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*Department of Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies, Calvin College, 1740 Knollcrest Circle SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan, MI 49546, USA. E-mail: **Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands. E-mail: Received: October 2003; revised October 2004 ABSTRACT Within regional science there is a need for a general theory of regional economic development, one that evaluates and integrates existing approaches. In this paper, the philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd is used as a basis for conceptualising the contours of such a theory. Contributions of this philosophy especially relevant for regional economic development are functional pluralism and non-reductionism, interweaving among entities, a broad understanding of the human person and built-in normativity. While all the aspects are signicant in regional economic development, the spatial aspect is singled out for particular attention. Dooyeweerds philosophy is able to incorporate existing approaches to regional economic development though not without criticising and revising them. Key words: Regional economic development, global, philosophy, spatiality, aspectual diversity, normativity

NIJKAMPS CHALLENGE A few years ago Nijkamp (1999, pp. 1326) published an overview of the state of research in regional science. Part of his overview are comments on two main issues: location theory and regional economic development theory. He still misses a theoretically sound, solid and operational regional development theory. Nijkamp also explicitly mentions the importance of integrating existing knowledge. He argues for the use of (quantitative) meta-analysis to integrate the empirical results of the many different published studies. The role of sustainability and good governance in regional economic development should also be included. And, he points to the fruitfulness for regional science of the use of methodologies from other disciplines, for example, that of evolutionary biology. Finally,

he argues for a more thorough application of research results to regional economic policy. With this, Nijkamp presents a multidimensional challenge to regional science: how to explain spatial economic diversity on Earth. In addition to what Nijkamp wants to include, there are other requirements for such a general theory. Many regional economic development theories compete for attention: neo-classical, Keynesian, behavioural, institutional and evolutionary. How can we integrate these, into one theoretically sound, solid and operational regional development theory? (See also Barnes et al. 2004, p. 18) And, what about the inclusion of theories from the eld of development economics which investigates the economic development of the poor parts of our planet? Isnt it theoretically very unsatisfactory to have regional science quite separate from development

Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geograe 2005, Vol. 96, No. 2, pp. 184198. 2005 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden MA 02148, USA

A DOOYEWEERD-BASED APPROACH TO REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT economics? And, should we not also be able to include theories about economic transition processes, for example, in Eastern Europe? Shouldnt an overall development theory be able to clarify economic development at all scales and for all types and levels of economies, whether Russia, India, Zimbabwe, France, the Czech Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Groningen (the Netherlands) or Grand Rapids (Michigan, USA)? In this paper we take on Nijkamps challenge by using a specic philosophical system, namely that of Dooyeweerd, to outline a general theory of regional economic development. Dooyeweerds philosophy may be regarded as a meta-theory. Although Nijkamps meta-analysis is not the same as a meta-theory, the latter is indispensable, we believe, for properly carrying out the former. It is impossible to integrate quantitative empirical studies without looking at their respective scientic presuppositions. The rest of this paper is structured as follows. The next section outlines the philosophical school of Dooyeweerd and his followers. A short introduction to the philosophy of space in general and of economic space in particular is given in the third section. In the fourth and fth sections we show that a general regional economic development theory, constructed from Dooyeweerds philosophy, in principle, meets all of Nijkamps requirements. DOOYEWEERDS PHILOSOPHY Herman Dooyeweerd (18941977) was professor of philosophy at the Free University of Amsterdam. He developed an integral philosophical system which has become known as reformational philosophy. Just as with any other philosophical system, it has been further developed by new generations of scholars. A substantial body of writings has developed around this school both in philosophy itself and in the special sciences (Zylstra 1981; Seerveld 1985; Staeu 1987; Schuurman 1995; Skillen 2003; Strauss 2005) including geography (Paterson 1998; Van Langevelde 1999; Aay 2002). Today, in much research, also in geography, it has become more accepted that scholars make explicit their philosophical presuppositions (Harrison & Livingstone 1980, pp. 2531). The view that one cannot study anything


