On the Analytical Dimension of Proximity Dynamics

Andr Torre Shaw, Jean-Pierre Gilly
2000 Regional studies  
Introduction The term Proximity is fashionable. It is displayed in shops, on advertising boards, and also in the works of economists who never used to be interested in this notion before. The recent interest in the subject could be alarming, because, in the field of economics, modes and concepts are fugacious. However, the appearance of works dedicated to this new notion should make us think about the reasons for the emergence of a field of research which, not so long ago, was doomed to
more » ... y. Indeed it often reveals social evolutions or analytical insufficiencies of theoretical approaches which cannot describe all aspects of reality. The increased use of the word proximity is recent but it has been important in economic literature, in particular with authors interested in the question of space, either in districts, milieux, technopoles, distances analyses, or in the recent advances of economic geography. The interest has even gone beyond this field and has now touched the works dedicated to the process of innovation, and the link between science and industry, the relations between users and producers, the national systems of innovation, the innovative milieux, the local labour markets, or city policies. The interest is directed towards the research made in an evolutionist framework, or even the research concerning transaction costs, towards the question of site specificity for instance. The interest has been important enough for a special issue of the Cambridge Journal of Economics (1999) to be published on the subject of proximity and knowledge relations. One must remember that proximity has always had an important significance in mathematics, geography, or
doi:10.1080/00343400050006087 fatcat:zbm7ryhfbrhsxksqqqyxxt7ccy