Beyond Positioning and Promises: Linking Entrepreneurial Urbanism with Geographies of Capabilities and Cooperation in the Asian Context

Authors: Deepa Mehta*, Columbia University
Topics: Economic Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Asia
Keywords: Production Spaces, Regional Economic Integration, Economic Development, Economic Geography, Industrial Geography, Global Production Networks
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Studio 10, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In the last thirty years, from Shenzhen to Bangalore, Asia’s cities are now global innovation hubs for entrepreneurship, technology, and manufacturing. These transformations are a result of specific conditions and capabilities as well as distinctive mixes of structural transformations geared towards decentralization and marketization, technological innovation, and directed shifts in zoning, foreign direct investment, and trade. (Eng 1997; Chaminade and Vang 2008; Fu 2015; Wang et al. 2012) The central role of the state in guiding development planning is not new, and the regional innovation systems and economic geography literature is rich with examples about how entrepreneurial ecosystems require multiple inter-firm and state-firm institutional linkages that allow for flexibility and collaboration. (Mazzucato 2013; Scott 1995) In recent years, in order to capitalize on the promises of technology and knowledge-led development and to globally position their subnational landscapes to attract international investment, scholars argue that states are establishing new regulatory and governance capabilities, investing in high-speed technologies and infrastructure, and establishing new nomenclatures such as ‘smart cities’. (Datta 2015; Lauermann 2016; Peck et al. 2013; Roy and Ong 2011) In this paper, I investigate whether the emerging subnational governing protocols are more than investment mechanisms and how they are mobilized to facilitate entrepreneurial capabilities and cooperation among firms and the government. This paper reviews recent scholarship to locate the evolving role of entrepreneurship and analyzes industrial policies in Asian cities with high rates of technological and manufacturing growth to better understand the emerging political economy of entrepreneurship.

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