without making such commitments has gained ground (Polanyi 1958; Sayer 1979). To leave such commitments unacknowledged is not only a form of scholarly dishonesty but also leads to misunderstanding and the reader making assumptions of his or her own. A large part of Dooyeweerds work is his assertion and demonstration that theorising is based on such commitments. He scrupulously analysed the diverse presuppositions that have driven theoretical thought throughout history. At one level then this paper follows Dooyeweerd and other presentday like-minded thinkers, because, in constructing a general theory of regional economic development, it carefully and systematically brings the philosophical framework we use into the open. The other main part of Dooyeweerds work is his systematic philosophy, mainly ontology and to a lesser extent epistemology: theories of aspects, of entities, of relationships, of social institutions, of knowing, to name some of the main ones. It is this part of his philosophy that we will use to help construct a regional economic development theory. We will summarise some of this systematic philosophys more general features and those that are particularly relevant for our topic. Of course in a short inventory such as this we cannot do justice to all the components of Dooyeweerds thought. There exist, however, excellent systematic treatments of his philosophy, including, of course, his own (Dooyeweerd 19531958; Hart 1984; McIntire 1985; Clouser 1991; Van Woudenberg 1992, 1996). Kalsbeek (1975) is a more popular survey of Dooyeweerds thought. For Dooyeweerd what exists is created, and subject to laws which, using the very apt verbs of James Skillen (2003, p. 326), bind the biophysical world and bind and obligate people. What exists has meaning because it always points beyond itself. Meaning is not something that humans impose on things. Rather, meaning is intrinsic to being. Two other fundamental properties of Dooyeweerds ontology are especially relevant in this paper: functional pluralism (non-reductionism) and entitary complexity. There are many different and irreducible kinds of functioning (from physical, to economic, to aesthetic) and there exists a great pluriformity of things (from stones to rms to paintings) that bundle and combine these functions in distinct
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186 ways in keeping with their lawful structural order. The assertion of non-reductionism is particularly important for academic elds of study, including geography, which often explain what they investigate from their own rather absolute disciplinary viewpoint (spatialism, biologism, economism). Because what exists is subject to laws, ontology precedes epistemology, knowledge follows being, in this philosophy. Yet another distinctive hallmark of Dooyeweerds thought, today also shared by other thinkers, is everyday life and experience as starting point for philosophical reection. While most of his contemporaries made use of theoretical reection to understand everyday life, Dooyeweerd reversed the order: pre-theoretical experience was used to afrm and highlight theory. Because Dooyeweerds theory of modal aspects (modalities) and of entities serves as philosophical underpinning in this paper, a discussion of these concepts is needed. Dooyeweerd attempts to account for the diversity of what is experienced by distinguishing an ordered number of irreducible modal aspects or ways of knowing and being. These are listed in Table 1 along with the meaning nucleus or core of each aspect. Because everything functions in all these ways, Dooyeweerds ontology aligns itself with qualitative pluralism, something which other philosophers have also championed (Hartmann 1949; Waltzer 1983; Skinner 1990). Each of these aspects has a unique meaning kernel, its quintessential nature. For example, the kernel
Table 1. Dooyeweerds modalities and meaning cores. 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Fiduciary Ethical, Moral Juridical Aesthetic Economic Social Lingual Technoformative Analytical Sensitive Biotic Physical Kinetic Spatial Numeric Faith, commitment Love, caring Justice Beauty, allusivity Weighing values Human interaction Symbolic meaning Formative power according to a free design Clarifying distinction Feeling Life Energy Motion Extension, position Discrete quantity

HENK AAY & AB VAN LANGEVELDE of the physical-chemical aspect is energy and, of the economic aspect, weighing values (Van Langevelde 1999, p. 76). Each aspect pertains to a particular domain of our world and has its own set of laws, determinative or normative, depending on their meaning nucleus. The rst six aspects have determinative laws, the rest normative ones. For example, laws related to the spatial aspect include direction, location, and distance, those related to the physical aspect include evaporation and convection, and those related to the social aspect include social cohesion and group formation. The modal aspects are used to analyse everyday things, events or situations: stones, cars, families, thunder, buildings, social conict, etc. These are called individuality structures or, in short, entities. Each is qualied by one particular modal aspect which provides the principal meaning of the entity. A family, for example, is qualied by the moral aspect of love and care, a business by the economic aspect and a plant by the biotic aspect. At the same time, each of these aforementioned entities exhibits every aspect. Let us take a factory, an economically qualied entity, as an example. Its qualifying function is its core business: making a contribution to the economy. Although every aspect pertains, we describe just three. The quantitative aspect comes to the fore when a census of employees is taken. In the interior layout of the plant the spatial aspect is manifested. Workers also communicate with specialised words and technical phrases (linguistic aspect). In this example, the aspects closely cohere and are bound into the entity to produce a meaningful whole. There would be no factory without the aspects that precede and follow the economic. Investigators need to consider every aspect. While they are tightly bound together in an entity, the aspects are, at the same time, not reducible to each other. They are distinct ways of being: the aesthetic aspect of the factory may not be collapsed into the techno-formative, for example. Besides coherence and irreducibility of the aspects, the entire range of distinct kinds of existence is mirrored in each aspect (technical term: aspectual universality). If we return to our example of the factory: in its economic functioning, the spatial aspect is present as market area. Likewise, the social aspect is present, for instance, in assembly line work teams.

