Transformation of Resource Towns and Peripheries: Political economy perspectives, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Transformation of Resource Towns and Peripheries

Political economy perspectives, 1st Edition

Edited by Greg Halseth


366 pages | 52 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138960893
pub: 2016-07-05
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Most developed economies, including single-industry and resource dependent rural or small town regions, are transforming rapidly as a result of social, political, and economic change. Collectively, they face a number of challenges as well as new opportunities. This international collaboration describes a critical political economy framework that will be useful for understanding these transitions.

Transformation of Resource Towns and Peripheries describes the multi-faceted process of transition and change in resource dependent rural and small town regions since the end of the Second World War. The book incorporates international case studies from Australia, Canada, Finland and New Zealand, with the express purpose of highlighting similarities and differences in patterns and practices in each country. Chapters explore three main themes: how corporate ties and trade linkages are changing and impacting rural communities and regions; how resource industry employment is changing in these small communities; and how local community capacity and leadership are working to mitigate challenges and take advantage of new opportunities.

This book will be of interest to students of regional studies, geography, and rural and industrial sociology. It will also have a strong appeal to policy-makers and local regional development practitioners.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1 Introduction – Political Economy Perspectives on the Transformation of Resource Towns and Peripheries

Greg Halseth


Section 1: Global-local Perspectives on Restructuring

Introduction: Geography and History Matter

Roger Hayter

2 Australia – Trap or opportunity? Natural resource dependence, scale, and the evolution of new economies in the space/time of New South Wales’ Northern Tablelands

Neil Argent

3 British Columbia – Localization AND globalization: Industrial re-organization in Mackenzie, British Columbia

Greg Halseth, Laura Ryser, and Sean Markey

4 Finland – Global – local links and industrial restructuring in a resource town in Finland: The case of Lieksa

Markku Tykkyläinen, Eero Vatanen, Maija Halonen, and Juha Kotilainen

5 New Zealand – Restructuring of the New Zealand economy: Global-local links and evidence from the West Coast and Southland regions

Sean Connelly and Etienne Nel


Section 2: Labour and Employment Perspectives on Restructuring

Introduction: Jobs and Labour Power Under Threat

Roger Hayter

6 Australia – Labour/capital relations and sustainable development in the NSW Northern Tablelands

Neil Argent

7 British Columbia – Contentious flexibility: Job losses in labour restructuring in Mackenzie, BC

Greg Halseth, Laura Ryser, and Sean Markey

8 Finland – Industrial labour in a resource town in Finland: The case of Lieksa

Maija Halonen, Eero Vatanen, Markku Tykkyläinen, and Juha Kotilainen

9 New Zealand – Employment and labour in New Zealand: Recent trends and reflections on developments in the West Coast and Southland regions

Sean Connelly and Etienne Nel


Section 3: Community Implications

Introduction: "Whatever you can do at Ocean Falls you can do better somewhere else"

Roger Hayter

10 Australia – Community Development in an Age of Mounting Uncertainty: Armidale, Australia

Tony Sorensen

11 British Columbia – Building for the future: Community responses to economic restructuring in Mackenzie, BC

Greg Halseth, Laura Ryser, and Sean Markey

12 Finland – Resource town transitions in Finland: Local impacts and policy responses in Lieksa

Juha Kotilainen, Maija Halonen, Eero Vatanen, and Markku Tykkyläinen

13 New Zealand – Community Responses to Restructuring

Sean Connelly and Etienne Nel


14 Rural Restructuring – Conclusion

Sean Markey and Greg Halseth

About the Editor

Greg Halseth is a Professor in the Geography Program at the University of Northern British Columbia, where he is also the Canada Research Chair in Rural and Small Town Studies and Co-Director of UNBC’s Community Development Institute, Canada.

About the Series

Regions and Cities

In today’s globalised, knowledge-driven and networked world, regions and cities have assumed heightened significance as the interconnected nodes of economic, social and cultural production, and as sites of new modes of economic governance and policy experimentation. This book series brings together incisive and critically engaged international and interdisciplinary research on this resurgence of regions and cities, and should be of interest to geographers, economists, sociologists, political scientists and cultural scholars, as well as to policy-makers involved in regional and urban development.

If you would like to discuss a potential new book for the series, please contact:

Joan Fitzgerald – – Series Editor-in-Chief, or

Natalie Tomlinson – – Routledge Commissioning Editor

For more information on the Regional Studies Association, visit


Did you know that as a Regional Studies Association member you’re entitled to a 30% discount on all Routledge books? To order, simply email Emilia Falcone (, or phone on +44 (0) 207 017 6364 and declare your RSA membership.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Business Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development