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    Implication of regionalism and regional integration under the global shift
    WANG Jue, CHEN Wen
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2013, 32 (7): 1082-1091.   DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.07.011
    Abstract2195)      PDF (505KB)(1286)      
    As one of the important paradigms for regional cooperation, regional integration has been receiving extensive attention from scholars, especially in the field of geography. In today’s globalizing world, regional integration is one of the driving forces that reshape the world’s politics and economies. Especially, a considerable amount of research interest has been focused on how the emergence of regional integration after the World War Ⅱ has affected, and will continue to affect, the global economy. However, it is widely accepted that regionalism is not just a recent phenomenon. There have arisen at least four waves of regionalism since the 19th century, along with the trend of globalization. The first wave occurred during the second half of the 19th century and was characterized by colonization. After World War Ⅱ, regionalism demonstrated some new traits and began to pave a peaceful path. Soon after that, a plethora of regional trade blocs formed against the backdrop of the Cold War. With the advent of the 21th century, the most recent wave of regionalism has arisen in a more globalized context than the earlier ones. Because the current regionalism creates the new forms of regional organization, co-existing with traditional forms of state-led governance at the national level, not only the forces driving the current regionalism but also the context and features of the new regional integration are radically different. Consequently, with the“new regionalism”wave, regional integration has become a multidimensional process with implications for bilateral/multilateral trade liberalization as well as the dimensions of politics, security, culture and institutions. In the meantime, theoretical framework used to analyze the political and economic impact of the implementation of regional integration have been systematically improved; new regionalism, new economic geographies and new institutional economics have been introduced to the analysis of regional governance, spatial equilibrium and institutional construction of regional cooperation. This transformation greatly contributes to diversification of the implications of regional integration, including its agents, content of cooperation and organizational mechanism. Nevertheless, there are some issues to be further studied in future. Based on the development process of regional integration, this paper first differentiates regional integration from other related concepts, and then reviews the developmental path of regionalism in the context of globalization in which regionalism has gone through four stages. At last, by summarizing important economic and political theories about regional integration in the literature, which provide reference and inspiration for the regional study, this paper makes a brief comment on the strengths or weaknesses of those established theories, and raises several questions for the current research on regional integration.
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    Cited: CSCD(10)
    Geographical research on isolated mining and industrial areas
    LI Qian, ZHANG Wenzhong, WANG Dai
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2013, 32 (7): 1092-1101.   DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.07.012
    Abstract1050)      PDF (1746KB)(726)      
    With the social and economic development since the founding of PRC, numerous projects were initiated by the government at all levels to meet the increasing demand for energy and minimal resource, leading to the formation of resource exploitation and processing industry. Isolated mining and industrial area (IMIA), which evolved from long term exploitation of mineral resources in resource-rich regions, has made huge contributions to the social and economic development of China as a base of resource supply. After a great deal of achievements, however, the development of IMIA gradually slowed down in terms of diversified industrial development, equalization of public services, and integration of regional development, due to various historical restrictions. In addition to the IMIA related problems such as resource depletion, social, economic and ecological issues, the sustainable development of IMIA itself has become a critical management issue for the government at all levels. To date, few studies have comprehensively investigated the issues associated with IMIA formation and development. Limited studies, however, have focused on the reasons behind the problems caused by IMIA development, without investigating the basic theories of IMIA, which leads to various issues during the process of implementing IMIA. Thus, this paper aims to fill in the gaps between practice and theory of IMIA and put forward some basic theories concerning IMIA formation and development. In this paper, based on previous studies, the concept of IMIA was first reviewed, evaluated and defined. IMIA is an area that evolved from long term exploitation of mineral resources in a resource-rich region and is characterized by resource exploitation and processing as a leading industry, workers and their families being as main residents, and being far away from a city. Then, characteristics and changing patterns of formation and development of IMIA were investigated based on observation dataset, theories of economy development cycles, territorial production complex and evolutionary economic geography. It was found that formation and development of IMIA, in essence, resulted from the interactions between internal and external forces in a resource-rich region. Finally, the development path and mode for IMIA was analyzed and discussed. We emphasize the need to better deal with social, economic and ecological development in an integrative manner. Quantification of IMIA definition standard, evaluation of bearing capacity of resource and environment, mechanisms of regional function evolution and mode of sustainable development, will be further examined in our future study.
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    Cited: CSCD(1)
    A Review on divergence of regional economic growth in China
    LI Guangdong, FANG Chuanglin
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2013, 32 (7): 1102-1112.   DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.07.013
    Abstract1438)      PDF (514KB)(950)      
    Balancing regional growth is one of the top priorities for economic development in China. Theoretical studies are urgently needed to systematically analyze the degree, pattern, characteristics and mechanisms of regional divergence. Based on literature study and comparative analysis, this paper discusses the progress, remaining issues and future directions of the research on regional economic divergence. The results show that most of foreign researches take multi-disciplinary approaches and focus on the geographical effects, which makes geographic information system (GIS), spatial econometric analysis and space statistical analysis the most commonly used methods. In addition, downscaling and practical application become a common trend. Most of domestic studies, on the other hand, are to confirm the knowledge and theories from foreign studies in China, without our own innovations. Previous studies pay more attention to regional and provincial scales, less on city and county scales. Currently, controversies still exist among the domestic researchers on the degree of divergence of regional growth, whether convergence has occurred and how quickly it changes, etc. Future research should focus on collecting more detailed and comprehensive datasets, monitoring the dynamic changes of regional economic growth, and establishing a quantitative measure system and technology platform. Inter-regional interactions, economic spillovers, mechanisms of imbalance, and practical applications will continue to be the focus of future research.
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    Cited: CSCD(22)
    Research progress on the mechanism of formation and evolution of unique industries at county level
    WANG Dai, LIN Xueqin, SI Yuefang, YU Jianhui
    PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY    2013, 32 (7): 1113-1122.   DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.07.014
    Abstract1071)      PDF (515KB)(779)      
    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.
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    Cited: CSCD(4)