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A DOOYEWEERD-BASED APPROACH TO REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT In everyday life people do not experience entities as separate, but linked together. Because of geographys scales of investigation (places, regions, landscapes), it pays particular attention to such linkages. Dooyeweerd identied a number of different types of relationships suitable for such scales: subject-subject, subject-object, and enkaptic relations. Ties among neighbours is an example of subject-subject relations; the linkages between shoppers and a shopping centre is an example of subject-object relations. Enkapsis at these scales refers to the mutual interweaving of entities (say, dwelling units, churches and shops) to form a larger entity (a neighbourhood). Dooyeweerds aspects and entities are dynamic. Entities are fashioned, change throughout their lifetime, and cease to exist. Alterations in the mix of aspectual meaning sometimes signal such changes: a municipal water tower is converted into an apartment building. More commonly, entities keep their basic identity but are constantly adjusted to changes in their contexts. For example, the product life cycle is part of business dynamics studied by, among others, demographers of the rm (Van Dijk & Pellenbarg 1999). Because of the central place of laws in Dooyeweerd, this philosophy is very relevant for public policy, among others. Policy-makers and people in general are obligated to positivise universal principles which belong to the very structure of reality and are therefore not just social constructs. Positivisation means working such principles out into specic policies and rules for particular contexts. In regional economic development policy such normativity is important. What economic goals should be pursued in a specic region? And, more to the point, where in the region should these goals be promoted? This takes us to a consideration of economic space. FROM SPACE TO ECONOMIC SPACE TO REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT We have seen that in Dooyeweerds ontology space is an irreducible and foundational aspect of our world; everything has a spatial aspect. Natural entities and enkaptic structures conform to the spatial principles appropriate to physicochemical and biotic functioning. Humans cannot help but also positivise the spatial aspect


