Path Dependence: A Political Economy Perspective


In this commentary, I endorse Ron Martin’s thoughtful rethinking of the concept of path dependence in a successful attempt to improve our understanding of regional economic evolution. I take issue, however, with his quick dismissal of Marxist geographical political economy as an important reference point for understanding the evolution of the economic landscape. Taking inspiration from a spatialized reading of the regulationist perspective on socioeconomic development, I argue that Marxist geographical political economy is a key reference point for any theory of regional development because it points to the importance of capital accumulation, state restructuring and collective agency in shaping economic evolution.