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Articulations of Capital: Global Production Networks and Regional Transformations

ISBN: 978-1-118-63271-0
320 pages
January 2016, Wiley-Blackwell
Articulations of Capital: Global Production Networks and Regional Transformations (1118632710) cover image


Articulations of Capital offers an accessible, grounded, yet theoretically-sophisticated account of the geographies of global production networks, value chains, and regional development in post-socialist Eastern and Central Europe.

  • Proposes a new theorization of global value chains as part of a conjunctural economic geography
  • Develops a set of conceptual and theoretical arguments concerning the regional embeddedness of global production
  • Draws on longitudinal empirical research from over 20 years in the Bulgarian and Slovakian apparel industries
  • Makes a major intervention into the debate over the economic geographies of European integration and EU enlargement
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Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Preface vii

List of Figures viii

List of Tables xi

Preface and Acknowledgements xii

Abbreviations xxi

Part One Articulating Capital in Global Production Networks 1

1 Articulations of Capital 3

2 Economic Geography, Conjuncture and the Dynamics of Capital 23

Part Two Working off the Past: Context and Complexity in Apparel Global Production Networks 53

3 Working in the Post‐Socialist Apparel Economy 55

4 Managing Europe’s Golden Bands: Trade Policy and the Regulation of Production Networks (with Robert Begg) 86

5 Transformations, Legacies and Networks: The State and Market Globalizations (with Robert Begg and Milan Bucě k) 104

Part Three Industrial Dynamics, Regionalization and the Conjunctural Economy of Global Production Networks 135

6 Theorizing Transition and the Dynamics of Capital: The Diverse Trajectories of Post‐socialist Firms (with
Robert Begg, Milan Buček, Poli Roukova, and Rudolf Pastor) 137

7 Border Reconfigurations and the Frontiers of Capital (with Robert Begg, Milan Buček, and Rudolf Pastor) 162

8 Regionalization and the Palimpsests of Production: Delocalization, Legacies and Firm Differentiation (with Robert Begg and Poli Roukova) 182

9 The Cultural Economies of Post‐Socialism: Ethnicity, Garage Firms and Regional Markets (with Robert Begg and Poli Roukova) 214

Part Four Conclusion 237

10 Conclusion 239

Appendix 1 Firm-level Restructuring in the Slovak Textiles and Clothing Sector, 2004–2013 253

Appendix 2 Key to Figure 9.14 Dimitrovgrad Market, 2011 257

References 260

Index 281

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Author Information

John Pickles is Earl N. Phillips Distinguished Professor of International Studies in the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His publications include A History of Spaces: Cartographic Reason, Mapping, and the Geo-Coded World (2004), Globalization and Regionalization in Post-socialist Economies: the Common Economic Spaces of Europe (edited, 2009), and Towards Better Work: Understanding Labour in Apparel Global Value Chains (co-edited with A. Rossi and A Luinstra, 2014).

Adrian Smith
is Professor of Human Geography and Dean for Research in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary University of London. Editor-in-Chief of the journal European Urban and Regional Studies, Dr. Smith has authored and co-edited five books on post-socialist Europe, including Domesticating Neo-Liberalism: Spaces of Economic Practice and Social Reproduction in Post-Socialist Cities (with A. Stenning, A. Rochovská, and D. Świątek, Wiley, 2010).

Robert Begg is Professor Emeritus of Geography and Regional Planning at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Milan Buček is Professor and Head of the Department Public Administration and Regional Developmente at the University of Economics in Bratislava.

Poli Roukova is a Senior Research Fellow in Economic and Social Geography at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Rudolf Pástor is Assistant Professor of Geography in the Department Public Administration and Regional Developmente at the University of Economics in Bratislava.
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Articulations of Capital is an intellectually refreshing and stimulating analysis of the shifts in the global apparel industry and its regional and local manifestations in East-Central Europe. Pickles and Smith excel in a theoretically and conceptually rich but empirically grounded critical approach that challenges some widely held assumptions about the contemporary apparel industry, postsocialism and East-Central Europe.’
Petr Pavlínek, Professor of Geography, University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA

‘This book presents a well grounded and historically contextualized analysis of the political economy of regional transformation in a changing world of apparel global production networks. I particularly like its focus on “actually existing transitions” in selected East Central European regional economies. In this way, the authors have eschewed the snapshot approach in most studies of inter-firm industrial governance and shed much better empirical light on the critical issue of industrial upgrading.’
— Henry Wai-chung Yeung, Professor of Economic Geography and Co-Director of the GPN@NUS Centre, National University of Singapore
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