that is part and parcel of all their activities. The spatial aspects meaning kernel is extension and position. For the entire ontological diversity of our world, it addresses a large variety of elementary, complex and interrelated attributes such as distance, location, proximity, area, shape, boundary, centrality, region, territory and path. A symbolic spatial language such as a map or GIS produces an overview of the spatial aspect of an entity or of an enkaptic structure. Maps of a chemical compound are spatial but not geospatial representations. Understanding the spatial organisation and dynamics of the Earths physical surface at scales from, say, a city block to the entire globe is geographys domain as is spatial behaviour from the micro (proxemics) to the macro (global mobility). Depending on the scale, such a spatial snap-shot may well be the sedimented outcome of many different human decisions extending far back in time. Think of ancient Chinese rural landscapes. Dooyeweerds philosophy of space as part of his ontology has much to offer geography for which space and spatiality are so central (Weichhart 1993; Johnston et al. 2000, pp. 767 773). Many philosophies of space are of space in physics and mathematics. These do not have Dooyeweerds ontological breadth and differentiation (for example, Reichenbach 1958). Other early understandings of space were more theological in nature: space as the sensorium of God, as the connection between God and things, or, as God (Spinoza) ( Jammer 1954); by contrast, Dooyeweerd draws a sharp boundary between God and the cosmos. Philosophers such as Kant regarded spatiality as an a priori for human perception (Richards 1974), while for Dooyeweerd it is rst and foremost an ontological category on the basis of which spatial knowing is constituted. Still others, including geographers, have regarded space as a passive container (absolute space) in which a coexisting order of related entities is found (Hartshorne 1939; De Jong 1962). When geographers have regarded space as an aspect of our world as they did during the quantitative revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, they often resorted to a spatial formalism: space as an independent causal aspect (Bunge 1966). For Dooyeweerd, the spatial is only one interrelated aspect among others that pertains to our world and is constitutive of all phenomena. Since then, just as in physics, a
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188 more relative view of space has come to expression also in geography. Space was no longer seen as objective schemata but socially constructed (Bergson 1911; Massey 1992). From the vantage of Dooyeweerds philosophy, this was a promising reformulation but it often resulted in eliminating the spatial as a distinctive aspect of our world. The spatial was often elided and made equivalent to the social, political or economic. Moreover, it removed the analysis of the spatial from physical and biogeography. For Dooyeweerd the spatial aspect always pertains and makes a difference but is relativised and coloured by the kinds of things it is part of. The geospatial dimension of economically qualied entities is of special interest to experts in regional economic development. Economic space and spatiality are concerned with the human structuring of economic regions both in general multifunctional areas such as cities and in more specialised economic zones such as business parks. Such experts investigate locating economic activities in such regions, organising the spatial structure and dynamics of the regional economy, and fashioning spatial linkages between economic activities and other sectors of the regional society. Furthermore, they study the creation of wider spatial connections among local, regional, national and global economies. In all this, the economic region is key. A region combines the spatial as foundational with one later aspect as qualifying (faunal realm, port, language area, neighbourhood, parish). By denition, all regions, at whatever scale, are areas of collective proximity and as such they facilitate relationships among entities and actors of all kinds. By the same token, intense collective nearness as found in cities may also lead to disamenities such as congestion and pollution. As they increase in area, regions are less likely to be mono-aspectually qualied: an industrial park is an economically qualied entity while Cornwall is not qualied by one single modality. Although this papers focus is on regional economic development, we cannot give a detailed account of the extremely heterogeneous concept of region in the social sciences and geography. There are, however, excellent detailed treatments, for example, Blotevogel (1996) and Miggelbrink (2002). The foregoing lays a foundation for considering regional economic development. What
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HENK AAY & AB VAN LANGEVELDE distinguishes it from other kinds of development, say, the arts in a region? Traditionally, economics is related to such central concepts as utility, production, prot, costs, benets, prices and value. Van Langevelde (1999, pp. 9097) argues that the economic aspect of human life is primarily directed towards the creation of a value surplus. This is done by a process of weighing values in which all the above-mentioned concepts may play a role. Market prices are the result. The economic is a normative aspect because in daily life people readily distinguish economic from uneconomic. Regional economic development does not always contribute to human ourishing. Earlier, the concept of aspectual universality was introduced to underscore that all the aspects are involved when any one is featured. As noted, in regional economic development the economic and spatial aspects are particularly prominent but all the others are also in play: ecology, technology, language, social interaction, aesthetics, law, care, and worldview. Regional economic development as positivisation of economic and spatial principles is always bundled together with these other aspects in particular cultural-historical contexts. Good or bad economic development in Romania is different from that in Kenya. With these building blocks, what might a general theory of regional economic development based on the philosophy of Dooyeweerd look like? REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT One of the main tasks of regional science is to better understand the economic performance of different regions: why are some rich and others poor? Landes (1998), an economic historian, provides an excellent long-term global historical explanation by reference to long-run factors such as climate, technology, politics and religion. He uses these to clarify why Europes economic development compared to China was so much more prosperous. But besides that of the economic historian, there are other commonly-used approaches and theories available: neo-classical, Keynesian, behavioural, institutional, evolutionary, as well as models used in the eld of development economics. To these we would like to add one based on Dooyeweerds



Figure 1. A four systems model based on Dooyeweerds ontology.

philosophy. Figure 1 distinguishes four systems for regional economic development which group Dooyeweerds modal aspects together. Lombardi & Nijkamps (2000) model for the economic development of border regions is based on Dooyeweerd as well. Decision-making forms a lynchpin in many economic development models. Dooyeweerds aspects also form the basis of his anthropology (Ouweneel 1986; Troost 1993; Glas 1996; Seerveld 2000; Staeu 2002). Four substructures of being human are distinguished: physicalchemical, biotic, sensitive and act structure. These are not separate but, rather, are intertwined in a complex enkaptic structural whole. The rst three are qualied by one specic modal aspect as indicated by their name while all the post-sensitive aspects from analytical to certitudinal pertain to the act structure. Acts are understood by Dooyeweerd as intentional behaviour (Glas 1996, p. 100). The biological substructure relates to someones organic constitution, the sensitive to a persons character. These two may be regarded as talents to be used. There may well be links between a business leaders physiognomy and personality,

