In the late seventies, John Friedmann made an attempt to formulate a new paradigm for regional development. His basic proposition was that the then prevailing development paradigm had been dominated by functional integration (Friedmann and Weaver, 1979). The integrity of local territorial life had been surrendered in the interests of growth and efficiency. Efficient large-scale functional organisation meant centralisation at higher levels. The trans-national corporation was seen as the ultimate embodiment of this approach. In his view regional planning was at a crossroads; it would have to choose between function and territory. He subsequently formulatedthe'development of territory as an alternative paradigm. As a guiding principle this was more egalitarian, distributive and integrative, including economic, social as well as political dimensions of development. Friedmann and Weaver's book received a mixed reception. One of the critiques was by Jos Hilhorst, my predecessor (Hilhorst, 1980). The formulation of function and territory as two opposites had, in his view, a number of basic flaws. Subsequent developments in the literature have proven Hilhorst to be right in a number of respects. The interaction between function and territory became, in the late eighties and early nineties, an important dimension of localised economic growth and embedded development.

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Erasmus University Rotterdam
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Helmsing, B. (2000, January 27). Externalities, learning and governance perspectives on local economic development . Retrieved from