland’s economic condition. Furthermore, notable institutions and organizations (such as those engaged in technology, banking and education) are being roused to appropriate ‘action frameworks’ that can serve to circulate and capitalize on existing and other sources of knowledges. However, this turn towards economic reflexivity is also mirrored in the wider political and social spheres: those relating to employment possibilities, labor market governance, training, and education. In particular, many micro-actors, including academics, the unemployed victims of managerial ‘downsizing’ and the closure of nationalized industries, the skilled unemployed blue collars, and under-skilled employees, are all being summoned to either ‘risk’ a small business venture or personally fund a lifelong learning strategy. It is in these senses that I see the emerging regional world as one where individual agents are being more actively and directly interpellated in the absorption of socioeconomic risk. This is particularly the case as western societies search for an institutional fix to confront a traumatic future of post-Fordist insecurity and post-Keynesian ‘workfare’ Allen and Henry, 1997, Peck, 1998a, Theodore, 1998 and Reich, 1998. What this highlights as much as anything else, is the requirement, when analyzing regional renewal, to consider the contemporary restructuring of the state and the reconfiguration of its strategic objectives. Since the 1970s, as part of a “vast spatial extension and social deepening of the logic of market relations” (Storper, 1997, p. 28), political energies have gradually veered away from questions concerned with nationally planned growth and regionally redistributive welfare entitlement, and the ‘managerial’ provision of public social services. Instead the political imperatives are increasingly centered on instituting an ‘entrepreneurial’ agenda to facilitate flexibility, competitiveness, and a favorable business climate Harvey, 1989 and Jessop, 1997a. Within this changing social and political economic context, citizens are frequently being invoked to embrace the ethos of what Beck and Beck-Gernsheim term individualization. This features: … a compulsion, albeit a paradoxical one, to create, to stage-manage, not only one’s own biography but the bonds and networks surrounding it, and to do this amid changing preferences and at successive stages of life, while constantly adapting to the conditions of the labor market, the education system, the welfare state, etc. (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 1996, p. 27). All this is, furthermore, indicative of a far-reaching austerity politics permeating western spaces, in part relating to what Paul Pierson (1996) terms the ‘politics of retrenchment’. This features a withdrawal, or at least attempts to withdraw, welfare entitlements and to manage potentially unpopular repercussions by appealing to discourses of ‘competitiveness’ and ‘fiscal prudence’, often enacted through calculated presentation of social policy and media tutelage. In Britain, the New Deal, university tuition fees, and attempts to reduce single parent benefits represent instances of the emergent policy paradigm, one that appears intent on externalizing responsibility and risk onto the individual and other localized spaces of insecurity. Indeed from a Marxian perspective, what we may be viewing is a scalar displacement of crisis management (Jones, 1999), where, in constructing his or her action frameworks: … the individual must […] learn, on pain of permanent disadvantage, to conceive of himself or herself as the center of action, as the planning office with respect to his/her own biography, abilities, orientations, relationships and so on. Under those conditions of a reflexive biography, ‘society’ must be individually manipulated as a ‘variable’. … As a consequence the floodgates are opened wide for the subjectivization and individualization of risks and contradictions produced by institutions and society (Beck, 1992, p. 135–6; latter emphasis added). In other words, and whilst these differences are hard to measure, it would seem that a series of social and economic risks, which in large part had become internalized within the set of institutions embodied in the post-war welfare state, are being increasingly externalized to individuals. Beck and Beck-Gernsheim make the further argument that this re-embodiment and re-scaling of risk symbolizes the imperatives of the ‘precarious freedoms’ taking hold of life as modernity advances. For those on the time-space path of material abundance, credit card accessibility, and ‘cultural contentment’ (Galbraith, 1992) there is relative freedom to choose private pension plans, private health care, and lifelong learning and education. However, for many located within what Beck terms ‘the pain of permanent disadvantage’, this re-commodification (Offe, 1984) of welfare, work, and societal conditions, is being structured largely beyond their own control and certainly not within conditions of their own choosing. It is a growing appreciation of these changes in the structure of welfare that lead some researchers to talk of a generic shift from a Keynesian Welfare National State to a Schumpeterian Workfare Post-National Regime Jessop, 1997a and Peck and Jessop, 1998. Furthermore, in the post-welfare era, this individualization of lifestyle projects may eventually symbolize the erosion of what Marshall termed social citizenship. This is defined as “the right to a modicum of economic welfare and security [alongside] the right to share to the full in the social heritage and live the life of a civilized being according to the standards prevailing in the society” (Marshall, 1963, p. 74; and compare (Giddens, 1998, p. 71) on the idea of a ‘reflexive citizenry’). Recent analyses of the political economy of the European Union do little to allay these fears over the governance of social protection and welfare. In particular, as the institutional fabric of the Fordist national state compromise disentangles, it is argued that the emerging pattern being woven across Europe is increasingly founded on mass unemployment, job insecurity, social exclusion, and a sharpening of inter-regional inequality Dunford, 1995, Amin and Tomaney, 1995b and Lovering, 1998. In conclusion, clearly there are thematic overlaps between Storper’s work on economic reflexivity and Beck and Beck-Gernsheim’s work on the ‘risk society’ and ‘individualization’. As in the economic geography of reflexive capitalism then, so in the provision of social welfare individuals are being implored to appropriate particular ‘(re)action frameworks’, or to become the chief ‘planning office’ (Beck, 1992). Nevertheless, whilst Storper briefly addresses the question of social polarization and exclusion within global and dual cities, the impacts of this are not analytically integrated into the main corpus of his thesis. It is in these senses that he underplays what I term the downside of reflexive capitalism. Somewhat analogous to Ben Harrison’s (1994) ‘dark side of flexible production’, so these emergent policies for governing the labor market and social policy are illustrative of the downside of reflexivity: a ‘tightrope biography’ founded upon “a state of permanent (partly overt, partly concealed) endangerment” (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 1996, p. 25). Whilst I have only begun to explore the possible links between discourses of learning regions and the major transformations occurring in the governance of welfare, I suggest that they constitute an important sociopolitical backdrop with which to locate the more specific economic imprints of risk in the era of reflexive capitalism.