on the one hand, and entrepreneurial abilities, corporate culture and regional economic development, on the other (Chell 2001; cs & Audretsch 2003). Other capacities belong to the aspects that pertain to the act substructure: intelligence, creativity, communication skills, social talents, entrepreneurship, artistry, justice, care and trust. All together, these can be easily related to the concept of capabilities developed by Sen (1992). Homo respondens serves as an apt shorthand for Dooyeweerds anthropology and differs strongly from other views of being human such as homo economicus. From Dooyeweerds perspective, entrepreneurs are obligated to use all these capabilities. Human beings always function in a natural environmental and cultural context which like all other things contains the full suite of aspects as in our model. This context, therefore, always has a spatial aspect. Decision-makers, as homines respondentes, (mis)perceive the spatial organisation of a region as constraint or opportunity (Hgerstrand 1970) for its development. In this, they serve as agents for further economic development and their actions always have spatial consequences that become part of the spatial
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190 structure for subsequent decisions. In giving form to the spatial aspect of economy and society, agency and structure (Giddens 1984) are fully intertwined. Of course, the linkage of agency and structure for decision-making about economic development in a region includes much more than the spatial aspect. Decision-makers are agents in all arenas of human functioning and respond to a multi-aspectual structure. In their economic decision-making, they need to give appropriate attention to constraints and opportunities related to, for example, hydrological and ecological conditions, technical infra-structure, regional dialect, aesthetics of the built environment, ofcial plans, social services, and educational institutions. To take just one aspect: the use of Frisian in addition to Dutch in businesses in Frysln, the Netherlands, is regarded by managers to sometimes have a positive effect on the Frisian economy and to possibly give additional motivation to employees (Van Langevelde 1999, pp. 105156). This example shows how important the regional identity of Frysln may be for regional economic development. In this northern Dutch province the regional language is part and parcel of Frisianness (in Frisian: frysk eigene). How can we use this four systems model for tackling issues in regional economic development? First, it provides a wide range of explanatory modes (Staeu 1995). Each has its own unique explanatory power (Geertsema 2002): a physical explanation differs from an economic, ethical, or juridical one. Dooyeweerds integral ontology is robust enough to encompass existing explanatory approaches in economic development. This will be shown in the next section. Second, we cannot stress enough that economic development is only one part of regional development. It takes its place alongside and intersects with a regions environmental protection, social welfare, political institutions, to name only a few. The cultural turn has helped economic geography recover this insight but beyond that it is clear that studying the development of a region belongs not only to economics and geography but to nearly every academic eld. Third, development always has a normative dimension. Does economic development meet the norm for value surplus creation as discussed
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HENK AAY & AB VAN LANGEVELDE earlier? Has economic development been appropriately disclosed towards the later modalities so that these are not impaired? Disclosure refers to the process of unfolding and opening in which more and more potentials of reality are actualised. The economy of a region is not a machine independent of human responsibility and choice. Economic leaders act on opportunities and constraints (compare to Sens (1981) idea of entitlements) and decide what to produce, when, where, how, and by and for whom within a region. At every stage, therefore, normativity asserts itself. Dooyeweerds ontology has a built-in normativity appropriate for the quest for meaning in the social sciences and humanities, including geography. In regional economics and economic geography a SWOT (strengths-weaknesses-opportunitiesthreats) approach is regularly used to assess the economic position of a region (Karppi et al. 2001). In SWOT normativity is easily narrowed down to the single dimension of competitiveness. As we shall see, Dooyeweerds ontology facilitates a broad multi-modal normative approach. Fourth, regional economic development always has a spatial structural moment. Where within the regional economy are goods and services produced and consumed? How is regional income spatially distributed? The spatial organisation of an economy helps to form the look of the entire regional landscape, for example, smoke stacks or ofce buildings making up the skyline. Is there a good balance between economic and other kinds of space? Are people able to easily get around (infrastructure)? Is proximity within the regional economy advantageous (external economies) or a problem (environmental pollution, congestion) or both? And, what about the relative position of a certain region with respect to others (for example, Frysln to Randstad in the Netherlands)? Most governments engage to some degree in spatial economic planning: to what extent does such policy inuence the development of local and regional economies? UNDERSTANDING REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: DIFFERENTIATING AND INTEGRATING THE APPROACHES We have outlined a general regional economic development theory based on Dooyeweerds



Figure 2. A Dooyeweerd-based model for regional economic development.

