Beyond Lock‐in versus Evolution, towards Punctuated Co‐evolution: On Ron Martin’s ‘Rethinking Regional Path Dependence’


This contribution discusses Ron Martin’s Roepke Lecture in Economic Geography, ‘Rethinking Regional Path Dependence: Beyond Lock‐in to Evolution’. The lecture offered original ideas on how to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with path dependence theories and the equilibristic understanding of the temporality of economic change. This contribution addresses the question of co‐evolution of the economic and the political in regional and local industrial evolution. It questions the conception of temporality that seems implicit in the framework. It is suggested that the notion of punctuated co‐evolution may be a way forwards, avoiding some of the difficulties in Martin’s model. The contribution concludes by discussing the analytical limits of path dependence models.