PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (7): 1113-1122.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.07.014

• Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research progress on the mechanism of formation and evolution of unique industries at county level

WANG Dai1, LIN Xueqin2, SI Yuefang3, YU Jianhui1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. College of Resources Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China;
    3. College of Resources and Environmental Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
  • Received:2012-12-01 Revised:2013-04-01 Online:2013-07-25 Published:2013-07-25

Abstract: Among the strategic priorities of urban and rural development in China, fostering unique industries at county level has become a hot topic in the research of regional sustainable development. In this article, we critically summarize and evaluate the key studies on unique industries at county level at home and abroad in this century from three perspectives: theoretical development, main issues and research methodologies. Theoretically, the related researches are under the umbrella of human-environmental relationship discussion, since local unique industries are deeply influenced by the regional advantage and industrial characteristics. Moreover, the theoretical framework and studies in the fields of biology and systematology provide additional enlightening perspectives to the analysis of the interaction between, and co-evolvement of, the unique industries and the influencing factors. Among them, the scholars from actor-network-theory, political ecology, industrial ecology and regional ecology provide resourceful evidence and sound arguments. The main issues in unique industries discussion expand from the local economic development to global production network, from traditional factors to new factors. However, the mismatch and disconnection between the macro-level and micro-level research have limited further development and practices of these studies to some extent. The methods applied in the unique industry research have changed from qualitative description only to the integration of qualitative and quantitative analysis. Nevertheless, due to the limitation of data collection, the research methods need to be further developed to better analyze the motivations and dynamics of unique industry development. We also find out the differences between the domestic and foreign researches. In western countries, the researches highlight the co-evolution between unique industries and regional functions from the perspectives of systematology and ecology, and focus on integration and dynamic system analysis; while in China, the researches are increasingly divided into two schools: industrial distribution at macro level and discussions on mechanisms at micro level.

Key words: evolution mechanism, intra-county economies, regional unique industries, research progress