philosophy. This template (see Figure 2) will now be applied to a consideration of the other main approaches mentioned earlier. Neoclassical approach Neoclassical growth theory (Salvadori 2003) uses production functions to explain economic development. Mirowski (1994) shows that neoclassical models use a natural science approach and characterise an economy almost as a physical system. Economic occurrences, however, are not determined by natural laws but are guided by values and norms positivised by human beings. Human persons are actors not factors. Data classied as exogenous by neoclassical economists are in fact endogenous: labour supply, consumer preferences, technological change and the politicolegal system. But, even when they make such factors endogenous, a natural science approach still prevails. What is striking: growth theory is used to explain economic development as if declining regional production is not relevant to economic analysis. Signicant too, is that spa-

tiality does not play a notable role in neoclassical regional economic development theory. Economic geography has always underscored that space matters in the analysis of the economy although economists have rediscovered this recently (Krugman 1995). From our point of view in a neoclassical approach the systems of nature, technology and science, and art, law, ethics and religion (ALER) determine the social-economic system. The relationships among the systems are modelled as in the natural sciences, with the assumption that actors strive for maximum utility and prot. In this model the economic system appears to be value free and as such the normative character of the economic aspect is ignored altogether. In neoclassical economics, values and norms appear only when economic policy is formulated. Freedom is shown to be the central value for the economy. Income distribution is only regarded as a datum for economic analysis and not whether it meets the norm for justice. A fair distribution of income refers to the ethical
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192 structural moment within economics (see Etzioni 1988). Are the established and wealthier members of the European Union willing to forego some of their future economic opportunities on behalf of the new member states? Are the underprivileged legally protected against the misuse of their labour (the juridical moment)? Is the technology used in production compatible with our being relational persons? Can production and consumption keep their limited place and not colonise the entirety of culture and thereby contribute to an all-encompassing economistic vision of life (the duciary moment)? In these ways, doing business becomes meaningful for economic actors and normativity is part and parcel of their decisions and of economists explanations. Behavioural approach This is a reaction to the unrealistic assumptions about people (perfect knowledge and rational choice) in neoclassical theory (Brons & Pellenbarg 2003, p. 14). Although it is important in economics (Cyert & March 1992) as well as in economic geography (Pred 1967; Pellenbarg 1985; Meester 2004), there is not really a behavioural theory of regional economic development. However, research into entrepreneurship (Stam 2003, pp. 12 13) evinces a behavioural or decision-making approach, and, as such, is relevant to understanding regional economic development which, after all, results from the choices of persons. The analytical triangle of entrepreneur-companyregion gives the necessary context to economic decision-making. Different persons bring their own particular responsibilities as well as their command over regional resources Sens entitlements to this process along with their character, personality and capacities. Homo respondens, the cornerstone of Dooyeweerds anthropology, helps to centre studies of entrepreneurship. Are there regional cultures of entrepreneurship, and why are there such regional differences? Are they marked by strong personal (male) networks, government-business co-operation (e.g. public-private partnerships) or by a few commanding iconoclastic captains of industry (Hofstede 2001)? Regional economies are frequently dominated by a few major industries and their leaders, for example, Philips in the Eindhoven region of the Netherlands. Here, too, reformational philosophy may serve
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HENK AAY & AB VAN LANGEVELDE as a framework for research into the nature and quality of governance of large multinational rms dominating the economy of a certain region. This meets Nijkamps (1999, p. 23) requirement that attention should be paid to good governance. Institutional approach The geography of enterprise, a forerunner of the institutional approach, focused on the locational decision making of large multi-plant rms. Later, the attention shifted to innovation and the name institutional was applied to such a focus (Brons & Pellenbarg 2003, pp. 1415). Because innovation is strongly related to knowledge, the learning process is a key component. In the footsteps of the learning organisation economic geographers started thinking and writing about learning regions (Brons & Pellenbarg 2003, p. 15). Network relationships, trust (Fukuyama 1995; Cooke & Morgan 1998) and loyalty among leaders in particular sectors are key components in learning and innovation. Storper (1997) regards trust and loyalty as untraded interdependencies. Massey (1984, p. 296) underscores that economic change and development are embedded in social-cultural processes and institutions. Shifts in spatial divisions of labour are, for her, part of a social process with uncertain outcomes that include disruption and conict. Amin & Thrift (1994, p. 14) use the phrase institutional thickness for such social and cultural factors in economic development. Martin et al.s (1996) research on labour unions is an example of an institutional approach. Unlike the other schools of thought, an institutional orientation does concern itself with values and norms, in particular those that are embedded in the social-economic and ALER system (Amin & Thrift 1994). Consequently, an institutional approach wants to identify such values. How are they expressed in a regional economy and do they help to explain regional economic differences? We earlier referred to the positive effect of Frisian identity on the economy of Frysln. A relevant question is whether Frisianness further inuences regional positioning, governance and interweaving in this Dutch province. Van Langevelde (1999, pp. 132133) discusses the importance of the Frisian language for the genesis and maintenance of economic networks.

A DOOYEWEERD-BASED APPROACH TO REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Dooyeweerds concepts of universal normative principles, positivisation and disclosure offer help in the analysis of particular societal problems. Acknowledging universal values and the need to give them form in specic policies is a sound foundation for a broad public discussion about what is economically valuable in a region by local and regional governments and other organisations such as chambers of commerce, trade unions and employers associations. Here, Cooke & Morgan (1998) argue for associational policies, bringing together in a region a variety of interests, such as vocational training, business innovation and business information; they plead for environmental sustainability as another piece of such a regional development policy. The Dutch polder model, a way to negotiate consensus among various interest groups, is one example of associational policies. Again, with the indissoluble link between development in general and economic development in particular a broad approach is needed which also includes, among other things, good governance, and welfare issues such as poverty (Goudzwaard & Verweij 2001). The institutional approach consists of the various explanatory modes in the social-economic, science and technology and ALER systems. Dooyeweerds concepts of enkapsis and disclosure help rene embeddedness, a metaphor taken from a river owing in its channel and a popular current concept in the social sciences. The present-day meaning of embeddedness brings to mind that the social-economic system is channelled by conditions of nature, by technology, by existing legal requirements and by religious beliefs, among others. More than embeddedness, intertwinement or enkapsis brings to mind a coherent and normative ontic interweaving. Intertwinement thus enriches embeddedness. In this respect, there is an important difference between the earlier aspects that found the economic and those later ones that are opened up or disclosed by it. This creates an important distinction between intertwinement or enkapsis in the founding and in the disclosure direction. In the founding direction the aspects make the role of the economic possible. Without the natural world, without science and technology, without human relations and language, economic entities simply cannot exist. Disclosure pertains to those aspects that, in our case, trail the economic: economic development, for


example, needs to pay attention to how workers treat each other on the job (the ethical aspect). Evolutionary approach Armed with concepts from evolutionary biology as metaphors for economic development, the evolutionary approach is the most recent trend in economic geography (Nelson & Winter 1982). Variation, selection and path dependence are seen as key evolutionary concepts which are translated in economic geography as innovation, competition and routines. Path dependence and routines refer to the disinclination of entrepreneurs to leave their accustomed decision-making pathways. This may well lead to lock-ins, unexploited opportunities and suboptimal behaviour (Boschma et al. 2002; Brons & Pellenbarg 2003, p. 15). Evolutionary economic geography regards rms as organisms in an ecological complex. On the one hand, this metaphor suggests harmony and equilibrium, as in the food chain. On the other, it may refer to disharmony and disequilibrium as in competition among organisms for food and mates. Of course, the phrase economic life, itself is a biotic metaphor. Goudzwaard (2001) cites the Dutch proverb, often used in reference to the stock market, that trees do not reach into heaven. Living things grow to maturity and then stop. Continuous growth is abnormal, even cancerous, and as metaphor it points to a norm for economic activities. A regional economy may grow to accommodate legitimate societal needs and wants with distributive justice but once these are satised, growth would tail away. Again, it is important to distinguish economic from other kinds of growth that are part of regional development. These, although of course not unrelated to the economy, have their own growth patterns. It is also important not to equate the absence of growth with stagnation in a regional economy: innovation, adaptation, restructuring, sectoral change characterise every regional economy as part of a national and global system. The biotic metaphor of health perhaps better captures some of these qualities. In a healthy human adult, all parts of the body function as intended and together. Obesity is unhealthy growth that may lead to illnesses such as diabetes and aeschemic disease. Cancer is a form of runaway growth that takes away health and threatens life. We should strive for healthy regional economies.
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194 Today, we speak of a cultural turn in economic geography (Ray & Sayer 1999), a re-orientation which can be seen in all the social sciences (Brons & Pellenbarg 2003, p. 18). Among other things, the cultural turn pleads for empirical research that pays attention to the human and even personal characteristics of economic decision makers and that this includes the acknowledgment of the importance of the decision makers cultural background and social embeddedness (Brons & Pellenbarg 2003, p. 16). Such studies demonstrate the importance of soft social and cultural factors next to the hard technical and economic variables in economic development (Porter 1990; Trompenaars 1993; Hofstede 2001; Brons & Pellenbarg 2003, p. 19). Dooyeweerds concepts of founding and disclosure, previously adumbrated, can be put to good use in the analysis of the meaningful interconnections between economic and noneconomic aspects and entities. What about the relationships among the different explanatory approaches that have been discussed? Brons & Pellenbarg (2003, p. 16) argue that these orientations, both old and new, are not substitutes but complementary theoretical models. Pen (2002), for example, makes a case for combining the behavioural and institutional approaches into one comprehensive theory. In the current post-modern academic climate, a poly-vocal registration and buffetstyle use of these approaches without any integration is often quite permissable. But can we accept in economic geography and regional development studies approaches and methodologies originating in different theories which, in turn, are part of different totality views of our world? As noted, Dooyeweerds philosophy is able to incorporate the existing approaches into a meta-theoretical system, though not without criticism, revision, and reconguration. The ability of Dooyeweerds ontology to integrate the diverse elements constituting the process of regional economic development can also be demonstrated for the sub-discipline of development economics. Like other social sciences, the cultural turn has also been at work here, for example, in the general model of Hayami (1997) which distinguishes an economic from a cultural-institutional subsystem. The former is subdivided into resources (production factors) and technology (production
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HENK AAY & AB VAN LANGEVELDE functions), the latter into a value system (culture) and rules (institutions). Hayamis model may readily be transcribed into Dooyeweerds. Other integration schemas Beside the different explanatory approaches considered here, there are the more comprehensive integration schemas of regional geography and regional development. The cultural turn in the social sciences has made such blueprints more apropos also for regional economic development. Van Paassen (1965) and Lambooys (1969) ecological complexes, Hoekvelds (1968) substructures within the spatial context of a historical-societal situation, De Paters (1995) dimensions of regional studies and Sacks (1997) forces and perspectives are ne examples of such schemas. They underline the need for theories and ontological charts that provide both a meta-structure for empirical research and bring the different results of such research together. Many of the individual components in such integration schemas along with their relationships nd an echo in Dooyeweerds meta-theory and in our model. Sack (1997), especially, has elements in common with Dooyeweerd. What distinguishes our approach from these integration blueprints may be found in its derivation, its general and overarching character, and its ne-grained and integral structure. Most integration schemas such as those listed above have been developed within geography by and for geographers. Our model is derived from a meta-theory developed by professional philosophers. Ontology and epistemology are what they do best and geographers benet from bringing such carefully worked out philosophical systems into their discipline. There is, of course, nothing new about deliberately and protably bringing into geography a particular philosophy or individual philosophers; Johnston (1997) provides examples. Second, our model is built on a general ontology pertaining to all of reality. This is especially important for geography and regional development studies which are such interdisciplinary elds. Somewhat more readily than in-house integration schemas, our model is able to take in and help uncover the ontological complexity of what is being investigated. Moreover, an overarching ontological system positions the contributions and insights of different elds to a particular study. Last,

A DOOYEWEERD-BASED APPROACH TO REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT integration models of the type elaborated within geography tend to be somewhat more classicatory and broad brush. Dooyeweerds ontology and our model are especially negrained with the relations among all the aspects carefully worked out. Such a detailed and integral framework invites many different kinds of empirical inquiries. CONCLUSION Our model attempts to answer Nijkamps (1999) call for a theoretically sound, solid and operational regional development theory. In economic geography, the spatial aspect of regional economic development is highlighted. Dooyeweerds ontology gives this important dimension a rightful though limited place. This metatheory may be used with considerable benet to integrate the principal models for regional economic development in geography and economics, to structure and contextualise empirical research in this area, and to direct and focus questions about policy solutions. This paper is a rst step in re-conceptualising economic development theory and economic geography from out of Dooyeweerds philosophy. A number of related ideas are worth further consideration: the relationship between cultural and economic geography; the serviceability of the concept of enkapsis; locational choice from Dooyeweerds view of the human person and the relative contribution of quantitative and qualitative models to regional science. A nal point relates to normativity, discussed earlier. On the one hand, the patchwork quilt of distinctive regional economies the world over reects an enlivening pluralism which gives some people considerable room to shape their economies as appropriate expressions of their own culture. On the other hand, normativity means that there are boundaries and underlying rules for economic development that need to be given culturally appropriate form. Distinguishing cultural pluralism from non-normative developments in a regional economy will remain a formidable challenge. Acknowledgements We thank Henk Geertsema, Bob Goudzwaard, Sander Grifoen, Gerard Hoekveld and Piet


Pellenbarg, who contributed to this paper by commenting on earlier versions. Financial support from the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientic Research (NWO) is also gratefully acknowledged. Finally, we express our sincere thanks to two anonymous referees who greatly contributed to the quality of this paper with their useful comments on earlier drafts. REFERENCES
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